The Colts are making no secret of their primary defensive priority in Saturday’s playoff game against the Chiefs: Stop Jamaal Charles.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Charles is far and away the best playmaker in Kansas City’s offense, and the player the Colts are talking the most about as they formulate their defensive game plan.
“Jamaal Charles. We called him public enemy No. 1,” Pagano said. “First and foremost that’s the guy that you’ve got to take away. They’ve got other skilled athletes we know on the outside in Donnie Avery and Dwayne Bowe and [Dexter] McCluster can beat you. Knile Davis coming in as a change of pace guy running it and the quarterback can certainly beat you. But it all starts with Jamaal. We got to do a great job containing him, try to slow him down.”
When the Colts and Chiefs played two weeks ago, Charles ran for a 31-yard touchdown on Kansas City’s first possession. But after that the Indianapolis defense did a solid job of holding the Kansas City offense in check, and the Colts won 23-7. Pagano said he liked the way his defense performed against Charles.
“It takes all 11 in the run game, pass game. It’s a matter of studying and preparing,” Pagano said. “So we had a bunch of guys doing their job.”
Pagano wants all 11 guys on defense to know that their job on Saturday will be stopping Charles.