In their last two games against the New England Patriots, the Indianapolis Colts have been torched by LeGarrette Blount and Jonas Gray.
Suffice it to say they’re looking to change things the third time around.
Indianapolis enters Sunday’s AFC Championship Game having allowed nearly 500 rushing yards and a whopping 10 touchdowns over just two meetings with New England, one of which was a 43-22 loss in the 2013 AFC divisional round.
So how do the Colts planning on not repeating history? One solution could be defensive end Arthur Jones. Jones missed seven games this season with an ankle injury and wasn’t on the field when Gray ran wild in Week 11.
“Having a healthy Art Jones makes our defense that much better,” Colts defensive end Cory Redding said Wednesday, via the team’s website. “He commands double teams … When you have a guy in the trenches that loves eating up double teams, demands it, and if you block him one-on-one, he’s going to bull-rush to the quarterback or either run down the line and make tackles. It just makes our defensive line so much better. Having him in the lineup is huge for us.”
The numbers appear to back it up. Jones returned to Indy’s lineup the week after the loss to the Patriots, and the Colts haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since.
Of course, Art won’t be the only family member on the field Sunday, as his brother, Chandler, will line up on defense for New England. It will mark the fourth time in three years the brothers have played each other, one of which was a Patriots loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 AFC Championship Game.
If Arthur Jones hopes to hand his brother another playoff loss, he’ll have to help stop New England’s run game first.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images