The Colts returned to play in front of their home fans on Sunday afternoon and delivered with a vital 22-14 divisional win over the Tennessee Titans.
With the win, the Colts moved to three games up in the AFC South with just four weeks remaining in the regular season.
Find out what the Colts players said on Twitter after their Week 13 victory:
Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard:
Linebacker Erik Walden:
Tight End Weslye Saunders:
Cornerback Vontae Davis:
Safety Antoine Bethea:
Punter Pat McAfee:
Long Snapper Matt Overton:
Tags: antoine bethea, erik walden, kelvin sheppard, Matt Overton, pat mcafee, Vontae Davis, Weslye Saunders
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While the names Andrew Luck and Robert Mathis will appear on many Pro Bowl ballots, there’s another Colts player that certainly deserves a consideration.
Sergio Brown might not be a household name but what he has done to flip field position for the Colts this year has been noticed.
As one of the Colts gunners, Brown has forced numerous fair catches and downed several punts inside of the opponent’s 10-yard line.
“As soon as Sergio got here, we knew we had something special,” punter Pat McAfee said earlier this week. “People don’t understand the importance of a gunner on a punt team. Sergio is a guy who can change the game not only for me but for our team”
Brown has five solo special teams tackles on the year. Special teams coach Tom McMahon also gives his guys a “tackle” for any player that forces a fair catch or downs a punt inside the opponent’s 10-yard line.
“Sergio is consistent,” McMahon says. “The best thing he does is he gets all the way down and then he looks late (meaning his back is facing the opponent’s goal line before turning around to find the ball).
“At the end of the day when he pins them down there and then forces a 98-yard drive, it makes everybody better.”
The combination of McAfee and Brown has allowed the Colts to win the hidden yardage debate at critical times.
“I pride myself on doing that,” Brown says of downing the football deep. “It definitely helps when you have an outstanding punter like Pat and he can hang them up there for me and give me time to get down there and do the other half of it.”
And what does McAfee think of Brown?
“He’s the best in the league and I don’t think it’s really a question.”
Tags: pat mcafee, Sergio Brown, Tom McMahon
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts are 5-2 and have a two-game AFC South lead at their bye week. The last two home wins – 34-28 over Seattle, 39-33 over Denver – were 60-minute slugfests that showed the spunk of this bunch.
Chuck Pagano lauded resiliency, passion, toughness, fortitude and, most of all, grit in the locker room following the victory over Denver. The Colts still have not lost consecutive games under Pagano, going 7-0 and with a 7.1-point victory margin following losses.
It was a three-phase effort that is a blueprint of the program in Indianapolis.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
MR. TEAM – Andrew Luck may have thrown for three first-half touchdowns and raced in from 10 yards out for another in the second half, but all he would do was cite the full-team effort in beating Denver. Luck always casts light on teammates and the program, never wishing any personal limelight. His maturity has been on full display since his opening game, and Luck stayed grounded in the bluster of the return of Peyton Manning. While some would call this a signature win over a team that had won 17 straight and with the finest Indianapolis Colt ever with Manning, Luck took delight in the team aspect of the win.
POSITIONAL PUNTING/KICKOFF EXCELLENCE – Pat McAfee had a 48.9 average on nine punts, with six landing inside the Denver 20. The Broncos had one first down on those resulting drives and a team that had averaged only 3.2 non-scoring drives per game came away empty on 11-of-17 possessions. More importantly, Indianapolis got 19 of its 39 points directly/indirectly as a result of those punts. The first TD came after a fumble created on a return. Another set up a strip-sack-safety that caused a nine-point swing to give Indianapolis a lead it would not lose. The final one led to an interception and a clinching FG. McAfee’s eight kickoffs all reached the end zone, four accounting for touchbacks. Denver averaged a drive start at its 25, an 11-yard advantage for Indianapolis in that category over the course of the game.
RUNNING STILL EQUALS WINS – Of the Colts’ 71 offensive snaps, 31 were rushes. Indianapolis upped its record to 10-0 under Pagano when attempting at least 30 rushes in a game – the league’s best record since 2012. Luck had 29 yards, including an 11-yard first-down dash on third-and-11 in the second quarter. That led to a touchdown, then he rolled in from 10 yards out himself in the second half. Darrius Heyward-Bey gained 30 yards on a reverse. The ground influence helped the Colts own the ball almost 32 minutes, 10 minutes more than in last week’s loss at San Diego.
LINEBACKER MAYHEM – Robert Mathis is Robert Mathis, a fifth multi-sack game this year to push his seasonal total to a league-best 11.5. It is his fifth 10-plus sack season (plus ties his seasonal-bests from 2005 and 2008), and his second-quarter sack-strip-safety triggered a nine-point swing for a lead Indianapolis never relinquished. Erik Walden was a free agent signee added to the corps to fight the run and harrow the quarterback. Walden hit the right arm of Peyton Manning with 7:07 left, creating an interception for Pat Angerer at the Denver 24. It led to a field goal and a nine-point lead after Manning cut a 36-17 deficit to six points with two scoring drives. Walden then forced a fumble at the Colts’ two with 3:03 to go, staving off a sure score that could have swung the final advantage to Denver. In a 35-possession game, there were plays made all over the field, but linebacker mayhem was a big reason Indianapolis emerged winners.
PAGANO VISION – It has been a season of successful replay challenges for Pagano and another one netted results against Denver when a punt return ruled out of bounds before a fumble was reversed, and it led to an Indianapolis TD. Pagano’s eagle eyes keep paying dividends. Also, stressing a plus-two turnover ratio per game, he got it for a fourth time in 2013. The Colts have defeated Oakland, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Denver with that margin. NFL home teams with plus margins were 20-2 heading into yesterday’s games. The Colts are 2-0 in home games with a plus margin.
Tags: Andrew Luck, chuck pagano, darrius heyward-bey, erik walden, indianapolis colts, pat angerer, pat mcafee, robert mathis
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This week’s “Back-Up of the Game” presented by Venyu is safety Sergio Brown.
All week the Colts talked about the importance that field position would play in taking on the undefeated Denver Broncos.
It was the Colts special teams that dominated the field position category with Sergio Brown on top of his game at the gunner position.
Late in the first quarter, Brown found himself in the perfect place to make a game-changing turnover.
Denver punt returner Trindon Holiday fielded a McAfee punt at the Colts seven-yard line before changing fields up the far sideline.
Colts fullback Stanley Havili was there to strip Holiday and Brown recovered the bouncing ball, which set up the Colts first touchdown of the evening.
Brown had a pair of special teams tackles and downed two Pat McAfee punts inside of the Broncos 10-yard line.
The special teams phase wasn’t the only area that Brown impacted the game.
With the Colts thin in the secondary, Brown played spot duty at the safety position in the second half and added another tackle.
Tags: pat mcafee, Sergio Brown, Stanley Havili
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INDIANAPOLIS – In Sunday’s 34-28 win over Seattle, Indianapolis snapped 60 offensive plays. After only nine, the Colts were staring adversity squarely in the face.
Those opening plays gained nine yards and no first downs, and Pat McAfee’s third punt was blocked through the end zone. Undefeated Seattle led, 12-0.
Antoine Bethea motioned teammates together on the sideline to deliver a message. Indianapolis forced a three-and-out, then scored two quick touchdowns for a 14-12 lead.
After Seattle countered by taking a 25-17 advantage in the third quarter, the Colts scored 17 points and snuffed out two late drives to earn a comeback victory over a team that had won nine straight games.
The victory was the ninth comeback triumph in 21 outings under Chuck Pagano. It placed the Colts alone atop the AFC South five games into the season.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
GRIT BEATS RABBITS – A heavyweight fight is not determined when one boxer pulls a rabbit out of the hat. It happens when he reaches inside and finds the extra something that has put him in the ring. The Colts have been relevant under Chuck Pagano, jumping nine games in the standings a year ago and now sitting among AFC leaders and on top of their division at 4-1. Pagano had his players at halftime, down 19-17, say they would run and tackle better in the second half. Eighty of 109 rushing yards followed, and the Colts defensively halved the Seahawks’ first-half ground total in the last 30 minutes. Holding Seattle to three field goals (the second with a defensive stand in Indianapolis territory after a turnover) was key, as were two late stops. The offense responded with 86- and 42-yard drives for 11 fourth-quarter points to earn the win. A true prize fight has both boxers landing blows. The one who summons the most wins. Out-pointed in early rounds, the Colts rose again with play from three units. “Nobody’s built better to win these close games, especially in the fourth quarter, than this team,” said Pagano. “(It’s) character, resiliency, toughness, grit, never quit, belief, faith. We’ve got something special.”
HILTON IS CENTRAL ELEMENT – Four plays after falling behind 12-0, T.Y. Hilton was in the end zone with a 73-yard grab (32 yards coming after the catch). On third-and-22 from the seven six minutes before the half, Hilton was interfered with and the Colts had 39 penalty yards. Hilton then had a 13-yard reception to convert another third down, leading to a half-ending field goal. Hilton’s lone third-quarter reception was a 29-yard TD strike. Early on the fourth-quarter 86-yard scoring drive, Andrew Luck targeted Hilton on third-and-10 from the 25. Interference, 16 yards. On second-and-11 from the 40, Hilton had a 13-yard catch. On third-and-eight from the Seattle 45, Luck found Hilton again for 12 more clutch yards. That was the last time Hilton was targeted, and he had done an afternoon’s work. On six targeted times, he had five receptions for 140 yards and two scores, his seventh 100-plus outing. Two penalties added 55 more yards, coming on drives that accounted for 11 points. Well done, #13.
FREEMAN FACTOR – Jerrell Freeman has been a disruptive presence all season. Strip-sacks against Miami and San Francisco made him the first Colts linebacker since 2004 not named Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis to have quarterback takedowns in consecutive games. The mobile Freeman tracked down Russell Wilson for no gain on third-and-two with seven minutes to go. The Colts were clinging to a 31-28 lead that was in doubt. Up 34-28, Freeman rushed Wilson into an interception with 1:23 left. Game-set-match, or, according to Reggie Wayne, “Ding, ding,” the bout was over and the referee held up the Colts’ hand. Either way, Freeman has had a telling hand in many plays. This is not something truly learned, just something cited as contributing factors in a big-time win.
A FEW GOOD MEN – Pagano has his men believing that every one of them can make a difference. Take bows Delano Howell and Lawrence Guy. Howell has started twice in place of LaRon Landry. He has made plays before, but his 61-yard return of a blocked field goal was a huge comeback impetus. The person who triggered it was Guy, who was signed recently to add depth to a thin defensive line. Howell had the eye candy with a great return (the third-longest in club history off a blocked field goal), but Guy provided the grit. Neither player garners a great deal of spotlight, but both’s professionalism created a big play Sunday against a team that excels on specialty units and against a kicker whose first miss of the year resulted in points for the opponent. While we’re at it, bow yourself Tom McMahon.
NO JUDGES – After two blowout wins by a 64-10 combined margin, the Colts were on the ropes down 12 and with a Seattle offense that had knifed for two scores and 92 yards on 13 snaps. Seattle would land more haymakers and Indianapolis would have to rally from behind most of the day. It did so on the one-year anniversary of the 30-27 comeback victory over Green Bay. That day a year ago was one of the most compelling in the club’s Indianapolis era, with its head coach in a hospital battling leukemia. Pagano was present Sunday to marshal another special victory. Outsiders tend to tune out themes used by coaches. Pagano’s players don’t. They live the themes and play them out on Sundays. It would have been easy to fold under pressure and deficits yesterday, but the Colts didn’t. Fans now have first place team (with 11 challenges ahead), one that hangs together.
Tags: Andrew Luck, antoine bethea, chuck pagano, Delano Howell, indianapolis colts, Jerrell Freeman, Lawrence Guy, pat mcafee, Reggie Wayne, robert mathis, T.Y. Hilton
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Intro: Indianapolis posted a dominant 27-7 win at San Francisco on Sunday. The Colts ran 12 more times than they threw and earned their most lop-sided road victory since 2009. Facing a physical defending Super Bowl team, the Colts were more physical.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts answered a tough home setback by meeting the challenge of their first road game with a 20-point victory margin over a team (San Francisco) that made the Super Bowl last year and nearly did the previous season.
The Colts met a physical opponent by being even more so. On a national television stage, Indianapolis showed a much different blueprint for victory than past seasons have had.
Colts 27, San Francisco 7.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL – Nothing is more telling than the words of an owner. In this case, Jim Irsay, “To bring in Ahmad Bradshaw and now to have Trent Richardson…You can see Trent with his lateral movement, his explosion, he’s always going forward. What we’re looking for is what we saw today.” When Irsay changed his organizational dynamic in early 2012 by bringing in Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, the new duo spoke of a different style of play. Every move since then has reflected that approach and progress made over 18 games prior to yesterday was incremental. Yesterday, it was dramatic. The Colts ran 12 more times than they threw, a first for that disparity since 2011. The Colts are 4-0 in the last 19 games when they have rushed more often than thrown, and they are 4-0 in games in that span when out-rushing opponents by 59 yards. “Run and stop the run” has been a mantra. It was reality yesterday. It is a much different feeling for long-time Colts fans. This new pair of shoes could be broken in quickly.
1-2 PUNCH, AND MORE – Ahmad Bradshaw carried 19 times for 95 yards. Trent Richardson had 13 carries for 35 yards. Bradshaw said the plan never was to ease his new buddy in, “We’ve got a one-two punch and we used it. It’s going to be tough for a lot of opponents this year.” The duo had 32 of the team’s 39 rushes. Get used to it. Pep Hamilton mentioned Friday that Donald Brown would be in the mix. Brown had 25 yards on three carries, including a 16-yarder for a first down that led to a field goal. Indianapolis has a more pronounced “hammer” look to the offense. Pagano spoke 20 months ago of the Colts having an AFC North look (like that of Pittsburgh and Baltimore). That was the look at San Francisco.
MULTI-POSITIONAL OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – The offensive line had one of its grittiest and most productive performances of recent memory. Mike McGlynn shifted to center for the injured Samson Satele (the third time he has done this in 19 games), and played well. He competed successfully while being battered all game. Jeff Linkenbach showed his versatility again by starting at right guard for McGlynn. In 29 career starts, Linkenbach has opened five times at LT, four at LG, four at RG and 16 at RT. Mixed in among stalwart veterans Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus was rookie left guard Hugh Thornton. Versatility among all linemen provides big-time currency for the offense. Often is it not acknowledged, but Sunday it was on full display. They ventured into Candlestick and shined. Well done, gents.
VALUE OF KICKERS, COVERAGE, FIELD POSITION – San Francisco started nine of its 11 possessions at or inside its 20. Pat McAfee reached the end zone on four of his six kickoffs, producing three touchbacks. The other three returns reached the 13, 11 and 12. McAfee pinned the 49ers to their eight (twice) and nine with three of his four punts. Adam Vinatieri hit clutch efforts from 43 and 41 yards, and his lone miss from 51 yards was wide while attempted into the wind. The Colts won the average field position drive start by eight yards, and three-of-five three-and-outs defensively for Indianapolis came after solid kicks. Again, a part of the game sometimes overlooked. Not today. It was probably great flights home for special teams and offensive line coaches.
BELIEVE IN COACHES – Defensive players heard it for two weeks after Terrelle Pryor ran for 112 yards. With Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson looming in the next month, getting squared away on a diverse offense was necessary. Chuck Pagano said research was done and that players would be prepared. Kaepernick rushed seven times for 20 yards, and the only TD run by a quarterback belonged to Andrew Luck. The phrase heard after Sunday’s win was “assignment football.” Assignments were sound and execution was solid. The Colts are 13-6 under the new regime, with players buying in and competing for each other. They’re coachable, and everyone enjoyed the fruits of a decisive win.
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, ahmad bradshaw, anthony castonzo, chuck pagano, donald brown, gosder cherilus, Hugh Thornton, indianapolis colts, Jeff Linkenbach, Jim Irsay, mike mcglynn, pat mcafee, Pep Hamilton, ryan grigson, trent richardson
Posted in Colts Blog | 6 Comments »
On Monday afternoon, Colts punter Pat McAfee joined SiriusXM NFL Radio to discuss his contract negotiations along with his outlook on the 2013 campaign.
The Colts placed the franchise tag on McAfee earlier this offseason and the fifth-year punter is coming off a season in which he set franchise single season records for punting average (48.2), net punting average (40.3) and tied the mark for punts inside the 20-yard line (26).
Putting future contract negotiations aside, McAfee made it clear what city he wants to continue to call home.
“I want to stay in Indianapolis forever,” McAfee said to Sirius.
Away from the gridiron, McAfee is one of the most active Colts in the community and that is evident in his appreciation of the Circle City.
“I really enjoy Indianapolis. I love our team. I love the city. I love everything that is going on here.”
Early last season there was McAfee utilizing his abundant Twitter following to spread the #CHUCKSTRONG campaign that most importantly raised money for leukemia, while also unifying a Colts team into the playoffs.
“We were really unfamiliar with each other, than once we had a reason to rally together, which was for our coach, it became a big deal. All of a sudden a group of strangers had, one fighting cause and that’s a big key when it comes to sports,” McAfee said.
“Last year was an amazing run but I think this year is going to be even better. Andrew Luck is going to have another year under his belt. He’s going to be comfortable and I think if you have a good quarterback you can win games. It’s going to be fun to watch our team play this year and I think we are going to do some magical things.”
Tags: pat mcafee
Posted in Colts Blog | 2 Comments »
Looking to spend a day with Colts punter Pat McAfee with a chance to win various Colts prizes, including tickets and a signed Andrew Luck helmet.
Well then you’ve come to the right place as Pools of Fun in Noblesville will host McAfee for an autograph session on Saturday, May 18th.
Full details of the event and prizes are below:
Saturday, May 18 at Pools of Fun – Noblesville location – 14765 Hazel Dell Crossing Noblesville, IN 46062
Event time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pools of Fun Open House
*Colts elements arrive at noon with Pat McAfee signing autographs from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Lots of register to win prizes and raffle items including:
· Autographed Andrew Luck helmet
· Colts team signed helmets
· VIP Colts Practice Facility tour for four (4)
· Discounted pool supplies and services
· Green Egg grill
· Colts tickets
All proceeds from the raffle benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Tags: Andrew Luck, pat mcafee
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COLTS NEWS (LOCAL AND NATIONAL)
Indianapolis Colts luxury suites cited as Indiana lawmakers limit new CIB taxes
Indianapolis Colts’ Pat McAfee adds $5,000 to reward in Boone County hit-and-run case
Pop Your Way Into The Pacers Playoffs With Pat McAfee
Colts deal disappointing first-round pick Jerry Hughes to Buffalo for LB Kelvin Sheppard
Colts Daily Links: Analysts lukewarm on team’s draft, ‘hard to see it all falling into place’
Indianapolis Colts’ best undrafted free agents: No. 9, returner Aaron Bailey
Indianapolis Colts’ best undrafted free agents: No. 10, safety Melvin Bullitt
What’s not to like about Colts’ draft class?
Colts offseason has look, feel of upgrade
In their words: Colts picks on Bo, trouble, Dungy
Colts hoping for more high marks on draft picks
NFL: North Penn’s Brandon McManus signs with Indianapolis Colts
Bills trade LB Sheppard to Colts for LB Hughes
Colts deal Hughes for Kelvin Sheppard
Colts offer reward in hit-and-run search
Colts, Bills exchange linebackers
Draft review: Indianapolis Colts
Colts shuffle much maligned Hughes off to Buffalo
George Bremer: Colts’ home finale holds keys to future
Colts owner Jim Irsay, kicker Pat McAfee boost reward in hit-and-run that killed Anita Wernsing, 78
All Means Possible
Dream not denied by language barrier
Open Mini-Camp Practice at Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis Colts Acquire LB-Kelvin Sheppard in a Trade with the Buffalo Bills in Exchange for LB-Jerry Hughes
Colts Owner & CEO Jim Irsay and P-Pat McAfee Contribute to Reward for Arrest and Conviction of Hit-and-Run Driver in Death of Fayette, Ind. Grandmother
True to the Board
AFC SOUTH BLOG
David Caldwell ready to hire in front office
Titans host Idonije, Winston on visits
Texans just missed on Arthur Brown
Reiterating: Jaguars don’t covet Tebow
Assessing AFC South draft trades
On Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt’s fame
Jaguars’ undrafted rookies
Monday Morning Quarterback
Bills swap LBs with Colts for versatility
Noisy Courtship, Quiet Breakup
Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now
NFL warns against gay jokes, talk
Dolphins: Mike Wallace’s remarks “do not reflect the views” of the organization
Collin Klein reportedly to be Houston Texans QB
Sam Montgomery: ‘Effort was not needed’ sometimes against weaker teams
Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker talks about team’s draft class
Are the Jaguars interested? ‘Plans do not include Tim Tebow’
Jaguars dismiss Terry McDonough, 2 others
Reviewing ESPN and NFL Network’s coverage
Report: Tyrann Mathieu won’t sign deal without guaranteed money
Tags: aaron bailey, Arthur Brown, brandon mcmanus, bryant mckinnie, buffalo bills, daily clips, david caldwell, eli manning, eric winston, houston texans, indianapolis colts, isreal idonjie, j.j. watt, jacksonville jaguars, jake locker, jason collins, jeremy ebert, Jerry Hughes, Jim Irsay, kelvin sheppard, kyle long, lance briggs, lgbt rights, lucas oil stadium, malcolm williams, melvin bullitt, miami dolphins collin klein, mike wallace, new england patriots, new york jets, NFL Draft, pat mcafee, ryan nassib, sam montgomery, tennessee titans, terry mcdonough, tim tebow, Tony Dungy, tyrann mathieu
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COLTS OWNER & CEO JIM IRSAY AND P-PAT MCAFEE CONTRIBUTE TO REWARD FOR ARREST AND CONVICTION OF HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER IN DEATH OF FAYETTE, IND. GRANDMOTHERPosted by on April 29, 2013 – 11:34 am
Indianapolis Colts Owner & CEO Jim Irsay has pledged $10,000 and punter Pat McAfee has added $5,000 to the reward, which is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a driver who struck and killed 78-year-old Anita Wernsing of Fayette, Ind. The driver left the scene following the incident.
Wernsing was leaving Mt. Tabor Primitive Church on the 7000 block of South State Road 267 on November 25, 2012 when she was struck. Boone County Sheriff’s Department investigators said that the vehicle that hit Wernsing was a dark SUV that was traveling northbound on 267.
Police have asked anyone with information on the case to call them at 765-482-1412 or send the department an email at: email@example.com.
Tags: anita wernsing, Jim Irsay, pat mcafee
Posted in Colts Blog | 3 Comments »