Manning: Jags Game "Toughest Test to Date"

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talked to the media this week about facing the Jaguars, what makes their defense so good, Tom Brady's touchdown pace for New England and more.

On a big Monday Night game and a lot at stake...

"Yes. A big game. It's always big to play down there at Jacksonville. When the schedule came out, we noticed that all of our first three division games were out on the road, three games that we lost last year. We've had two tough wins on the road in the division so far. This will probably be our toughest test to date going down there to play."

On being able to set themselves apart a little bit...

"Well, it's a big division game. All of them are big, but the fact that we're 5-0 and they're 4-1, it's two good teams playing against each other. But as we've always talked about, these division games are doubly important, and there's a lot on the line for both teams."

On if it is accurate to say this is the best division in football right now...

"It surely seems like it, I guess based on the records. I think Jacksonville is playing as well as any team in the league right now, especially defensively. You see it on film, they are very stingy, hardly giving up any touchdowns and just making teams go the long route. So it will be a tough test for us."

On Jacksonville's defense being pretty much the same as it has been in the past...

"It's really for the most part the same players. They have two new safeties who are actually playing really well right now and a big reason their defense is playing so solid. But a lot of the same characters that you see every single season, (Mike) Peterson, (Marcus) Stroud, (John) Henderson, guys that are making a lot of plays for them. It will be a real tough test moving the ball."

On if this is just another division game or a rivalry game...

"It's always a matter of playing against a really good team. I think every game is a big game. I don't really know what's a rivalry and what's not. I know the fact that every time we've played them either here or there, it's always been a tough game, and if we've been fortunate enough to win in the past, it's always been a very hard-earned win. Every time you move the ball against these guys, you convert a third down or you punch one in the end zone in the red zone, you feel like you've done something well. It's always a lot of work, and that's mainly because of how good their defense is."

On what they do so well defensively to keep opponents off the scoreboard...

"First of all, they have good players. They have good defensive players. They've had pretty much the same defensive coaches most of the time. They're well-coached. You just don't see anybody really out of position. You don't see a receiver running wide open because of a busted coverage. They're going to make you earn everything that you get. It makes the offense execute. But I think it's because of their good players that allows them to be such a good defense."

On Patriots QB-Tom Brady's start to the season...

"It's hard not to notice what kind of year their team is having and what kind of year he is having. I've seen some of the games that they've played, night games, I watched the game against Dallas because we had the bye week. He's having a great year. The team is having a great year. I saw where Tom said that in the midst of the season, he doesn't have much time to think about individual records and accomplishments, and he's concentrating on the team. I feel very much the same way, concentrating on trying to get ready for Jacksonville and doing my job. Although I have to say, if and when he approaches that record, and it certainly seems like he's on pace to do so, my hope would be to handle it with as much class as Dan Marino did a few years ago when I came near to that passing record. Again, he's having a great year."


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