INDIANAPOLIS — It's one thing to get excited to play on the national stage, which is what the Indianapolis Colts are doing tonight against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
But for Arthur Jones, it's important to remind himself that while playing in primetime is always a special opportunity, it's also key to treat the contest itself like any other game.
He said that's been the focus for his Colts teammates in the past few days, as they have been putting in their preparations for this road matchup against the Jets.
"What you do is you prepare and you study, and you do the little things," Jones said. "And then when you get to the game, the game is easy because you've done the right things. And that's what we're doing right now."
While the Jets have had a rollercoaster season so far in 2016, they certainly possess the talent across their roster to make any matchup a tough one. Take last week's game against the New England Patriots, for example, when New York's defense gave quarterback Tom Brady fits all day, while holding LaGarrette Blount to just 67 yards rushing.
While the Jets would fall to the Patriots by a score of 22-17, they certainly made it clear to the Colts that their record is not indicative of how well they can play.
"I think these guys are as good as anybody," Colts tackle/guard Jack Mewhort said. "We know that these guys have the ability to wreck games. It's on us to be on our stuff, I think, this week as much as any week, to execute and give guys opportunities to do their jobs and if we do that we will be alright."
The Jets' offense, meanwhile, has also faced some inconsistencies this season, but has key veterans across the board that have a history of getting the job done against the Colts, particularly.
At quarterback is veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is coming off a career year but has struggled a bit, completing 190 of 330 passes (57.6 percent) for 2,252 yards with 10 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
But the light came on for Fitzpatrick last week against the Patriots, as he completed 22 of 32 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and didn't throw any interceptions.
Last season, Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 34 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in New York's 20-7 Week 2 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"He's a great quarterback," Jones said. "He's a guy that we've seen before, and he's a guy that can make you pay if you give him time back there."
The Jets are still strong in their run game, which features veteran Matt Forte, who signed with the Jets this season after multiple Pro Bowl seasons with the Chicago Bears.
So far in 2016, Forte has carried the ball 202 times for 759 yards (an average of 3.8 yards per carry) with seven rushing touchdowns, and he has also been a threat catching the ball out of the backfield, as he has 26 receptions for 202 yards and one touchdown.
"Forte, we've seen him a bunch over with the Bears, and he's a Pro Bowl-caliber back," Jones said. "He's still playing at a high level … He's a good player."