The Indianapolis Colts are hungry for a win. After the team had chances to win both Week 1 and Week 2's games, the Colts are now 0-2 and are tasked with taking on the San Diego Chargers.
Having not met since 2013, both these teams are pretty different, but Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano said he's been impressed with what he's seen from the Chargers so far in 2016.
"They're a really good football team in all three phases," Pagano said. "They're extremely well-coached, disciplined, they play hard (and) do all the little things right. All the things that you talk about to play winning, situational football. Minimizing negative plays, eliminating penalties (and) taking care of the football. Philip (Rivers) has five touchdowns and no interceptions. They're creating turnovers on defense. They play fast, tough and physical. They have fun, and it's a really good football team."
Quarterback Andrew Luck was only in his second NFL season the only other time he faced the Chargers. While Luck said he doesn't go back and watch film from the 2013 19-9 loss, he does say this new Chargers defense presents many challenges.
"I think they present multiple looks," Luck said. "I think (Jason) Verrett is a really good cover corner, Brandon Flowers also as well is a good experience guy. (I) played with Dwight Lowery last year and have a lot of respect for what he does. I think (Denzel) Perryman and (Manti) Te'o inside are really solid and (Melvin) Ingram is legit (as) a really good pass rusher so a lot of good players on that defense."
Lowery played for the Colts in 2015 and both Luck and Pagano have a tremendous amount of respect for the safety.
"What a good guy," mentioned Luck. "(He's) a good pro (and I have) a lot of respect for him; he just comes in and does his job right every day. I really admire him."
"Dwight did a great job for us," Pagano added. "Watching him on tape for the course of the first two games, he's playing really well back there. He's an athletic guy who can play down in the box. He's deep. He has great range and good ball skills. He's got cover ability. I see they're playing him in some dime packages in third down…he's a smart, smart guy who knows football. He's a tireless worker who prepares himself extremely well. He did that here and you can tell he's continued that."
Another Charger Pagano admires is running back Melvin Gordon. Back in 2013, the Colts gave up 147 yards and just last week, Gordon had 100-plus yards for the first time in his career. According to Pagano, if Gordon continues to run like he did against the Jaguars, "it's a huge challenge for us to stop this kid."
"(Gordon is) obviously a threat," he said. "He's running with authority. He's big, powerful and he looks like he's a one-cut guy who can make people miss. He gets in the secondary and he has the speed to go the distance. He breaks tackles, is hard to get on the ground (and) has good vision. The offensive line is doing a nice job for him (and) the guy's running with great confidence. He runs behind his pads and is a physical guy. We're going to have to do a great job defensively and it's going to take everybody."