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Indy wants more consistency after impressive victory

September 09, 2007|From the Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Now the Indianapolis Colts defense has heard everything.

After winning a Super Bowl the critics contended they couldn't and enduring an offseason of doubt because they lost four starters from the league's worst run defense, one impressive start against New Orleans has given the defense a whole new image.

Naysayers are suddenly praising the Colts for their aggressive style and talking about the potential of a Super Bowl repeat.

As usual, the Colts are going back to work.

"It's one game, we have 15 more to play," linebacker Rob Morris said. "So let's not get too excited yet."

This week's film sessions will certainly illustrate some of the flaws from Thursday's 41-10 rout, but unlike last year, it will be tough to find them.

Indy's defense limited Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush to 38 yards rushing each, a major improvement for a unit that allowed 173 yards per game last season. It forced three turnovers, harassed quarterback Drew Brees all night and even outscored last year's top-ranked offense thanks to Matt Giordano's late interception return for a touchdown.

A longer look reveals the Colts also forced five three-and-outs and allowed New Orleans to run only one play in Indy territory in nearly two full quarters.

It was enough to turn those who once chided the Colts' defense for what it couldn't do -- stuff the run -- into believers even if players and coaches realized it was not a perfect game.

Morris acknowledged Friday he missed a couple of tackles. New starting outside linebacker Freddy Keiaho pointed out three tackles he missed. Dwight Freeney pressured Brees repeatedly but never got credit for a sack.

Yet, for once, Few noticed.

Instead, people were raving Friday about Morris chasing down Bush from behind, Keiaho blowing through a block and tackling Bush around the ankles and Robert Mathis swiping the ball right out of Brees' hands.

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