The Indianapolis Colts will face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football this week, and they will face a team led by its defense. In particular, their defense is led by their defensive line, as the group up front is a good unit.
Chuck Pagano has talked multiple times this week about what a tough challenge their defense and their defensive front provides the Colts.
Here’s what he said on Monday about what makes the Jets so good defensively:
“They’ve got a ton of playmakers. Their defensive front is as good as we’ll play against – a bunch of first round draft picks. [Muhammad] Wilkerson and Leonard Williams and Sheldon Richardson, they have a bunch of guys. They have speed at linebacker, veteran guys in the back end. Say what you want to say, [Darrelle] Revis is as good as they get. Buster Skrine, playing at a high level and two safeties that can play. Todd Bowles does a great job, has done a great job for a long, long time. Todd and I were together, we go all the way back to Cleveland together back in 2001. He’s a heck of a football coach and an outstanding defensive mind. He does a great job and they’re very, very aggressive and they attack. I think they’re fourth right now against the run – very, very stingy. I think they only give up 85 yards a game on the ground. They get you into third-and-long situations and put a lot of pressure on you.”
Then on Wednesday, Pagano said:
“A really good football team that poses a lot of challenges. Throw all of the records out in this one. This is a team that can run the football, stop the run and put pressure on the quarterback. They are fourth in the league against the run and 12th overall defensively. They have a bunch of players on that side of the ball that can flat-out play, they are well-coached, play hard, they are physical.”
Also on Wednesday, Pagano elaborated on the Jets defensive line:
“This is as good as we will see. You have number one after number one after number one. They have seven number one picks on that side of the ball. [Muhammad] Wilkerson – you go down the line, [Steve] McLendon, he is a game-wrecker inside. [Leonard] Williams, [Sheldon] Richardson, [Lorenzo] Mauldin is playing at a high, high level and like I said [David] Harris. But this defensive front is big, they are long, they are athletic, they are aggressive, they are not afraid to send five or six zero pressures. Again, they are fourth in the league against the run, they are very stingy, they tighten things down, set great edges and build a flat wall. They seem to be in everybody’s backfield all the time so it’s going to be a huge challenge for our guys.”
The Jets may not be a great team this year, as they’re just 3-8 and have had a rough season. But their defense provides a good test, as they’re 12th in yards allowed per game. They are particularly strong against the run, as they’re fourth in rushing yards per game allowed (85.9) and fifth in yards per carry (3.6 yards per carry). They’re not as strong against the pass, however, but their run defense and their defensive front will provide a big test for Indianapolis.