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Super Bowl XLIV Preview: Colts D-Line

Position Starter Backup
LE Robert Mathis Keyunta Dawson
LT Antonio Johnson Eric Foster
RT Daniel Muir Fili Moala
RE Dwight Freeney Raheem Brock

Scouting Report

Defensive Ends

The strength of the Colts Defensive Line is the pass rushing ends.

Robert Mathis is an undersized end, but has great skills and a high motor and plays with great hustle and desire. He is a situational pass rusher who sacked opposing quarterbacks 9.5 times during the regular season. Mathis, however, is vulnerable against the run, as opposing blockers have been able hold him up at the point of attack due to his lack of size.

Dwight Freeney comes into the game nursing a knee injury he suffered in the AFC Championship game. Freeney leads the Colts with 13.5 sacks on the season, but none in the post season. He has quick acceleration at the snap, but not great speed. He likes to counter to this inside towards the quarterback after the initial burst and has a great arsenal of moves. He likes causing trouble when allowed to shoot gaps. His one area of weakness is his size. Like Mathis, he has trouble shedding blocks at the point of attack.

Defensive Tackles

Antonio Johnson lines up next to Robert Mathis on the left side of the Colts defensive front. Johnson is a good sized tackle at 6-4 310 lbs who has great body control and agility for a man his size. He is a bit raw fundamentally and often relies on his physical skills to make plays. for the season, Johnson was in on 34 tackles and one sack.

Lining up next to Johnson is DT Daniel Muir, a veteran who has finally found a home on the Colts roster. For the season, Muir recorded 52 tackles and 0.5 sacks. His size and above average quickness serve him well. He does struggle at times, however, recognizing schemes and using his size and leverage to fight through blocks.

The Saints will try to establish the run early and often to set up play action and the pass. The Saints have the advantage in the middle of the Colts defensive front and they will attack it. Most teams think this is where they can get a lot of yards, but be weary of the Colts CBs, who excel at defending the run.

The Saints are more concerned with stopping Freeney than Mathis. Pro Bowl RT Jonathan Stinchcomb has the assignment of blocking Freeney.
On the other end, LT Jermon Bushrod is coming off one of the best games of his career, holding Vikings DE Jared Allen to just 2 tackles for the game. Expect Bushrod to get help from G Carl Nicks and TE David Thomas to help neutralize Mathis.


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2 Responses to “Super Bowl XLIV Preview: Colts D-Line”

  1. Brian Covell says:

    Yea, Bushrod held his own against Allen and then tackled him in overtime!! Too bad the Vikes o-line didn’t think of that approach!! But I’m sure Saints fans will claim Bushrod was pushed and fell into Allen!! Congrats to the NFL, you protect certain qb’s in the regular season so they get to the playoffs and make you more money!! In the regular season all those hits on Mr. Favre would have been a penalty and maybe a fine/suspension for the player penalized!! In the regular season you see defenders playing two hand touch with quarterbacks after they throw the ball because they don’t want to be fined!! The Saints figured out they could have a killer instinct in the NFC Championship game…the Vikes didn’t!! As a Vikes fan I’m extremely upset with the way the Saints played but the Vikes could have done the same thing to Mr. Brees…that is their own fault!! The Giants did the same thing to Brady and won the SB!! The real dirty player in all of this is the NFL…they penalize/fine/suspend during the regular season so the games money players make it to the playoffs and then let those same money players take a beating in the playoffs!! Sure did get everybody talking and choosing sides on the matter!! I love my Vikes but will be boycotting the NFL next year…not cuz the Saints were dirty but cuz the NFL is the dirtiest player in the game!!

  2. […] admin wrote a very interesting post today.   Here’s a quick excerpt:Position Starter Backup LE Robert Mathis Keyunta Dawson LT Antonio Johnson Eric Foster RT Daniel Muir Fili Moala RE Dwight Freeney Raheem Brock Scouting Report Defensive Ends The strength of the Colts Defensive Line is the pass rushing … […]

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