American Football Conference: Loss to the New England Patriots inspired the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive prowess


Indianapolis defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26-10 on Sunday to advance to an American Football Conference (AFC) Divisional play-off, with the Denver Broncos up next for the Colts.

The wildcard match was the seventh game in a row that the Colts kept their opponents to less than 150 rushing yards and safety Mike Adams argued that impressive defensive form stems from November 16 when Indianapolis lost 42-20 to the Patriots.

New England rushed for 246 yards in that match, with Jonas Gray scoring four rushing touchdowns for the Pats.

“[The Patriots] embarrassed us. Let’s be frank,” Adams told the Colts’ website after the win over Cincinnati.

“They had [over] 200 yards on us. That doesn’t sit right with any defence, any defence.

“We knew going into any other game teams were going to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. So, we knew we got to stop that runner and make teams one-dimensional.

“That’s what we’ve been doing. We just have to keep that going.”

Defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois believes the difference comes down to Indianapolis’ mentality.

“Attitude. By any means, you have to make that play,” he said.

“By any means you have to get off that block. By any means you need to shed that man. Up front we did just that. Back end? DBs [defensive backs] did a tremendous job.”

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