The Colorado Crush head into the 2017 season after a less than stellar fourth-in-conference finish after a season in which they scored the most points out of everybody in their division, but also allowed the second most in the league. They had a good, prolific offense, especially by IFL standards, but their defense was about as porous as they come.
The defense couldn’t give the offense any help, and as a result the team couldn’t win games as their opponents were able to match them score for score. This season, the looming question is can the Crush defense allow the team to succeed?
2017 Colorado Crush Expectations High
What Happened on Defense?
The Colorado Crush finished last season amongst the worst in the IFL. They had a 4-12 record and a defense that allowed over 900 points. The best defense in the league only allowed 628 for comparison. One bright spot on an abysmal defense was wide receiver gone defensive back Rashard Smith. He scored on two fumble recoveries, a kick return, and an interception.
Over the season, he hauled in an insane ten interceptions for a total of 152 yards in returns along with nine pass breakups. The guy with the second most interceptions on the team had two. Their defensive backs displayed weak play when it came to attacking the ball, but they did display good tackling. Three defensive backs were amongst the top five tacklers on the Crush.
As a team, Colorado only managed 16 sacks. Their team sack leaders, Braylon Broughton and John Griggs, had only 3.5 each. They were average when it came to tackles for loss, having 65 as a team. Their leaders in that category, Jake Johnson and Tevin Davis, combined for 19.5.
To round everything up, their defense had a few serviceable pieces, but for the most part was terrible. Aside from one guy they can’t intercept the ball, they can’t pressure quarterbacks, and they don’t tackle until the ball carrier gets to the secondary. Major defensive work is needed for the Crush to amount to anything.
The offense was spearheaded by arguable the best quarterback-receiver duo in the IFL. Quarterback Damien Fleming was responsible for the second most passing yards per game (196.1) and second most passing touchdowns over the course of the season (57) while also leading his team in rushing with 432 yards and 19 touchdowns. His favorite target, Demarius Washington, was top three in every receiving category on his way to offensive player of the year honors. His stats were 81 receptions (third in league) along with a league best in yards (1223) and 25 touchdowns, good for second in the league.
On offense the Crush will simply want more of the same, as they were amongst the league’s best in 2016. Damien Fleming will be looking to continue lighting up the league with Washington and Kyle Kaiser, who was third in receiving touchdowns with 24, right behind Washington. If the trio puts on another season in 2017 like they did last year, there may be some hope in Colorado
Defense Key to Success
The Colorado Crush have a great offense led by arguably the league’s best quarterback and receiver. They can throw all over any team in the league and score at will, but it isn’t enough. The Crush defense is maybe the worst in the IFL and that’s an issue. Despite how prolific the offense is the opposition can score just as much. If the Colorado Crush can shore up their defense, they could be a force to be reckoned with.
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