The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

August 19, 2013

Defense getting closer to Pagano's vision

ANDERSON, Ind. — One week after allowing the Buffalo Bills to complete nearly 80 percent of their passes and score a franchise-record 44 points in a preseason game, the Indianapolis Colts' defense rebounded Sunday.

With six sacks, one interception and no touchdowns allowed, the unit made a strong first half by the first-team offense hold up in a 20-12 victory against the New York Giants.

The game was another indication of the growing confidence in the second season of head coach Chuck Pagano's hybrid 3-4 scheme.

"That's exactly how we want to play," Pagano said of the performance in the Big Apple. "There were so many good things, and a lot of players contributed and did some great things."

The defense got off to a slow start when a 21-yard run by New York's David Wilson and a pass interference penalty against cornerback Greg Toler on consecutive plays gave the Giants a first down at the Colts' 13-yard line on the opening series.

After a three-yard run, an incompletion and a six-yard pass play, New York went for it on fourth-and-1. Outside linebacker Erik Walden and free safety Antoine Bethea met Andre Brown at the line of scrimmage and ended the drive.

It was the first of three trips by the Giants' first-team offense into the red zone that ended with a total of six points allowed by the Colts.

"Those guys were flying around," Pagano said. "They're playing with enthusiasm. They're feeding off each other's energy. They're making plays. Again, doing what they did down in the red zone, any time you can keep somebody out of the end zone, force field goals and play the way they played down there, we're going to be a damn good defense."

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