The Texans had the best run defense in the NFL during the 2018 season, allowing a league-low 3.4 yards per carry, a league-low three runs of 20 yards or longer and a league-low 19.7 percent first down rate.
And then the Colts came to town.
Indianapolis absolutely dominated up front on Saturday, with the Colts’ offensive line consistently blowing the Texans’ defensive line off the ball, and opening huge holes for running back Marlon Mack. Mack finished with 148 yards on 24 carries, and the Colts as a team had 32 carries for 203 yards before three Andrew Luck kneeldowns left them with an even 200 yards on 35 carries.
That the Colts were able to so thoroughly dominate a good Texans front shows just how impressive the turnaround has been on their offensive line, led by stellar rookie guard Quenton Nelson. It also raises questions about whether the Texans’ defensive linemen are too quick to try to get around blocks instead of fighting through them. Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt are great pass rushers, but the Colts showed how to run on them.
Next the Colts head to Kansas City, where they’ll face a Chiefs run defense that allowed 5.0 yards per carry and gave up a first down on a league-worst 30.4 percent of rushing attempts. The Chiefs had better figure out how to stop that Colts running attack.