Down 17-3 and having been out-scored 69-6 in the first halves of the last three games, the Colts captured something that led to another comeback win, this time at Tennessee, 30-27.
That something was ‘Mo’ – momentum.
It started on a 68-yard drive in the final 2:32 of the first half when the Colts navigated for an Adam Vinatieri 30-yard field goal at the gun.
Andrew Luck found rhythm (a cousin of ‘Mo’) on the drive by connecting with six different receivers on the march, good for 62 yards. A third-down interference call extended the drive early on – ‘Mo.’
“You can feel it,” said Luck. “We wish we didn’t have to rely on momentum to do that, but it’s a part of sports. It’s a weird phenomenon. You could feel it.”
An 18-year veteran, Vinatieri can sense intangibles, and he felt it when the club narrowed its halftime deficit to 17-6.
“It was important to get the momentum back,” said Vinatieri. “To put it back to 11 for some reason feels better.”
The Colts shaved the margin closer with a 74-yard march where Luck converted third downs with passes to T.Y. Hilton and Griff Whalen. He even scrambled 13 yards for a first down.
To close the final 14 yards of the march, Luck connected with Hilton for eight yards, then Donald Brown burst off left tackle for the score.
“You kind of feel it,” said Hilton. “We’ve been down that road time and time again. Once we start to click……”
The ball came out on the ensuing kickoff return and special teamer Daniel Herron made a play.
“The wedge was coming to me,” said Herron. “The next thing I know, I turned around and the ball was right there. Right place, right time.”
Pat Angerer notice how ‘Mo’ visited a number of teammates.
“Yeah, it’s just one guy making a play after another,” said Angerer. “We never get down.”
Be it Luck, luck, the horseshoe or ‘Mo,’ it’s better to have than not.
“Credit these guys,” said Chuck Pagano. “They find a way. We just gained momentum and held on.”
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Daniel Herron, donald brown, Griff Whalen, indianapolis colts, pat angerer, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog
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 Tennessee.
This week’s “Newcomer of the Week” comes in a combo effort on the Colts offensive line.
Free agent right tackle Gosder Cherilus and rookie left guard Hugh Thornton helped pave the way for a 137-yard effort on 32 carries Thursday night.
The Colts are now 11-0 when rushing at least 30 times since the beginning of the 2012 season.
Chuck Pagano summed it up pretty directly when describing the offensive line’s mindset heading into Nashville.
“They took this personal,” Pagano said of the offensive line.
For a majority of the season, the Colts offensive line has been under heavy scrutiny.
Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton has not wavered in his belief of the Colts rushing attack and games like Thursday night are the reason why he has faith in the ground game.
The unit helped pave massive holes in the second half with the Colts rushing for over 100 yards for the seventh time this season.
“What a great job up front by the o-linemen,” quarterback Andrew Luck said after the game. “Staney Havili, the tight ends, Trent [Richardson] and Donald [Brown] getting tough, tough yards. We know to win football games consistently we are going to have to run the football well. We did a decent job in the first half. I think the game sort of dictated that we couldn’t run it as much as we wanted, but I think it was great to settle down and to get points at the end of the half and to start the second half with points was big.
“To get that run game going, and that last drive, what a great job. It’s tough in the fourth quarter for o-linemen when you continually pound and pound and pull and block and hit. They did a heck of a job.
Other Newcomers of Note:
–Running back Daniel Herron was in the right place at the right time when he pounced on a fumbled kickoff return midway through the third quarter. The turnover gave the Colts the ball at the Titans 20-yard line.
–Outside linebacker Erik Walden bounced back from a foolish first half penalty to record four tackles (two for a loss) and had a sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
–Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois sniffed out a second-half screen pass for a tackle for loss, which forced a Titans field goal attempt.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Daniel Herron, donald brown, erik walden, gosder cherilus, Hugh Thornton, Ricky Jean-Francois, Stanley Havili, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog
When the Colts took the field with 2:32 remaining in the first half, the Titans held a 17-6 lead.
The Colts three offensive drives up to that point had resulted in a punt, field goal and punt.
Momentum was needed and the Colts got just that with five scores in their next six drives to erase a double-digit deficit.
Here’s a look at the final drive of the first half and the first two of the third quarter when the Colts scored 17 straight points without the Titans offense touching the football:
- On the three drives, Luck was 12-of-16 for 116 yards and had two rushes for 24 yards. The Colts got a field goal to end the first half thanks to an up-tempo style. Then it was Luck’s spirited halftime speech that kept things going in the third quarter.
- After just a two-of-six effort on third-down in the first half, the Colts converted both third-down chances on the opening drive of the second half. There was a seven-yard completion to T.Y. Hilton and a six-yard catch by Griff Whalen that kept the drive moving.
- The Colts possessed the ball for a string of 9:56 thanks to a costly turnover on the kickoff following Donald Brown’s six-yard touchdown run with 8:27 left in the third quarter. Titans kick returner Devon Wylie fumbled the ensuing kickoff and running back “Boom” Herron dove on the loose ball to give the Colts the ball at the Titans 20-yard line.
- To cap the 17 points in 9:56, it was Luck once again improvising with his legs. With the Colts facing a second-and-one at the Titans 11-yard line, Luck faked a quick pass to Griff Whalen with Titans defensive end Derrick Morgan leaving his feet on the fake. Luck then tucked and ran up field alluding safety Michael Griffin for his ninth rushing touchdown of his NFL career. A Luck spike punctuated the 17 straight points and gave the Colts a lead they would not relinquish.
Posted in Colts Blog
Intro: Indianapolis responded to a 30-point loss five days earlier with a solid road win at Tennessee, 30-27. The game meant separation or a much tighter divisional race as the season reaches six remaining games. Wiping out two 14-point deficits, the Colts showed a number of big things in the win.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 7-3 and own a three-game AFC South lead with six games to play.
Just as important is the team battled back from its worst outing – a 38-8 home loss to St. Louis five days earlier – with a spirited performance in Tennessee.
The 30-27 win came with two rebounds from 14-point deficits, and it came with a dominant offensive performance and with good defensive play, plus three Adam Vinatieri field goals.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PERFORM AWAY FROM HOME – The Colts were 4-4 on the road last year, and it started with beating Tennessee after two lopsided losses away from Lucas Oil Stadium. Since winning in Nashville in 2012, the Colts have gone 8-3 on the road. It is one of the NFL’s better marks, and a team needs a strong road identity. Indianapolis earned consecutive 20-plus-point road wins at San Francisco and Jacksonville earlier this year, the first time since 2009 the team had accomplished that feat. This year’s 4-1 road record includes AFC South wins at Tennessee and Houston. Nice.
30, THREE AND ZERO – The Colts have been unbeatable in games with 30 rushes, three rushing scores and no turnovers. Since Pagano’s arrival, the Colts are 11-0 when they have attempted 30 rushes in a game, including 4-0 this year. A ground identity was sought by Pagano and his staff entering 2013. After a lull, it was in full force in Nashville. The Colts ran for three scores in a second game this season (also at San Francisco), and Indianapolis has won 24 straight times when doing so. Also, the Colts had their fourth turnover-free game of the season, beating Oakland, the 49ers and Houston in addition to Tennessee. Since 1998, only in 2004 (five), 2008 (six) and 2010 (five) have the Colts had more in one season than four times. Each season it did so, a playoff berth accompanied.
EXTENDING DRIVES – A week after Indianapolis had its worst offensive showing of the season with five turnovers and four empty trips to the red zone, it bounced back in grand fashion. A huge accomplishment in the 30-27 win was having four drives with more than 10 snaps from scrimmage. After being among the league leaders in 10-plus-play drives earlier this year, the number was waning recently with inability to convert third downs. The Colts had 13-, 12-, 11- and 11-play drives against the Titans that produced 20-of-30 points. (Another nine-play drive ended with a field goal.) Each of those four double-digit play drives at least four first downs. Well done, mates.
DIVISION RESURGENCE – Of the 20 coaches on staff, only Richard Howell was here through the dominant AFC South years when the Colts took the crown on seven occasions (2003-07, 09-10). Only New England (nine) has more division titles since 2002 than the Colts. Colts coaches spoke leading into the season about returning the crown to Indianapolis. It is a football quest. The Colts are 3-0 in the AFC South, having bested each foe in its home. December offers rematches in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is the sixth time the Colts have opened 3-0 in the division (2003, 2005-07, 2009), only the second time (2007) they have done it by opening at each opponent’s site.
REGAIN POISE – The Colts entered Thursday’s game as the least penalized team in the league in both yards and infractions. A messy second-quarter defensive possession with penalties for rough play helped Tennessee re-establish a 14-point advantage. Some teams could have lost composure and ended the evening in a tough manner. The Colts righted themselves competitively and returned to form. Indianapolis survived a tough moment by out-scoring Tennessee afterward, 27-10. Sometimes in-game instances do not go as planned. Teams with character quickly return to form.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, lucas oil stadium, Richard Howell
Posted in Colts Blog
This week’s “Back-Up of the Game” presented by Venyu is running back Donald Brown.
Last year in Nashville, there was Donald Brown grounding out yards on a game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.
A little over a year later, there was Brown once again eating up yardage and icing a comeback victory.
Brown, who was awarded a game ball, finished Thursday night with a season-high 14 carries for 80 yards and two second-half touchdowns.
“Donnie really did a great job and had a fantastic game,” Chuck Pagano said after the game. “Credit the offensive line for knocking those guys off the ball and blocking for our runners.”
Known for his speed, Brown showed the ability to break several tackles at the second-level and that contributed to his massive second half.
Brown finished off the opening drive of the second half with a six-yard touchdown run and virtually iced the game with an 11-yard score with 3:01 remaining. It marked the first time in Brown’s career that he scored two touchdowns.
On the year, Brown now leads the Colts with 55 carries for 323 rushing yards.
In typical Brown fashion, the veteran rewarded the entire offense for the run game’s performance in Thursday’s win.
“The offensive line did a phenomenal job. Andrew (Luck) got us into the right plays. Stanley Havili did a phenomenal job blocking. When you see the safety, that’s every running backs dream and those guys up front did a phenomenal job,” the five-year veteran said after the 30-27 victory.
Tags: donald brown
Posted in Colts Blog
Looking for a place to have your Colts questions answered at the end of the week? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
On Friday, I will host a one-hour chat called “Horseshoe Roundup” beginning at 2:00 p.m EST.
The chat will cover a variety of topics with the focus being the pertinent news during that time period. I will take your questions and try to answer as many as I can during the hour.
For this week, the Colts have just finished a 30-27 comeback win in Nashville
What are your thoughts on the comeback win in over the second place Titans?
What are your thoughts with the Colts now three games up in the AFC South with six to go?
Feel free to join the chat via this link around 2:00 p.m. on Friday (scroll to the bottom of the page) and we will talk for an hour about whatever is on your mind.
Posted in Colts Blog