"Jacksonville is an excellent team," the Pro Bowl quarterback told reporters. "I really don't pay attention to their record, especially if you watch the two games. They were one play here or there from winning the game. Buffalo makes a great third down throw and catch, and a couple of turnovers hurt them against the Titans, but the defense is still solid."
The Jaguars make the trip to Indianapolis in desperation mode, as the team still has visions of winning their first ever AFC South title. Manning knows that he will get the Jaguars best shot on defense—
"Most of the time we've played them, it seems like it's been later in the year and both teams have had really good records. It's very early in the season and you go by what you see on film. What I see defensively is that same physical mentality, a lot of guys swarming to the ball and good players on the defense."
Last season the Jaguars defense seemed to lie back against Manning and the Colts, and the result was a pair of losses. The Jags have been burned a bit early in the season from new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams aggressiveness, but it may be just what the doctor ordered against a potent passing attack.
"Every defensive coordinator is going to bring his own style, and you still aren't sure if you've seen everything that they have in their package," Manning told reporters. "Even with the pre-season and the first two teams that they played, Tennessee and Buffalo, they might have had packages for those two teams and may have something different for us. You're always prepared for somewhat of the unknown, to adjust as the game goes on on the field or on the sideline. He's an excellent defensive coordinator. He has a great history where he's been. He's an aggressive defensive coordinator, and that really fits their style. Like I've always said about coordinators, it's about the players that they have and they have good players, so it's a good match."
Manning expects Jacksonville to be aggressive on Sunday afternoon.
"You try to execute your job and take care of the stuff that you can control, but they are aggressive. Like I said, they're physical, they're fast and they have two excellent cover corners, which allow them to do some things with their scheme. They have solid linebackers. (Mike) Peterson's back. He didn't play part of last year because he was hurt, so I know they are glad to have him back in there. It's a tough group."
At 0-2, the Jaguars can't take any team in the league lightly, especially not the five-time defending AFC South champions. What will undoubtedly make things easier for Jacksonville will be the absence of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders, and the possibility of center Jeff Saturday, left tackle Tony Ugoh, and tight end Dallas Clark either not playing, or not at 100%.
Still, Jacksonville has numerous injury issues of their own, and the Colts have dominated the series between the two teams, winning 11 out of 14. Just as Indianapolis expects to get the Jaguars best shot on Sunday, the Jaguars should expect the same from the Colts.
Colts Not Overlooking Jacksonville
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