Through four games of the NFL season, no defensive unit has given up less total yards and yards-per-game than the Indianapolis Colts. Matt Eberflus’ crew is also still under 1000 yards allowed going into Week 5’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
On the flip side, the Browns statistically possess the best rushing offense in the league. Slowing down Kareem Hunt will be a significant task for the Colts front seven, but with the monstrous DeForest Buckner ready to make plays, Sunday’s matchup will be one for the highlight reel.
The Colts new defensive tackle joined DD on The Dan Dakich Show Wednesday to give his insight about why this defensive core has been so dominant and how their group is so connected with one another.
“We had been working on it all training camp,” Buckner said. “Then we knew we had the pieces, had to put it all together and now you’re seeing it on Sunday’s. It’s a testament to the guys on paying attention to the details.”
After the most recent win over the Chicago Bears, Buckner has 18 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Getting to the quarterback was his specialty with the San Francisco 49ers before coming to Indianapolis, as his career high in sacks was set at 12 in 2018.
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard traded for Buckner in the off-season when he sent the 49ers a first round pick. The former Oregon Duck said he had high expectations coming into his new locker room.
“My expectations were high because on paper you could see the young talent and then some of the veteran leadership like Justin (Houston),” Buckner added. “I was excited for the style of defense that (Coach) Eberflus plays. It was motivating for me to be a piece of the puzzle to make this defense go.”
With no pre-season this year, Buckner was going up against his own teammates more than ever to get prepared for the 16-game slate. That means he was also on the receiving end of some trash talk from Philip Rivers.
“When the offense and defense were going at it in training camp it’s fun to have a guy like (Rivers) on your team,” Buckner said while chuckling. “He brings a lot of energy, talks a little smack and really gets the guys going.”
Heading into Sunday’s battle with the Browns, Buckner said that after a disappointing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, the Colts know what they have to do to get the job done.
“Guys really took that loss to heart and we shot ourselves in the foot,” he mentioned. “The main thing is playing fast, bringing your own energy to the games and trusting one another.”
Kickoff on Sunday in Cleveland is set for 4:25 PM.
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