Colts LB gives Mac Jones, Pats offense some bulletin board material


The New England Patriots always play their cards close to their vests. But the Indianapolis Colts had no problem revealing them this week.

Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke essentially laid out his team's defensive game plan for when the Patriots visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, noting that Indy will load up against the run and force rookie quarterback Mac Jones to make plays in the passing game.

"We're really gonna try to make the game one-dimensional and see what (Jones) can do," Okereke said Monday, via The Athletic's Stephen Holder.

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It makes sense that the Colts would prioritize stopping the run. Jones attempted a franchise-low three passes in New England's Week 13 win over the Buffalo Bills, and the ground game is the Patriots' biggest strength: They're averaging 148 rushing yards per game over their last nine contests.

The Colts have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards in four of its last six games, though, and believe they're well-equipped to compete with New England on the ground.

"It's right in our wheelhouse," Okereke added, via The Athletic's Zak Keefer. "We’re a physical team. We pride ourselves in stopping the run."

"We're going to see who's more physical this week," Colts cornerback Kenny Moore added, per Keefer. "We're telling everybody (on our defense) to bring their pads this week."


A potential issue for Indy: The Patriots aren't beholden to running the ball. Josh McDaniels operates a "game plan" offense that changes week to week and hasn't been afraid to throw the ball with Jones, who ranks a respectable 18th in the NFL in completions and boasts a 70.3% completion rate, third-best in the league.

So, while New England may try to establish the run, it also may try to exploit the Colts through the air -- especially if McDaniels and Jones know Indy is gearing up to stop the run.

Patriots-Colts kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 18.