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Week Nine Preview: Indianapolis Colts @ New York Giants

Intro: For the second time this season, the Colts (5-3) will be on Monday Night Football. The Colts will hit the road to take on the New York Giants (3-4) at 8:30 p.m. EST in Week Nine.





INDIANAPOLIS – When Ahmad Bradshaw walks back into MetLife Stadium on Monday night, he will make a foreign turn towards the visitor's locker room.

Bradshaw has scored 18 touchdowns in that stadium (the most of any player) and he will try to add to that number on Monday in a jersey he's never worn before at MetLife.

During Bradshaw's seven seasons with the Giants he played with the same vengeance that has followed him throughout his football career.

He was the Giants' leading rusher in each of their two most recent Super Bowl wins and sees some similar qualities in this Colts team.

"We had a long road in New York on both the Super Bowls I had," Bradshaw said of the comparison.

"Right now it's just a process we're going through. We've got a lot of groups of guys who are wanting to win and a lot of skill guys who are good. I just go back and reflect on the teams that I played with in New York."

Bradshaw has been a staple of the Colts electric offensive attack in 2014.

His eight touchdowns this season lead the team and he's been the recipient of six of Andrew Luck's NFL-best 22 touchdowns.

As the Colts sit at 5-3 after the first half of the season, Luck is putting up the most impressive numbers of his three NFL seasons.

It's year No. 2 for those in the Colts offense and Chuck Pagano credits that, along with some of Luck's innate intangibles for the unit's success in 2014.

"I don't think too many things catch Andrew off guard anymore," Pagano says.

"He does a great job of managing things at the line of scrimmage, getting us in the right play. I think his numbers speak for themselves at this point. I think the sky's obviously the limit for this guy."

This week's contest against the Giants marks the third time Luck has appeared on the spotlight of Monday Night Football.

Players and coaches inside of the Colts locker room love the stage that Monday Night Football still holds today.

"You think about it as a kid. You couldn't wait for Monday Night Football. I couldn't," Pagano says.

"See "Dandy Don" (Don Meredith), Howard Cosell, it was phenomenal. Now to be sitting here and be on that stage, it's the biggest stage every week. We just happen to be playing in a huge market too against a great ball club. If you can't get up for this one, if you can't get excited for Monday Night Football, I don't know what you've got running through you but they better check your pulse and see if you're alive."

On Monday, the Colts will be looking to get back on track by moving their record to 6-3 before their bye week arrives.

Waiting after bye is the New England Patriots but that's nowhere near the Colts radar with the second half of the season about to begin.

"We're not even talking about it," veteran linebacker D'Qwell Jackson says of the bye.

"Against the Steelers, that wasn't a good showing from any shape, way or form. So we understand that and we're not even thinking about it. We're thinking about the Giants, we're thinking about today, the next meeting, to get as much as we can out of that because we want to show the world that we can play with the top dogs and we can play good football from three phases."

INTERESTING MATCHUPSColts pass rush versus the Giants offensive line:The often-critiqued Colts pass rush will once again be analyzed closely on Monday night. During the Colts five-game winning streak, the pass rush was a disruptive force. Last week against the Steelers, it was a struggle creating pressure. The Colts might also be without starting outside linebacker Erik Walden on Monday.Colts quarterback Andrew Luck versus the Giants secondary: Luck is back in the Monday night spotlight for the third time in his NFL career. Luck and the NFL's best offense will see an attacking Giants defense that leads the league in interceptions per pass attempt. Can Luck move to within two games of the NFL record for most consecutive 300-yard contests (nine)?Quick Facts

-Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown for a franchise-best six straight 300 yard games.

-Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne needs five yards to pass James Lofton for the eighth most receiving yards (14,005) in NFL history.

-Coming into Week Nine, Colts tight end Dwayne Allen ranks second in the NFL with 86.4 percent of his receptions going for first downs (19-of-22).

-In two home Monday night games, Eli Manning is 2-0 and has completed 40-of-58 passes for 434 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

-The Giants defense ranks second in the NFL with 11 interceptions.

-The Giants are the only team in the NFL with two tight ends that have at least four touchdowns.NOTABLE QUOTESColts Head Coach Chuck Pagano(on why have the Colts been so successful in bouncing back from losses):

-"I always go back to veteran leadership. These guys have been able to do that other than the beginning this year. These guys are bound and determined to make amends for last week. These guys will rebound. They'll rebound. We'll play good and hopefully good enough to get out of there with the win."

Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano(on Eli Manning):

-"Great player, great player. Two-time Super Bowl champ I believe. Great pedigree. There's nothing that he has not seen. New offense with coach (Ben) McAdoo coming over from Green Bay and switching over to the West Coast system. He's done a great job with that. You can see it from the start of the season until now, you can see the progression. Everybody's getting more comfortable. It all starts obviously with the signal caller. He's doing a great job of managing that offense and managing bad plays. They're getting the ball out. They're running the ball obviously really good. He's a phenomenal football player. Obviously very smart, he can control the backend with his eyes. You've got to do a great job disrupting the timing and rhythm of that offense, otherwise he can pick you apart. He's got great touch and all those things."

Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck(on if it's special to play on Monday night):

-"Monday night's always special. I think any time you get to play a game it's nice, but there's certainly a little buzz about Monday night that I think as players, as coaches, as fans, you know, everybody enjoys. I remember watching Brett Favre I think after his father passed away, Monday Night Football with my dad, and he had a great game. I think it was against the Raiders, a bunch of touchdown passes. I remember the drama of sports was certainly on display that night."

Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin(on what he sees from the Colts defense):

-"Well they're aggressive, they really are. They're aggressive. They do, according to our studies, have a very high number of pressures that they believe in as a base to their defensive scheme. They've covered well. They've done a lot of things very, very well. The Steelers played an outstanding football game, what are you going to say?"

Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin(on the roles guys like Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks played during the Giants' Super Bowl runs):

-"They were tremendous football players. When I watch the tape and I see the way that they progressed and the way they're playing this year, there's no doubt that it sends us back a couple of years to when they were both here. They're outstanding young men, they work hard. You know that in Bradshaw you have a very tough, tough guy who loves to play. It's interesting, I would kid him that, you know he's caught as many balls as he has and he's had success with the catch and run after the catch, and scored a number of touchdowns, and he used to yell at me for wanting to run it more. I wonder now if he wants to catch it more (laughs). But he's done very well and both of those guys meant a great deal to our team."

Giants Quarterback Eli Manning(on if he sees a blitzing nature from the Colts defense):

-"They do a good job. They have a good scheme and they do a good job getting pressure on the quarterback. That's whether they're bringing pressure, bringing blitzes or just bringing a four-man rush. You've got a lot of different looks to prepare for and to plan for. They do a good job with their coverage, play a good bit of man coverage and feel confident in their corners. We've got to do a good job of protecting things up and everybody winning their one-on-one matchups. That's all our linemen with their blocks and receivers getting open."

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