Indianapolis Colts Football

Andrew Luck’s Ability to Run a Nightmare for Opposing Defenses

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 18, 2013 – 3:32 pm

On 15 separate occasions this season, the Colts have faced various third downs and things have bogged down.

Whether it be premier coverage in the secondary or an intense pass rush, the thought and eventual action has crossed Andrew Luck’s mind to tuck and utilize his 4.6 40-yard dash speed that people, and specifically defenses, seem to forget.

“That’s just instincts,” Chuck Pagano said of Luck’s ability to know when to run. “That’s just Andrew being Andrew and being the athlete he is. He gives you that dimension at the quarterback position.

“He’s able to create his own yards and get you first downs when they got everything else covered, especially on third downs. It’s great for us and it’s something else that our opponent defenses have to worry about when you’ve got an athletic guy back there that’s strong and can shrug off guys and get yards.”

3rd Down Rushes

Yards

1st Downs

Touchdowns

Andrew Luck

15

149 (9.9 YPC)

12

2

 

With a 6’4”, 230-pound frame, Luck is unique in that every one of those runs, outside of the occasional quarterback sneak, comes from No. 12 deciding when to take off.

Luck has never looked at his running as highly as the stats indicate.

“It’s probably effective because it’s not supposed to happen,” Luck says of his runs.

“I need to get the ball to the guys who can really run.”

Many would argue Luck fits that script.

On Luck’s 15 third-down rushes in 2013, he is averaging 9.9 yards per carry (up from 4.8 yards per carry last season).

“He’s got “it.” Pagano says when describing Luck.

“He’s got that sixth sense, he knows exactly the clock in his head is always ticking. He knows where to go with the ball and when it doesn’t happen and when it breaks down, the guy’s a threat.

Of course there is the topic of sliding that Pagano has mentioned to his quarterback a few times.

Is Luck ever going to learn to slide?

“What’s the local baseball team we have down here? Pagano said on Wednesday.

A reporter interjected, The Indians. You going to send him over there to learn to slide?

“Yeah, we might in the offseason. It’s that or him and Clyde (Christensen) in Clyde’s back yard with a slip’n’slide.”


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Playoffs and Colts scenarios

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 10:44 am

INDIANAPOLIS – With two weeks to go in the season, Indianapolis is the lone crowned division champion, while only three other teams have qualified for the 12-team playoff field – Denver, Kansas City and Seattle.

Currently slotted fourth in AFC seedings with a 9-5 record, the Colts could climb as high as the second seed, but a victory this Sunday at Kansas City is one determining factor.

A Colts win at the 11-3 Chiefs is essential for any possible movement upward, but outcomes in games involving New England and Cincinnati are components as well.  A loss cements the Colts in the fourth seed.

Moving up from a fourth seed is an important thing Indianapolis hopes to accomplish.  Getting to the second seed means an automatic ticket past the Wild Card Round.

Even moving to the third seed is important and while it means a Wild Card game is necessary, it is one step closer to possibly hosting an AFC Championship game.

That was the scenario in 2006 when the third-seeded Colts and fourth-seeded Patriots advanced in the Divisional Playoffs and the RCA Dome was the site for the title match leading to Super Bowl XLI.

Chuck Pagano has indicated the Colts will do whatever is necessary in each phase of the game to win on Sunday.

Kansas City will do the same since finishing with a better record than Denver (11-3) means one less playoff game.  The Chiefs have lost twice to Denver, and the Broncos finish on the road against Houston and Oakland, teams with combined records of 6-22.

Listed below are the current AFC standings, the remaining schedule for teams competing for the playoffs and Colts scenarios:

AFC STANDINGS

Team Record Div. Record Conf. Record
x-Denver 11-3 4-1 7-3
New England     10-4 3-2 7-3
Cincinnati 9-5 2-3 7-4
y-Indianapolis 9-5 5-0 7-3
x-Kansas City   11-3 2-3 7-3
Baltimore 8-6 3-2 6-4
Miami 8-6 2-2 7-3
San Diego 7-7 2-2 4-6
Pittsburgh 6-8 3-2 5-6

 [y] Clinched Division Title [x] Clinched Playoff Berth

REMAINING SCHEDULE

Team Week 16 Week 17
Denver @ Houston (2-12) @ Oakland (4-10)
New England @ Baltimore (8-6) vs. Buffalo (5-9)
Cincinnati vs. Minnesota (4-9-1) vs. Baltimore (8-6)
Indianapolis @ Kansas City (11-3) vs. Jacksonville (4-10)
Kansas City vs. Indianapolis (9-5) @ San Diego (7-7)
Baltimore vs. New England (10-4) @ Cincinnati (9-5)
Miami @ Buffalo (5-9) vs. N.Y. Jets (6-8)
San Diego vs. Oakland (4-10) vs. Kansas City (11-3)
Pittsburgh @ Green Bay (7-6-1) vs. Cleveland (4-10)

WEEK 16 POSSIBLE COLTS SCENARIOS

Colts Win + New England Loss + Cincinnati Loss = No. 2 Seed

Colts Win + New England Loss + Cincinnati Win = No. 3 Seed

Colts Win + New England Win + Cincinnati Loss = No. 3 Seed

Colts Win + New England Win + Cincinnati Win = No. 4 Seed

Colts Loss = No. 4 Seed

*Note: the Colts playoff seed would not be final based on these scenarios. Week 17 games will have impact on final seeding.

NEW ENGLAND at BALTIMORE:  Coming off a last-minute loss at Miami, New England has won 17 of its last 19 December games and has not dropped consecutive contests since weeks two and three in 2012.  Baltimore has won four straight games to tie the NFL’s longest current streak.  Baltimore hosts on a short week, having gained a last-minute 18-16 win at Detroit on Monday.  These teams have met in the last two AFC Championship games, with each team winning once.  New England’s loss last week kept the Patriots from passing Denver (11-3) for the top seed, and the Patriots want to stay in front of Cincinnati (9-5) since the Bengals beat New England in October, 13-6.  It is the lone time the Patriots have been kept in single digits this year and broke a string of consecutive games with a TD pass by Tom Brady at 52.  A Patriots win closes out the AFC East.  If New England ends up tied with Denver for the top mark, the Patriots have beaten the Broncos.  Baltimore has beaten Cincinnati once and visits the Bengals in week 17.  Cincinnati is undefeated at home and hosts Minnesota Sunday.  Baltimore must win to remain alive in the division hunt, pending a Cincinnati win.  The Ravens own the sixth seed at the moment, but are tied with Miami, who plays at 5-9 Buffalo.  At 8-6, the Ravens and Dolphins could be battling for the AFC’s last playoff seed.  STAT TO NOTE:  Brady is 43-7 for his career in December, the best mark among QBs in the Super Bowl era and 146 regular-season starting wins are 5th-most in history.  Ray Rice has three 100-yard rushing games in his last six overall outings against NE.  Bill Belichick is 5-3 vs. Baltimore, John Harbaugh is 3-3 vs. NE.

MINNESOTA at CINCINNATI:  After a 10-point loss in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati returns home where it is 6-0.  The loss last week kept Cincinnati from climbing into the second seed, while they fell to 2-3 in the division.  Prior to last week, Cincinnati had not lost by double digits since week four and their four prior losses had come by 19 total points (with two defeats in overtime).  The Bengals must avoid going into week 17 tied with Baltimore since they have lost to the Ravens already and want to ice a first division title since 2009.  Cincinnati has fallen in the Wild Card Round in four tries since 2005, including the last two seasons.  Avoiding the Wild Card round is motivation.  Andy Dalton is hot with five TD passes in the past two games (101.5 rating), while the RB combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard has been effective.  A stingy Cincinnati defense that allowed 30 points in Pittsburgh and 28 to Indianapolis ranks second in the AFC at 19.6 points per game and wants to get back to that average.  Minnesota is the lone NFC North team not in the hunt, but they snapped a five-game Philadelphia winning streak by rolling to a 48-30 home win last Sunday.  Adrian Peterson can present problems to any defense, and Matt Cassell (382 yards, 116.6 rating) is coming off a hot performance.  STAT TO NOTE:  Dalton has 27 TD passes to tie a career-best and the Bengals are 14-1 when he has a 100-plus rating.  Since entering the league in 2007, Peterson tops all rushers with 10,070 yards and 86 TDs.  Marvin Lewis is 1-1 against Minnesota, Leslie Frazier is facing Cincinnati for the first time.


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AFC Playoff Picture with 2 Weeks Remaining

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 1:00 am

We normally post the “Eye on the Prize” mid-week but since the Colts have clinched the AFC South, we now look big picture.

The Colts have guaranteed themselves at least one home playoff game in 2013 and can earn anywhere from a 1-4 seed in the AFC.

Right now in the AFC, the Colts (9-5) have clinched the AFC South.

Denver (11-3) and Kansas City (11-3) have also clinched a playoff berth.

Here’s a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture with Miami on the heels of the 6th and final playoff spot:

1.  Denver (11-3, 7-3 in the AFC): Has clinched a playoff spot. Can clinch the AFC West with a win and Kansas City loss this weekend.

-Remaining Schedule: @Texans, @Raiders

2.  New England (10-4, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a Bengals loss. Can clinch the AFC East with a win or a Miami loss.

-Remaining Schedule: @Ravens, Bills

3.  Cincinnati (9-5, 7-4 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win or a Miami lossCan clinch the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.

-Remaining Schedule: Vikings, Ravens

4.  Indianapolis (9-5, 7-3 in the AFC): Have won the AFC South.

-Remaining Schedule: @Chiefs, Jaguars

5.  Kansas City (11-3, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win, or Miami loss, or Baltimore loss.

-Remaining Schedule: Colts, @Chargers

6.  Baltimore (8-6, 6-4 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Miami loss and a Chargers loss.

-Remaining Schedule: Patriots, @Bengals

7.  Miami (8-6, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Ravens loss and a Bengals loss.

-Remaining Schedule: @Bills, Jets


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