For the first time all season, the Colts offensive line put together the starting five that they carried into the 2012 preseason with them.
Left guard Joe Reitz got his first start of the season on Sunday after playing sparingly in his season debut against the Titans.
“It felt great,” Reitz said. “It was tough being on the sidelines and not getting out there but it felt really good to get back in the lineup.”
Reitz and the offensive line helped protect Andrew Luck on Sunday afternoon as the quarterback was sacked just once on 50 drop backs. That effort came against one of the league’s best pass rushes.
While Luck wanted to thank his protection in keeping him clean for the most of the afternoon, it was Reitz returning the favor on Monday.
“We give a lot of credit to (Luck) first off because he continues to do great things back there. He can make up for a lot of mistakes,” Reitz said.
“He’s so athletic and can move around that a play is never over. As linemen, we have to sustain our blocks and make sure that we are blocking to the whistle every play because you never know what’s going to happen back there.”
The pass protection was dealt a little adversity with center Samson Satele and right tackle Winston Justice leaving the game due to injuries.
Now, Reitz and the offensive line will move forward to a rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars in three days.
“We got a quick turnaround now and got to go to Jacksonville right away because we got a real big one Thursday night,” Reitz said. “It’s really going to come down to preparation and taking these three days here, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and making sure that we’re ready to go because it is such a short week. The mental preparation becomes even more important in a short week like this.”
Back in the starting lineup and getting to contribute on the field for Reitz is something he has longed for since the start of the regular season.
He had been regulated to a spectator for the first six games of the season but now is happy to be apart of a group that has positioned themselves in the top half of the AFC.
“I think that we’ve got a bunch of guys that are hungry, a bunch of guys that love the game. We have a great leader in coach Pagano who’s put forth the message from day one back in April of what we were going to do. Now, B.A. (Bruce Arians) is carrying the torch,” Reitz said.
“We just have a bunch of guys that love the game, want to get better and our best days are ahead of us. We’re moving forward. Like coach said, there’s not rearview with this team. We’re moving forward trying to get better every week because we know that we still have better football to be played.”
Tags: joe reitz
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What’s up Colts Nation!? We’re coming off a huge win yesterday and man was Lucas Oil Stadium rocking! So glad and PROUD to see our team come together and make a stand when we had to. Even more important and so much bigger than the win on the field was the post-game speech by Coach Pagano. More than the words he spoke, it was just pure jubilation to see his face and to see the way he lit up that locker room.
That video was a Colts.com exclusive! Which bring me to my next point, when it comes to post-game coverage there’s no better place to go than Colts.com or the Colts Mobile App. After each game the Colts bring you insider access unlike any other.
During the game, you can keep up with all the action at the Toyota Game Center which can be found on the homepage of Colts.com on every game day.
Following the game, the Colts have exclusive interviews titled Instant Access featuring a Coach, Andrew Luck, and player of the game interviews. The Instant Access interviews can be accessed through the site or through the mobile app.
Lastly, and my personal favorite, is the post-game locker room videos. Colts.com get unprecedented access to the locker room to hear what coaches and Colts CEO/Owner Jim Irsay has to say. None have been more special than this week’s talk.
So whether you’re sitting at home or at a local establishment during the game, log onto Colts.com or get on the Colts Mobile App for a game day experience unlike any other.
Yours in Football,
Tags: Andrew Luck, Colts, Colts Fan Casey, colts.com, Gameday
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With a plethora of rookie players on the Colts roster, each week Colts.com will take a look at how the first-year players performed.
Dwayne Allen, TE: Allen continued to be a reliable target for Andrew Luck. Allen set career highs with six receptions for 75 yards on Sunday. He was one of four Colts receivers with at least 75 yards receiving against the Dolphins.
Vick Ballard, RB: For the fourth straight game, Ballard started at running back and led both teams with 60 yards on 16 carries. Ballard also became a huge part of the passing game with three catches for 38 yards.
LaVon Brazill, RB: Brazill filled in for an injured Donnie Avery and had two catches for 25 yards. On a third-and-16 later in the third quarter, Brazill hauled in a 19-yard catch that would eventually lead to a touchdown.
T.Y. Hilton, WR: Just like Brazill, Hilton stepped up immensely on Sunday. Hilton had six catches for 102 yards, which put him as the lone rookie in the NFL with two 100-yard receiving games this season. Hilton’s leaping 36-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter gave the Colts their first lead at 20-17. Hilton also had four punt returns for 29 yards.
Andrew Luck, QB: Luck continued his outstanding rookie season with a 30-of-48 effort for an NFL record for rookies with 433 yards passing. He was at his best on third down, finishing 13-of-17 for 204 yards against the league’s top defense in that category. Luck had a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions on the afternoon.
Bradley Sowell, OT: Sowell was called on in the second half to replace an injured Winston Justice at right tackle.
Rookie tight end Coby Fleener wide receiver Nate Palmer were inactive against the Titans.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bradley Sowell, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, LaVon Brazill, Nate Palmer, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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For the Colts, Sunday’s halftime was about more than marching bands. It was a time to make adjustments. Despite holding an edge in total yards and time of possession, the Colts trailed the Miami Dolphins on the scoreboard 17-13 when they headed to the locker room after the first 30 minutes.
There, said Colts defenders after the game, the Colts coaching staff made some adjustments that were the key to securing the 23-20 victory that sent them to 5-3.
The first half saw the Colts surrender three scoring drives, two that went for Miami touchdowns. A big part of the Dolphins’ first half success was there third down efficiency where they converted three of five times. That allowed Miami to string together their two touchdown drives. The other was a schematic advantage.
The Dolphins offense seemed to have the Colts defense guessing the entire half. Dwight Freeney confirmed that after the game, revealing that the Colts’ defense was “off balance” most of the first half. Several times the Dolphins caught the Colts defense in mismatches where a Colts linebacker was in single coverage against a running back or wide receiver. One such time was the Dolphins first touchdown where running back Charles Clay beat linebacker Pat Angerer for a 31 yard touchdown pass.
To a man, the Colts’ defenders credited their coaches for making the necessary adjustments at the half that would limit the Dolphins to only three second half points. Angerer admitted that he was beaten in coverage, but credited the coaches for making the necessary changes at the half.
“We adjusted and changed it up (coverages). The coaches made some good adjustments and that’s a credit to them. We just did what they told us to do.”
Fellow linebacker Justin Hickman echoed Angerer’s praise for the coaches:
“They’ve done a great job all year making halftime adjustments. The guys in the (press)box are doing a great job. They come in and give us a break down so we can make plays in the second half.”
The difference was night and day. The Dolphins converted only one third down in six second half attempts. Where the Dolphins only had to punt once in the first half, they were forced to punt three times in the second half and turned the ball over on downs on their final possession.
While Cory Redding acknowledge the adjustments made, he also credited his teammates for stepping up and changing their approach in the second half:
“It’s attitude, attitude, attitude. It was us putting our foot down, saying enough is enough and going out and making plays to win the game.”
In particular, Redding was complimentary of his defensive linemates who looked like video game opponents in the first half while Reggie Bush juked his way into the end zone. Redding said their refusal to point fingers and stay together enabled them to stop Bush in the second half. The Dolphins gained only 23 yards on the ground in the second half.
Because the defense made plays and got the Dolphins off the field, Andrew Luck and the offense were able to make enough plays to give the Colts the lead. In the end, that team effort has the Colts heading to Jacksonville on Thursday at 5-3 and very much in the thick of the playoff conversation halfway through the season.
Chuck Chapman is entering his second season as the editor and lead writer for Colts 101. He also covered the Cincinnati Bengals for the Sports Media 101. Chuck and his family are originally from Ohio, but have settled in Central Indiana and become big Colts fans. You can read Chuck’s other writing about the Colts at www.colts101.com.
Tags: cory redding, Dwight Freeney, Justin Hickman, pat angerer
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Intro: Each week Colts.com will take a look at the rest of the AFC South and review the previous weekend’s games.
Bears 51, Titans 20
-The Titans are still a week away from one of the latest bye weeks in the NFL and will have a big game this Sunday to maintain pace in the AFC. On Sunday, the Bears forced five turnovers and jumped on Tennessee early with 28 first quarter points. The four first quarter touchdowns included a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and an interception by linebacker Brian Urlacher taken back for a score. Titans running back Chris Johnson recorded his fifth career touchdown of at least 80 yards with an 80-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Johnson finished with 141 yards on 16 carries.
NEXT GAME: @Miami, Sunday at 1:00 EST
Lions 31, Jaguars 14
-Without Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew in the lineup, the Jaguars struggled to put together any substantial drives until the final quarter. Detroit picked off Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert twice and held the Jaguars to just 64 yards on the ground. Gabbert did bounce back to throw a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns and finished the afternoon 27-of-38 for 220 yards. First-round draft pick Justin Blackmon hauled in his first NFL touchdown with a six-yard score late in the fourth quarter.
NEXT GAME: Indianapolis, Thursday at 8:20 EST
Texans 21, Bills 9
-Returning from a bye week, the Texans had their toughest home challenge of the season on Sunday but were able to keep pace with the AFC’s best record. Quarterback Matt Schaub was efficient, with a 19-of-27, 268-yard effort that included a pair of touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Texans also got Pro Bowl production from running back Arian Foster (111 yards and a touchdown) and wide receiver Andrew Johnson (118 yards on eight catches). The Bills cut the lead to 14-9 heading into the fourth quarter but Schaub connected with tight end Garrett Graham for a five-yard touchdown, giving Houston a two-score lead.
NEXT GAME: Chicago, Sunday at 8:20 EST.
2012 AFC South Standings
Tags: AFC South
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