Stopping a group of that caliber is a daunting task for any group of cornerbacks, but it looks doubly daunting because two of the four Colts who will be assigned that job (Jacob Lacey and Jerraud Powers) are rookies.
But although Indianapolis does have some coverage weaknesses, it also has some unreported strengths.
Powers’ season YPA is 5.3; Lacey’s is 6.3. A 6-yard YPA mark is the accepted gold standard for overall CB performance.
On vertical pass plays, Powers (who faced 15 such situations) had a 6.9 YPA; Lacey (who faced deep balls 38 times) had a 7.0 YPA. This mark actually was a lot better in the regular season, as Braylon Edwards skewed Lacey’s vertical average with an 80-yard touchdown pass in the AFC title game. Take that play out, and his vertical YPA would be an incredibly low 4.7.
These figures indicate Indianapolis has at least two cornerbacks it should be able to lean on to slow down the Saints’ passing game. If Powers and Lacey can play up to their regular-season level, the Colts could pull off a personnel victory that would be the in-game equivalent of Grant’s Vicksburg success.
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