Indianapolis Colts Football

T.Y. Hilton takes Reggie Wayne’s halftime message to heart

Posted by Kevin Bowen on November 4, 2013 – 1:55 pm

As T.Y. Hilton walked into the Colts locker room at halftime on Sunday night, his “big brother” wanted to have a few words with him.

Hilton had one catch for six yards in the first half and a third-down drop was eating at the second-year receiver.  temp2013_1103_HOU_3922--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Reggie Wayne pulled the young receiver aside for a message.

“(Wayne) looked me in the eyes and told me, “You owe me one, man. Just go out there and do what you do best, just go out there and have fun,” Hilton said on Monday recalling the story.

Hilton’s definition of “fun” turned out to be six catches for 115 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.

When Wayne went down, the popular consensus was that his production would not come from one particular individual but rather a group of receivers.

Yet, on Sunday night there was Hilton carving up the Texans secondary in helping the Colts erase a three-score deficit.

As the final gun sounded and Hilton jogged off the Reliant Stadium field on Sunday night, he knew who was waiting for him when he entered the visiting locker room.

“After the game (Wayne) said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I’m talking about.” We just kind of took that moment in,” Hilton said of their locker room interaction.

The attention towards Hilton will only grow in the coming weeks as his ability to change the game with a single touch must be accounted for by opposing defenses.

For one night it might not have been a “committee” that replaced No. 87, but Hilton did his best to carry out Wayne’s halftime wish.

“I got a lot of faith and a lot of trust in those guys to make the plays. Griff (Whalen) had a big catch on third down and (Coby) Fleener made a great catch on the two-point conversion. So I feel like we’ll continue to step up and continue to play as a group and we should be good.”


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“Back-Up of the Game” is wide receiver Griff Whalen

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 12:57 pm

This week’s “Back-Up of the Game” presented by Venyu is wide receiver Griff Whalen.

For the better part of the last two weeks, the questions on who would replace Reggie Wayne were frequently asked around the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

The common answer from Colts personnel was it would be a group effort.

However, on Sunday night it was one key member of that committee who received the bulk of the reps.

Whalen played 40 offensive snaps (65 percent) which was the second most for any Colts receiver.

His three catches for 32 yards were a career-high as he saw extensive action for the first time in his NFL career.

The highlight from Whalen came with the Colts down 24-19 and facing a third-and-10 with 5:57 to go in the fourth quarter.

With future Hall of Famer Ed Reed draped over Whalen, the second-year receiver hauled in a 17-yard reception to move the Colts to the Texans 35-yard line.

Three plays later there was T.Y. Hilton with the game-winning touchdown.

“Griff (Whalen) made some crucial (catches), big third-down catch there on the last drive,” head coach Chuck Pagano said after the game.

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“Newcomer of the Week” is safety LaRon Landry

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 11:18 am

Throughout the course of the season, Colts.com will run a “Newcomer of the Week” following each regular season game. With the Colts having an influx of the newcomers this season here’s a look at the “Newcomer of the Week” from Houston.

This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” goes to LaRon Landry for what the new safety has done since returning to the lineup.

Landry was second on the team with nine tackles on Sunday night.

Despite missing half of the Colts eight games, Landry is third on the team with 41 tackles.

Having Landry alongside Antoine Bethea gives the Colts a physical presence in a player that is always going full speed. tempD4D_2407--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Landry had some crucial open field tackles on Sunday night and helped the Colts defense bounce back from a difficult first half.

Early on it was Landry combining on a third-and-one run stop of Houston running back Ben Tate.

That stop was followed up by a failed fourth-and-one and the Texans missing a chance to go up 14-0 in the first five minutes of the game.

For a Colts secondary that was missing three contributors on Sunday night, Landry roaming all over the field has provided some play making ability to the backend of the defense.

Other Newcomers of Note:

Running back Trent Richardson had a pair of screen passes that came at critical times. Richardson had nine and 24-yard fourth quarter grabs that both led to T.Y. Hilton touchdowns.

Outside linebacker Erik Walden continues to play at a high level and he had a pair of tackles for loss to go along with a 10-yard sack of Case Keenum. The sack forced a Texans field goal attempt.

Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin had three tackles which is pretty high for a nose tackle. Franklin was apart of the middle of the Colts defense that stuffed the Texans on a pair of short yardage situations early in the first quarter with Houston in Indianapolis territory.


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Five Things Learned, Colts-Houston

Posted by craigkelleycolts on – 9:59 am

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 6-2 and have a two-game AFC South lead at the season’s midpoint.  The wins that followed a loss at San Diego came in dramatic style over unbeaten Denver and against a 2-5 Houston group fighting for its 2013 survival.

The Colts produced a 10th comeback win under Chuck Pagano by wiping out an 18-point halftime deficit in a 27-24 victory at Houston.  Plays were made across the board in keeping a two-game AFC South lead over Tennessee.

Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.

PERFECT WITH PERFECTION – The Colts are 7-0 under Pagano (3-0 in 2013) in turnover-free performances.  That the club has seven in 24 outings (almost 30 percent of the time) is a pretty healthy percentage and is a testament to his ball security preaching.  Prior to Pagano, it took a 37-game span back to 2010 to encompass seven spotless performances.  The Colts’ six giveaways lead the league.  Only four other teams are in single digits.  Three of those seven miscue-free games have been on the road, further evidence of the ability to play like Pagano preaches.

OVERCOME ADVERSITY – Houston sucker-punched the Colts one minute into the game with a long TD pass.  Adam Vinatieri had a field goal blocked moments later to the delight of the Houston fans, but the defense held on third- and fourth-and-one rushes to thwart the Texans.  One possession later, a near blocked punt helped set up a short field and a second Houston TD in the opening quarter.  After replay overturned what appeared to be a recovered fumble on a kickoff return, Houston added its third TD for an 18-point lead.  It came on a gut punch with 34 seconds left in the first half, a time when late scores can damage a team’s mindset.  The Colts hung tough on the road and after trading field goals in the third quarter, scored on three straight drives to take the lead.  It was producing and being non-judgmental in adversity.  “Chuck (Pagano) puts into us the ‘never-give-up’ spirit,” said Anthony Castonzo.  “It’s a trickle-down effect.  Everybody buys in.  We’re all 100 percent in on every play.  There’s no give-up in this game.”

LUCK REMAINS MASTERFUL – With 10 game-winning drives in fourth quarter and overtime, Andrew Luck has the most of any quarterback in the first two years of a career since 1970.  Luck’s manner in the huddle and calm leadership style affects teammates deeply.  “Andrew basically takes control of the huddle.  He’s telling us, ‘One play at a time, one play at a time.’  He’s focused,” said Castonzo of Luck, who must have read Kipling while earning his architecture at Stanford.  Even after the latest Houdini act, Luck credits teammates and coaches first.  There is no “I” in Luck.  If a player can have a virtuoso career after 24 games, Luck has done it.

LINEBACKERS MORE THAN MATHIS – Houston was able to neutralize Robert Mathis probably better than any team this year.  Still, Erik Walden had a 10-yard second-quarter sack of Case Keenum that preceded a missed field goal that would have put Houston up, 17-0.  After the Colts took the 27-24 lead with four minutes left, Mathis and Angerer stopped Ben Tate for short yardage around midfield, then Angerer stayed at home and dropped Keenum for a three-yard loss on a Pistol keeper, a superb one-on-one effort.  On the ensuing play, Mathis contained Keenum and Angerer delivered a hit on Keenum’s release.  Keenum’s pass hit Walden in the facemask and Mathis nearly corralled the ball for a touchdown.  Three linebackers, three plays in the clutch, and the Colts forced a punt.  While Angerer’s 12 tackles topped the team, Walden was in the middle of key moments for a second straight game.

PRODUCTION PAST WIDE RECEIVERS – With Reggie Wayne gone for the season, developing production past the wide receiving corps is a must.  Luck hit wide receivers 12 times in 29 targets, with more plays being made in the second half than the first.  Indianapolis was able to get three receptions from Coby Fleener, plus a critical two-point snare.  Trent Richardson had two receptions, including a 24-yarder that set up T.Y. Hilton’s third TD.  Success in spreading the ball paid dividends, and the club must continue that as Luck’s cohesion with wide outs continues to develop.


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