INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Vontae Davis doesn’t get a lot of hype playing cornerback for the Colts.
In eight games this season, Davis has 22 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble. He leads the NFL in passes defensed with 12 deflections, four in a 27-0 victory over Cincinnati.
“The coaches have helped my game elevate,” Davis said. “I credit (the coaches) for helping me understand the game better than what I have. The game is starting to slow down for me, come more natural to me.”
Davis is joined by fellow sixth-cornerbacks Greg Toler and Darius Butler in Indianapolis’ secondary. Together, the group is trying to best the Colts’ 2013 ranking of 13th in passing defense.
Through eight weeks, Indianapolis ranks 21st in passing defense and its 51-34 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday didn’t do the Colts any favors. Ben Roehtlisberger burned them for 522 yards and six touchdowns, five after Davis left the game with a knee injury.
Davis was initially listed day-to-day, but after full participation in practice Thursday, he will start Monday night against the New York Giants.
″(Vontae) is a big part of our defense, he brings attitude to the game. He brings a different element, he’s physical and we’re always on the same page,” Butler said.
The Giants will be without many of the familiar weapons Eli Manning has had in the past. Victor Cruz is out with a season-ending knee injury and Hakeem Nicks will be lining up opposite his former team Monday night. However, Davis and Indy’s secondary aren’t taking any chances.
“We still respect (the Giants’ receivers),” Davis said. “It starts at the top, Tom Coughlin, he’s a well-respected coach and we expect their best. (Manning) is a good quarterback (he has won) two Super Bowls and all the accolades you dream of. We’ve got to go in with the mindset to slow him down.”
The Colts’ secondary has six interceptions and two forced fumbles. Indy’s secondary has been trending in the right direction, despite the blowout by the Steelers, but there hasn’t been much buzz, yet — and that might be just the way the Colts prefer it.
“We always (call our secondary) ‘No Fly Zone’ but it’s nothing we’ve stamped,” Toler said. “We just want to get the ball back to Andrew (Luck) and our offense because they’re a high-flying offense. If we get the notoriety, cool, if not it’s no big (deal). The numbers will show at the end of the day and the numbers don’t lie.”