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Colts Defense Among The NFL's Elite

Intro: As the halfway point of the 2014 season approaches, the Colts are ranked among the league’s best defensive units. How good has the defense played in 2014?





INDIANAPOLIS – In 10 NFL seasons (seven in the AFC) Mike Adams has gotten a pretty good idea of how people view the Colts.

For the last decade, Indy has been home to some of the game's most prolific offenses almost always possessing an attack that can put up points with any team around the league.

As the 2014 NFL season approaches the halfway point, the Colts offense is atop the league.

But scan over to the defensive side of things and there's Indianapolis as the only team in the league with both units in the top five of yards gained/allowed and points scored/allowed.

"When you think of the Colts, what do you think of?" safety Mike Adams posed the question after Sunday's win. "Andrew Luck and the offense and that's great. Great for us. We love Andrew. But at the same time, we want to have our identity. We want to do what we have to do to prevent offenses from scoring, stopping them when we are supposed to."

This Colts defense is doing that and just more.

After seven games in 2014, the Colts defense ranks in the top five of the following categories: points allowed (4th), yards allowed (3rd), takeaways (5th), sacks (2nd) and third-down conversions allowed (1st).

When Adams signed with the Colts back in mid-June, he truly believed that the defense he was joining could change outside stereotypes.

"I definitely thought we had the potential to do it," Adams says.

"But potential is just a nice way of saying you aren't getting the job done. We are getting the job done. Potential is out the window. We are getting it done."

The defensive numbers don't entirely tell the story of just how impressive Greg Manusky's unit has been in 2014.

Last year's NFL-sack champion is out for the season in Robert Mathis.

Arthur Jones and Jerrell Freeman, key cogs in the front seven, have missed a combined eight games.

The secondary has even had to deal with starting safety LaRon Landry's absence this month and nickel back Darius Butler sidelined for the last two weeks.

The pass rush has been a collective effort with six different Colts recording multiple sacks in 2014.

Extra pass rush time is a product of what the Colts have gotten from the cornerback position.

Vontae Davis and Greg Toler are a major reason why the Colts have given up the third fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL this season.

"We just try to keep the big plays from out of the sky because big plays win football games," Toler says. "The little check down plays, they can have. We can come down, tackle and swarm to the ball.

"The big plays are pretty much the ones that no one forgets. You just try to keep that one up off of us, and hopefully we can try to contain them throughout the game."

A beneficiary of the 2014 corner play has been Cory Redding.

At the age of 33, Redding already has three sacks this season and as the unofficial spokesperson of the defense, he offers why this unit is excelling in a "new era" of Colts football.

"That's what happens when you do your job," Redding says of the defense. "We don't have guys out there free styling just doing what they do. When everybody is staying in their gaps, stopping the run and when it's time to rush the passer, get home, beat your man (and) the results are right there.

"We are just being dominant right now because we are doing our job and we trust another."

Photos from the week seven game against the Cincinnati Bengals

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