INDIANAPOLIS — Across the board, Indianapolis and Detroit are close to being mirror images of each other. Both have former No. 1 overall draft picks as their starting quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford for the Lions and Andrew Luck for the Colts.
But there are some very noticeable differences, of course. Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson is younger and bigger than the Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne, although both are very good.
The Lions defensive line is rated much better than the Colts defensive front with a starting group of ends Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch along with tackles Ndamukong Suh (also a former No. 1 draft pick) and Corey Williams. Nick Fairley, another former first-round pick, is also rotated into the game at tackle to spell Suh or Williams.
When reviewing game tape of Indianapolis, Schwartz -- the former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator -- admits he sees a lot of his town team. The difference in their records can be attributed to making the right plays at the right times.
"We’re 4-7, you don’t get style points. You don’t do anything other than get wins and losses in this league. You can say the same thing about the Colts. The Colts are 7-4 and other than that Jacksonville win, down in Jacksonville a few weeks ago, all of them have been less than a touchdown. They’ve gotten those wins, and their losses have been blowouts," Schwartz said late last week.
"Again, you don’t get style points on a blowout loss. They don’t count any more than a close loss, an overtime loss, or anything else. That’s the name of the game in the NFL and you have to find a way to be able to make that one play. That’s the way the league goes. I think the Colts have done a really good job of not just hanging in games but finding a way to make that one at the end of the game.”