What started back in Anderson has continued at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
The 11-year veteran Cory Redding helping Daniel Adongo learn the game of football in every facet.
“He’s like a baby to the game,” Redding said of the newest member to the Colts active roster.
“The day he got here he was like crawling, and now he’s up and walking, running as a toddler, Now he’s looking at all the defenses, looking at special teams. Studying guys’ body types and different pass rush moves to get on them, just learning everything he can about the game and it’s so exciting to see. He has his notebook in front of him, he has his iPad in front of him, he’s looking at stuff. The guy is being a technician to the game. And that’s what I love to see because it’s going to transition on the field.”
That transition will come on Sunday afternoon as Chuck Pagano expects the 6’5”, 270-pound Adongo to play special teams for the Colts.
Redding is beyond amazed at the progression Adongo has made on a field that was completing foreign to him just four months ago.
“He’s giving the offensive line fits. He’s strong. He’s fast,” Redding said in describing Adongo. “Very aggressive player and I cannot wait to see him line up wherever they put him. Whoever’s across from him is going to be in trouble. He’s a heck of a player, you’re all going to see it. And I can’t wait to see him play.”
When talking about his own development, Adongo uses the phrase ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ to describe the tutelage he’s received from Colts veterans.
That ‘child’ will look awfully big on Sunday when running down on kickoffs.
“He’s got a lot of built up anger and frustration from practice. You can tell he wants to hit somebody but it’s practice and your teammates so you want to not do that,” Redding said of Adongo.
“But, he’s going against an opposing team, so he can hit them as much as he can, legally now, from whistle to whistle, snap to whistle.”
Tags: chuck pagano, cory redding, Daniel Adongo
Posted in Colts Blog | 2 Comments »
As Josh McNary was packing things up in his locker Sunday afternoon, he made sure to throw a couple of game programs in his duffel bag before zipping up.
McNary, who fulfilled his commitment to the Army the past three years, played a total of 21 snaps in Sunday’s 22-14 victory.
“It felt really good to finally get a taste of a sense of the game speed, sense of the intensity out there and the guys playing at this level,” McNary said on Sunday. “It was a real valuable experience for me to practice on in knowing what to expect.”
While McNary played 18 of his 21 snaps on special teams, the Colts utilized him in passing situations at inside linebacker.
After his NFL debut, McNary admitted that he’s still refining his skills to become a “true” inside linebacker.
Chuck Pagano liked what he saw from McNary on Sunday including a crucial quarterback hurry on a third down pass late in the third quarter.
“The three plays that he went in (defensively), none bigger then the third down we blitzed Josh and he beat the running back one-on-one right in the hole, hit Fitzpatrick right when he released the ball,” Pagano said recalling the incomplete pass.
“That was just a great, great football play by Josh. That just showed his speed, his athleticism, all those things. We look to get him more involved.”
Before last week, it appeared as if McNary’s first season in the NFL would be spent on the Colts practice squad.
However, that all changed just prior to Thanksgiving and now McNary is playing significant snaps for a team on the fringe of an AFC South title.
“Do you really need another incentive to play the game?” McNary said. “This only adds more and more motivation and just more reason to grind hard, day-in-and-day-out during the practice week and do more because you know you are playing on the big stage, playing for a lot.”
Tags: chuck pagano, josh mcnary
Posted in Colts Blog | 3 Comments »
Intro: Indianapolis earned a 22-14 victory over Tennessee to move within one win or a Titans loss of the AFC South crown. It takes 60 minutes and 45 players to win a game, and rarely does one like yesterday symbolize that more. Here are Five Things Learned from Sunday’s win.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ 22-14 victory over Tennessee was a 60-minute effort that needed something from every player.
Indianapolis got it to vanquish Tennessee and move much closer to a second straight playoff berth. It was a good bounce back after a difficult loss at Arizona, and the club kept alive its nearly two-season streak of not losing consecutive games.
The Colts are on the cusp of a divisional title that yields a home playoff game, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
FOCUS DURING ADVERSITY – The clamor around the Colts last week was loud as observers asked how the team would respond to a 2-2 stretch that included 29- and 30-point losses. Some outsiders who might have thought the ship was sinking heard Colts players talk about doing what they do, but only doing a little better. The process put in place by Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson in 2012 has been modified cosmetically as needed as things do through 28 games, but the bedrock foundation of trust, faith and philosophy stays rooted. Players knew execution and fundamentals were needed to beat Tennessee. The mid-week message was repeated afterward. From statesman Cory Redding after the win: “We settled down. We trusted one another to get the job done. We went back to basics, and it worked. That’s what we kind of got away from, guys trying to do too much. Just do your job and trust the man next to you to do theirs.”
BIDE YOUR TIME, SERVE YOUR TEAMMATES – Donald Brown waited 12 games this year to get a starting nod. He had not opened a game since week four of 2012. Brown came through as the leading rusher for the fourth time this season. After four straight starts for Greg Toler, Cassius Vaughn did not start. His focus then was to be the best CB on the field should his time come. It came – two interceptions. Jeff Linkenbach started at RG for the third time this season, and the Colts won for a third time. Mike McGlynn contributed in other roles, and Pagano praised every player involved for professionalism. It truly was a mature mindset by a team that listens to its coach. His mantra of, ‘45 Men, 60 Minutes, Don’t Judge, All You Got,’ was on full display.
PRODUCE IN CRUNCH – The Colts mustered 25 rushing yards through three quarters, but had 79 when it counted the most, including a four-yard Brown TD burst. The defense gave up a long TD drive to open the second half. An unsightly three-and-out offensive possession that included a penalty and sack, plus a long punt return, put the defense at its 32 just two minutes later. Robert Mathis had a sack-strip that led to a field goal to re-gain the lead. Four plays after the kick, Vaughn intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick. Takeaways on consecutive drives kept Tennessee from scoring again. The Colts scored 10 unanswered points, while the defense forced two punts and had one more interception with 33 seconds left to seal the game. Indianapolis produced in the crunch. Not always does a team win going away. Many do so by making plays when it matters.
ADAM VINATIERI VINTAGE – Adam Vinatieri twice before had made five field goals in a game, but not since 2004. Vinatieri tied a club record done seven other times by hitting from 47, 48, 45, 37 and 49 yards. His first, third and fifth kicks put the Colts ahead. It looked like Indianapolis would have to win a game without scoring a touchdown for the first time since 2003 – until late. Vinatieri is 26-of-29 this year, including 15-of-18 from the 40-plus range. He has made 22 of his last 23 efforts, 34-of-35 inside 50 yards. In addition to joining Morten Andersen as the only kickers with 800-plus points with two different teams, Vinatieri joined eight others (done a total of nine times) who hit four times from the 40-yard range in a game. Of all free agent signings in Colts history, his is one of the best.
STEADY IS MONEY – In going 4-2 at home and away, the Colts are 8-4. After going 3-1 in the first two quarters of the season, Sunday’s win put the Colts at 2-2 in the season’s third quarter. That steady production has the Colts within grasp of a 16th playoff berth since moving to Indianapolis. Under Pagano and Grigson, the Colts started 2-2 in the first quarter of 2012 with nearly a completely rebuilt team. Afterward, Indianapolis was 3-1, 3-1 and 3-1 to reach 11-5. This year’s two 3-1 starts meant five consecutive quarters of seasons had that steady production. Fighting injuries and uneven play, the Colts ended the third quarter with a .500 mark. An extended period of play since 2002 has seen the Colts have only five non-winning seasonal quarters – a span of almost 12 full seasons. Colts fans – current and long-time – should appreciate that feat.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, Cassius Vaughn, chuck pagano, cory redding, donald brown, greg toler, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, mike mcglynn, ryan grigson
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Over the past few weeks, Colts fans attention on the status of Da’Rick Rogers rivals that of any player on the team.
Could it be this weekend for the rookie wide receiver?
“I would venture to say that’s a good probability,” Chuck Pagano said on Wednesday when asked if the four current receivers on the 53-man roster will be active this weekend.
The enthrallment in Rogers stems from him leading the SEC with 67 receptions for 1,040 yards during his 2011 season at Tennessee.
Off the field issues caused Rogers to go undrafted this past April but it appears he’s beginning to realize that the clock is ticking on his chances.
“I’ve been doing everything Coach Pagano has asked of me and a little more,” Rogers said on Wednesday. “Coming in early, staying late, putting in the extra work I need to get acclimated from the offense, letting these guys know I’m here learning and helping the team out.”
Pagano talked about that acclimation period that players go through when making the move from a practice squad (where they are mostly scout team players during practice) to the 53-man roster (where they are actually running the Colts playbook at practice).
Now, it’s extended reps with Andrew Luck and the Colts quarterback likes what he sees from the 6-3, 215-pound Rogers.
“He’s been doing a great job, focused, done a great job learning the playbook so I’m excited for him and excited about him,” Luck said.
And Pagano’s thoughts on Rogers?
“Now he’s at a point where he’s picked things up and we are going to put him out there and give it a shot,” Pagano said of Rogers.
“He’s a big, athletic, talented guy. He’s put in the time, been here early, stays late so I’m fully confident that the kid can go out there and make a play for us.””
Rogers knows the Colts are searching for some production from a receiver not named and T.Y. Hilton and the rookie is relishing the chance to make an impact.
“Coach Pagano has put that pressure on us. “That pressure makes dominance so just go out there and do what you go to do,” Rogers said.
“It’s football. It’s a child’s game and we just got to go out and execute.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, da'rick rogers, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog | 5 Comments »
With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.
Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 40-11 loss to the Cardinals:
On the stakes this weekend:
“Tennessee going out there and beating Oakland, winning that football game, being two games back, obviously they are still in the hunt. They know that. We know that. It’s not going to be easy Sunday, but we control our own destiny. We’ve got to go back to work. We’ve got to have a great week of practice. We’ve got to do more. We’ve got to do it better. It’s at our place. It’s at Lucas Oil Stadium. They’ve got to come in here. This is like déjà vu all over again, coming off that disappointing loss to St. Louis then having to go down there on a short week and get that win. Same situation. Same scenario. We’ve got to put the time in, prepare and play well.”
On Sergio Brown’s blocked field goal:
“It was a great play by him and he did some outstanding things in that football game. The blocked field goal was one of them. He covered punts. He drew a couple of flags. As a gunner, he’s just a dominating force out there. He’s been playing at a high level for us on special teams and we certainly need him to do that.”
On the play of tight end Coby Fleener:
“I think he’s risen up to the challenge. When Dwayne (Allen) went down, he was obviously asked to do more and he’s done that. No. 1, Alfredo Roberts (tight ends coach) has done a tremendous job with all the tight ends. He’s with Coby 24/7, around the clock. Coby’s stepped up his game. You are not only seeing the level of his play go up on Sunday’s, but it’s because what he’s doing Monday-Saturday. He’s practicing really well. He’s putting the time in that you need to put in, in the meeting room. He understands the concepts and the schemes that we’re running. He’s playing fast because he’s practicing fast. I think the level of play and production that he’s giving us is just a byproduct of the hard work that he’s put in.”
On why weren’t Chris Rainey and Da’Rick Rogers active on Sunday:
“Two young, talented players, as we all know. There’s been a lot of talk about these two young players and excited about having them up, having them on the roster. Having Chris here just one week and Da’Rick being up on the active roster two weeks, there’s an acclimation period. These guys are working hard. They’re doing everything they can. As soon as they are more familiar with the playbook and we can start to implement them into our plan offensively, we are going to try and get them out there as soon as we can.”
On the schedule for this week with Thanksgiving:
“We practice every Thanksgiving. All we do is we move up the schedules. We move up practice time and try to get the players and coaches out of here so they can spend some time with their families in the afternoon.”
Tags: Chris Rainey, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, da'rick rogers, Sergio Brown
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Intro: Indianapolis suffered a second wide-margin defeat in four games by losing at Arizona, 40-11. The Colts are at 7-4 and still own a two-game lead in the AFC South in hosting 5-6 Tennessee, their closest divisional foe.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ trip to Arizona more resembled the one they took to San Diego in week six (19-9 loss) than it did the one to San Francisco in week three (27-7 win).
The Colts (7-4) fell at Arizona, 40-11, in a game they never led and one that spun out of control in the first 30 minutes.
Indianapolis has responded from eight prior defeats under Chuck Pagano with victories, a resilience that must be called upon again as Tennessee (5-6) visits with intentions of tightening the AFC South race and earning a playoff berth of some kind.
Improvement is needed from the Colts, and here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PERCEPTION VERSUS REALITY – The reality is Indianapolis needs to play more consistently in the next five games than it has done in the last four. Personnel losses have not been used as a crutch, and the secondary has been battered of late after most of the injuries early in the year were spread across the offense. While players said they could not “big-picture” the situation in the moments after the Arizona game, a long flight home certainly provided that time. Sure, 8-3 beats 7-4. Sure, New England had pulled it off (going to 8-3 from a near 7-4 after a 24-point home halftime deficit to Denver) about the same time the Colts’ flight landed. What’s done is done, but reality also holds that the Colts control their playoff fate with a two-game lead over Tennessee. This Sunday’s game has added implications, but no added meaning. Chuck Pagano says every game is a must-win because he wants to win them all. The approach this week will be to improve and take advantage of being in a good spot. No season-opening goal has been lost.
STILL SEARCHING POST-REGGIE – The 16 quarters Indianapolis has played since Reggie Wayne’s injury late in the Denver win have seen the team struggle much more than thrive. T.Y. Hilton has done well. Colts tight ends did well at Tennessee, but large deficits have put the offense in modes it doesn’t particularly enjoy. Needing a surge at Arizona, wide receivers other than Hilton caught six-of-13 passes targeted, gaining 57 yards. After tight ends had nine receptions in 13 attempts against Tennessee, the unit had five receptions at Arizona. The offense is laboring with a consistent identity. Early deficits have hindered the growth.
MAKE A PLAY – When Arizona moved for a game-opening score, the onus shifted to a team whose first-half struggles have been rehashed and debated for the past month. Still, Indianapolis failed to extend five-of-six first-half possessions beyond three plays. The one drive that did stalled in the red zone. The offense also gave up a defensive touchdown to Arizona in that span as the Cardinals bolted to a 24-point halftime advantage. The Colts now have converted three-of-25 first-half third downs in the last four games. Until it improves, this remains one of the key storylines around the team.
STOP A PLAY – Over the last four games, opposing quarterbacks are operating at a 122.1 rating level and though it’s a small sample compared to 11 games, only one QB in the league has higher individual seasonal rating. Since beating Denver, the success of opposing QBs (Case Keenum, Kellen Clemens, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Palmer) has caused the Colts’ seasonal numbers to increase in pass defense – 58.7 completion percentage to 61.3; yards per attempt from 7.23 to 8.07; yards per completion from 12.3 to 13.2; TD:Int ratio from 8:8 to 16:8 and rating from 78.3 to 92.4. The Colts have allowed 11 TD passes while intercepting one.
CIRCLE TIGHTLY – A cut-throat, competitive league can have teams going from advantageous positions to peril in a matter of two-to-four weeks. Clearly the Colts are more in peril than after being 6-2. To a man, players are circling tighter to improve themselves and to lessen any noise outside the locker room that could cause harm. While this could sound minimally important outside the circle, those inside it know the imperative nature of doing so. Antoine Bethea said Sunday the Colts win and lose as a whole, and they must look each other in the eyes to spur a rebound. Hanging as a band of brothers is the only way.
Tags: antoine bethea, chuck pagano, indianapolis colts, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
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Andrew Luck was a guest of Reggie Wayne’s earlier this week on the “Query and Schultz Show” in Indianapolis.
While Wayne joined the show for the first time since his injury, Luck was making his debut.
Here are some of Luck’s highlights from the show:
On having Reggie Wayne back for the Houston game and now in the building:
“I don’t think he could survive sitting at home, watching the guys play without him. His drive and his motivation, even being hurt, he’s still such a locker room presence, still such a voice for the team. I think we wanted him back. Obviously, Mr. Irsay made it happen with whatever strings he pulled. I was very happy to see Reggie walk into the team meeting the night before the game and give us some words and it means a lot when he’s here. It really does.”
On Wayne’s presence now around the complex:
“You can tell he’s taken on more of a coaching role in a sense and breaking it down for T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill or the other guys, or helping (Coby) Fleener out with releases. He’s still incredibly actively involved because again he’s still apart of the Colts fabric. I can’t imagine the Colts without Reggie Wayne. You just don’t imagine it, so I’m thankful he’s around.”
On how the Colts offense is adjusting to life without Wayne:
“It’s definitely a transition. I think what I always admired about Reggie was third down he made a play. When you needed to make a play in the fourth quarter he was open, you needed a two-minute drive, Reggie was getting open. So to lose that safety net, if you will, is different. But I’ve been really impressed with how the other receivers, tight ends, have approached it as a challenge as the guy that gets open on a big third down.”
On Trent Richardson:
“I think he’s done great and I think it’s unfair the flak that he’s been catching from folks. They don’t understand what he’s doing protection wise, what he’s doing coming out of the backfield and how tough it is to switch teams midseason. He’s in Cleveland on a Wednesday then he’s in Indianapolis on a Thursday preparing for third down against another team. Never seen a playbook before, new teammates, new everything. I think the way he’s been able to adjust has been great. He’s a smart, smart football player. He’s a great football player. I think it will be a short amount of time before people get their heads around that.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, Coby Fleener, david reed, Jim Irsay, LaVon Brazill, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
Posted in Colts Blog, Colts Casey B | 2 Comments »
With the regular season back in action, the Chuck Pagano show returns hosted by ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on Monday nights.
Here’s some of the highlights from Pagano’s show following the team’s 30-27 victory over the Titans:
On moving on from Thursday night and gearing for the final six weeks:
“We’ve got to move on. Guys were back in the building (Monday) morning and it was great to have them back. We got things cleaned up from that game that we needed. It’s in the rearview mirror and it’s on to Arizona and preparing for that game. Delano Howell, Josh Gordy and Greg Toler were all out there today. We’ll monitor their reps, their pitch count so to speak and make sure that we don’t overdue it. It was great to have them back at practice.”
On the 6-4 Arizona Cardinals:
“Bruce has done a great job. Their staff has done a great job. They have a roster that is full of talented, talented players, both sides of the ball. Carson (Palmer) obviously lit them up yesterday in Jacksonville, throwing for over 400 yards. Michael Floyd had a huge day (193 receiving yards). They have a ton of great players out there. They are extremely well coached. They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. They are physical. (Arians’) done a great job so it’s no surprise to myself, any of our players, any of our coaches, that he’s done well. We have to have a great week of preparation, Bob, in order to go out there and play well.
On Pagano’s relationship with Bruce Arians:
“Same as it’s always been. It’s great. Bruce and I are obviously great, great friends and that’s not going to change. It’s hard during the season. I don’t have enough time to talk to my wife, my brother, my immediate family, let alone. Everybody is so busy so a text here and there, so we try and stay in touch that way.”
On improving on third downs in the first half of the last three games:
“We obviously haven’t played well the last three ball games. Everybody knows that we’ve been outscored 66-9. That’s something that we aren’t running from, aren’t hiding from. We got some extra time so you start looking, put your finger on reasons why. Went back and looked all the 3rd downs. In those three ball games, in the first half Bob, we only converted 13% offensively and our opponent converted 62 percent of the time against our defense. If you can’t move the ball chains offensively and you can’t get off the field well that’s probably one good reason that we’ve been able to dig ourselves a hole the last three ball games.”
On the running game bouncing back with a good performance on Thursday night:
“The runners ran hard and credit our offensive line, tight ends and backs. (They) did a great job to open up some holes for Trent (Richardson) and Donald (Brown). It was great to see especially in crunch time when you have a lead and you are trying to take the air out of the game and you get in your four-minute offense and you are able to run the football and move the chains when everybody knows you are going to run the football. I think that’s the hallmark of a really good football team being able to close out teams like that.”
On an update on Reggie Wayne:
“Reggie is doing great. He’s rehabbing his tail off. He’s in here 24/7, in the training room, in the film room, breaking film down and helping out the young receivers.”
Tags: chuck pagano, Delano Howell, donald brown, greg toler, Josh Gordy, Reggie Wayne, trent richardson
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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 | 1 Comment »
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 | 2 Comments »