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Colts-Jaguars Preview: Peyton Manning Will Attack Jags' "Cover Who?" Defense

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 26:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts makes a pass against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Colts won 27-13. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Jeffrey BoswellAnalyst IOctober 1, 2010

Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (+7)

The 1-2 Jaguars are reeling, dead last in the AFC South and in dire need of a boost before it gets any worse.

Is a visit from the unpredictable Colts defense just what the doctor ordered, or will Peyton Manning dissect, first on film, then on the field, a Jacksonville secondary that's 29th in the league in yards surrendered?

"I remember a magical day long ago when the Jags rushed for 375 yards on the Colts," said Jack Del Rio. "Anytime you drop a quarter-mile on a defense, it's something you'll remember forever. It was only four years ago, but it seems like an eternity, which is a phrase I'm used to hearing in relation to my coaching tenure.

"Our problems extend to both sides of the ball. Dealing with that puts me in a difficult position of balancing mean-spirited criticism with sugarcoated compliments. It's like toeing the line between 'Jack the Ripper' and Jack Tripper."

Manning has been nearly perfect this year, with 1,013 yards, nine touchdowns, and no interceptions. He certainly likes the matchup against the Jaguars.

"In tape study," Manning said, "I've noticed a lot of confusion in the Jacksonville secondary. That's not surprising, given that the Jaguars play a version of the 'Cover 2' defense known as the 'Cover Who?'

"Tom Brady may have gotten big money when he signed his recent $74 million extension, but I'll put that to shame once I sign mine. There's 'Tom Brady money,' but I'm going for 'Ronnie Lott money,' which is 'nine digits.'"

Who can stop Manning, besides a playoff road game? Certainly not the Jaguars. Manning throws for 342 yards and three touchdowns, and the Colts earn a 31-23 win.

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