The Colts were one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2017, but they were a particular kind of bad: They were actually a decent team for the first three quarters of games, but they self-destructed in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis had the lead at the start of the fourth quarter in nine of its 16 games in 2017. To finish with a 4-12 record when you’re leading most of your games in the fourth quarter requires some lousy fourth-quarter decision making, and that’s exactly what the Colts had. Warren Sharp has laid out a litany of trends that show just how dumb the Colts were in the fourth quarters of games. The Colts became incredibly predictable in the fourth quarters, all but announcing to opposing defenses that they were going to run the ball to protect their leads. In fact, when the Colts lined up with fewer than three wide receivers on the field while leading in the fourth quarter, they ran the ball 100 percent of the time. Those runs averaged just 1.9 yards per carry. Those are the kinds of trends that opposing teams notice, and you can bet that opposing defenses realized that they could sell out against the run to stop the Colts in those situations.
With predictable play calling, Colts botched fourth-quarter leads like no other team
Pro Football Talk | Feb 24