Colts Week 4: Colts stopping Jaguars RB Jones-Drew and Game Day Injury Update

Maurice Jones-Drew perhaps has his best games when he is facing against the Indianapolis Colts. With a pass offense that has been in the bottom five for the past couple of years, defenses know that running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be the focal point of the offense. However for the past 13 games when Jones-Drew faced the Colts defense, Jones-Drew has gotten the upper hand in each game.

The most recent game that Jones-Drew torched the Colts run defense was the 2012 season in Week 3 where he rushed 28 times for 177 yards (6.3 yards per rush). A note to take is that the Colts rush defense in the 2012-2013 season was in the bottom five which they let opposing run offenses rush for an average of 138 rushing yards per game.

What makes it worse is that during the first three games of this season, the Colts run defense is in the bottom seven which they are letting opposing run offenses average 129 rushing yards per game. Looks like the mentality that head coach Chuck Pagano is trying to install (stopping the run) has not been effective yet.

For Maurice Jones-Drew, he is still battling injuries that have plagued him last year when he missed about 11 games. If Jones-Drew ankle injury is serious then maybe the Colts can actually stop him. However if Jones-Drew is at least 80% healthy by game day then this could be a long day for the defense.

The good thing is that Jones-Drew has not been playing well. In the first three games in this season Jones-Drew has averaged 2.6 yards per carry and has one rushing touchdown. This could be the opportunity for the Colts to shut down the Jaguars running game to force Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert to throw more which could cause turnovers.

Quotes by Colts coaching staff and players involving Maurice Jones-Drew as a player:

Chuck Pagano: “He’s built like a fire hydrant, runs like a shorebird,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Tree trunks for legs. Never stops churning. Powerful, powerful guy. We know what type of runs he excels at.”

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky: “He’s a thick-bodied guy that runs with his pads down,” Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. “He’s a downhill runner. He has great vision. I think he can make all the cuts. He’s just a tough, physical runner that’s been producing in the NFL for a number of years.”

Colts safety Antoine Bethea: “MJD, he’s one of the best in the league,” Colts safety Antoine Bethea said. “Any time he gets the ball, he can take it to the end zone. I always talk about Travis Henry, those short, compact-type guys that has low gravity to the ground that’s really tough to get down. MJD, man, he’s there.”

Colts DE Cory Redding: “One guy get there, hit him high, slide down to the ankle and hold on until the other 10 guys there,” Colts defensive lineman Cory Redding said. “It’s very hard for one guy to take him down by himself. … It’s going to be a total defensive effort against [him] this week to stop the run.”

Injury Update: Injury update is from Josh Wilson from stampedeblue.com.

Out: RB Ahmad Bradshaw, S LaRon Landry and DE Ricky Jean-Francois will not play in Week 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Probable: Everyone else which includes WR T.Y. Hilton who was seen in a walking boot during Friday’s practice.

AFC South match-ups:

Indianapolis Colts (2-1) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)

Tennessee Titans (2-1) vs. New York Jets (2-1)

Houston Texans (2-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)

RB Trent Richardson heavier workload against the Jaguars:

RB Ahmad Bradshaw will not play against the Jacksonville Jaguars which will force Richardson to become the focal point in a successful run offense which is ranked 4th in the league (148 rushing yards per game). With doubters stating that Richardson is a below average running back (3.6 rushing yards per carry in 2012), Richardson must step up against a Jaguars rush defense that is last in the league (168 rushing yards per game). Is Richardson ready to become the obvious starter? Of course however does Richardson know the play book? Well that’s another story.