The Indianapolis Colts today signed offensive tackle Lee Ziemba to the practice squad and released offensive tackle Robert Griffin from the practice squad.
Ziemba, 6-6, 320 pounds, played in six games with the Carolina Panthers last season. He was originally selected by the Panthers in the seventh round (244th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Auburn and was waived on December 11, 2012.
At Auburn, Ziemba set a school record with 52 consecutive starts, starting every game of his career. As a senior in 2010, he earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is awarded to the best blocker in the conference.
Griffin, 6-6, 330 pounds, was signed to the Colts practice squad on December 12, 2012. He was originally selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round (203rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Baylor and was waived on August 31.
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Down 17 points late in the first half, the Colts answered with a 14-3 run that gave Indianapolis another comeback attempt in the fourth quarter.
Hilton’s 61-yard touchdown catch
The scene: Down 20-3 with 1:46 to go in the second quarter, the Colts took over at their own 26-yard line following a 30-yard kick return by running back Deji Karim.
The anatomy of the drive: Two plays, for 71 yards in 0:39. Needing a score just prior to halftime to reverse momentum, the Colts turned to their big play rookie to trim the deficit.
Key play: It was only a two-play drive but a 13-yard completion to wide receiver Donnie Avery got things started. The completion was just the sixth of the first half for quarterback Andrew Luck and it led to…
The score: From the Indianapolis 39-yard line, the Colts lined up with trips to the left, and short, side of the field with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton in the middle of the trio. After taking the shotgun snap, Luck stepped up in the pocket and slid to his left to allow for a clear throwing lane. Hilton had gotten behind the secondary with the attention focused on underneath route by wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who was lined up to the right of Hilton at the snap. Luck laid the ball perfectly into Hilton’s arms for his fourth touchdown pass of at least 40 yard this season.
Allen’s eight-yard touchdown catch
The scene: Down 23-10 with 7:33 to play, the Colts took over following a Shayne Graham field goal and a touchback from the Texans kicker.
The anatomy of the drive: Eight plays, for 80 yards in 5:01. The drive included six first downs with all the production coming via the Colts rookies.
Key play: It was not one particular play, instead it was five Vick Ballard’s runs that equated to 60 yards on the drive. Ballard had runs of 15, 9, 1, 12 and 23 yards, the last of which set up the Colts with a first-and-goal at the Houston eight-yard line.
The score: The Colts bunched tight end Coby Fleener, tight end Dwayne Allen and wide receiver Reggie Wayne in order near the right side of the line of scrimmage. On the snap, Fleener and Wayne ran their routes to the right with Allen settling just prior to the goal line. Luck found Allen for the completion, which gave the rookie quarterback his 20th touchdown pass of the season.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, dwayne allen, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
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Interim head coach Bruce Arians joined ‘Voice of the Colts’ Bob Lamey on the ‘Pagano Show’ Monday evening to discuss a variety of topics. Below are a few of the highlights:
On if he thought the Texans game had a similar feeling to previous comebacks:
“That was the thing that was disappointing because those were the games that we had been winning. We knew if we could get it back to a one score game we were going to have a chance to win the football game. They made more plays at the end than we did.”
On if preparation will change at all this week coming off a loss:
“No. We will maintain our same procedure as we’ve had all year. It hasn’t been too bad for us so far. Stick to the process. We had great meetings (Monday), watched the tape and got the corrections made. I think the guys left with a positive attitude, ready to come to work Wednesday and getting this one game done.”
On why the Colts have been so successful in bouncing back from losses:
“The 24-hour rule, same with winning. It’s over. That’s why we wanted to come in and make the corrections, see what we did wrong, but also there was a lot of good things on that tape that we can take and build on. If we are fortunate enough to get into the playoffs than that is going to help us on the road. That’s more than anything why we came in (Monday) and got it done.”
On his early impressions of the Kansas City Chiefs:
“Defensively, they might be as talented of a group as we’ve seen all year. They have about seven No. 1 draft picks on that defense. They can play defense. Obviously they’ve struggled a little bit offensively with their quarterback situation with injuries. Defensively, they come and play every week.”
On what Cory Redding has meant to this team:
“I think it speaks volumes that the players voted him a captain. He was Man of the Year for our organization. He’s an outstanding individual, a great leader and has been an extremely great addition to this organization.”
On if coach Chuck Pagano is scheduled to return for the season finale on Dec. 30 against the Texans:
“That’s out plan. We are hoping so and everything is heading to that. Hopefully, no setbacks this week and that will be the best Christmas present anyone can give us.”
Tags: bruce arians, chuck pagano, cory redding
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Heading into Sunday’s game with the Texans, the staunch Houston rush defense ranked second in the NFL and had not let a 100-yard rusher in 25 straight games.
With a depleted offensive line and without a 100-yard back since December of last year, the Colts did not seem like the prime candidate to stop that streak.
Don’t tell that to Vick Ballard.
Behind an 18-carry, 105-yard performance, Ballard did end that streak and 14 games into this rookie season he seems to be getting better by the week.
“He’s been steady all year but I think he’s just getting stronger as the season’s gone on, more comfortable, more confident,” quarterback Andrew Luck said. “He’s a heck of a back. He does a great job of making guys miss in confined spaces.”
Early in the season, Ballard showed flashes of what he put together on Sunday. Injuries to the running back season during the win over the Titans has given Ballard more of a workload and he relishes those carries.
“I know me for sure, I get into a rhythm whenever I can get the ball and I start seeing cuts that you didn’t see earlier in the game,” Ballard said on Monday night’s ‘Pagano Show.’ “I get into a groove and am able to start making some plays.”
Ballard particularly found that groove during a third quarter touchdown drive when he had five carries for 60 yards in leading to tight end Dwayne Allen’s eight-yard touchdown reception.
In April’s NFL Draft, Ballard was chosen in the fifth round and even though his name wasn’t called until the final day the thought of him needing some time to become a feature back did not even register with interim head coach Bruce Arians.
“There’s never been any doubt in my mind. I’ve always thought that from when we brought (Ballard) in,” Arians said. ”I think everyone is starting to see it now that he’s a guy that can tote the ball the whole game.”
The 37 carries over the past two games is the most Ballard has received in back-to-back games this year.
He admitted that he is starting to feel the grind but credited the Colts training staff for keeping him productive in the month of December.
Ballard wants to continue that into January and a victory on Sunday would provide that opportunity.
“Our coaches talk about how we don’t want to sit back and wait for somebody else to lose to increase our chances to make it,” Ballard said. “We want to handle our business. We didn’t get it done this past week so this coming week we want to accomplish that.”
Tags: Andrew Luck, bruce arians, vick ballard
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A Houston receiver is tackled so they get a penalty! Yeah, sure what were we suppose to do? Let him run all the way? Oh, but you can’t tackle a defenseless player. Man, this is football. I do like the way the NFL says that the game is not bigger than anyone’s health; they do look after the players, as they should. But guys, if a receiver accepts the ball, he accepts the fact that he just might get tackled! And while I’m having a whinge (that’s complaining in Aussie Slang), I thought it was a real bad penalty to grab someone by the helmet, especially the face mask component? Apparently not if a Colts’ player gets grabbed, because everyone saw it except the referees. Honestly, the calls were a bit harsh against us.
I’m not trying to make excuses for our loss but it’s hard playing against the referees. OK, enough whinging! Really, we can’t complain; not when Andrew Luck has a career long 61 yard touchdown pass. Sure, the “COMEBACK KIDS” didn’t get a fair crack of the whip in the second half, but with so much youth in our team, the future looks pretty good from where I sit down under. In fact, I’ll go so far as to predict that the current Colts are become a very exciting machine that is just being polished for a long and illustrious career.
The view from down here is clear; to an Aussie like me, hooked on the NFL and a COLTS fan till the day I die, the franchise is set for big things. Now some people say we were rightly beaten by the Texans but I’m predicting an upset in the final round. Big words? Sure, but the boys learn fast. Their young, feisty and listen to Coach Arians who seems to be able to pull things off at the right time. We haven’t peaked and unlikely to this season but the COME BACK KIDS haven’t shown the best they can do this year so watch out when they tear up the gridiron in the last two rounds. I’ll be staying COLTSTONG and I’ll enjoy the team in the playoffs!
Rooting for the Colts a half a world away. Our resident Aussie blogger, Rob Zammit, is a veterinarian and dedicated Colts fan.
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1. Houston (12-2)
- 10-1 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (Minnesota, @Indianapolis)
2. Denver Broncos (11-3)
- 8-2 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (Cleveland, Kansas City)
3. New England (10-4)
- 9-1 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (@Jacksonville, Miami)
4. Baltimore (9-5)
- 8-3 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (N.Y. Giants, @Cincinnati)
Wild Card Standings
5. Indianapolis Colts (9-5)
- 6-4 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (@Kansas City, Houston)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)
- 5-5 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (@Pittsburgh, Baltimore)
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
- 4-6 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (Cincinnati, Cleveland)
8. Miami Dolphins (6-8)
- 4-6 against the AFC
- Remaining Schedule: (Buffalo, @New England)
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Each week Colts.com will take a look at the rest of the AFC South and review the previous weekend’s games.
Texans 29, Colts 17
-Behind five field goals out of kicker Shayne Graham, the Texans clinched the 2012 AFC South. Houston running back Arian Foster carved out 131 second-half rushing yards and wide receiver Andre Johnson added 11 catches for 151 yards. The Texans defense accounted for five sacks, including three from AFC sack leader J.J. Watt. Houston got a special teams touchdown late in the first half when linebacker Bryan Braman blocked Pat McAfee’s punt and returned it eight yards for the score.
NEXT GAME: Jacksonville, Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Titans 14, Jets 10
-A strong defensive performance on Monday Night Football gave the Titans their fifth victory on the season. The Titans intercepted Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez four times and a late fumbled snap by center Nick Mangold ended a final comeback attempt by the Jets. Tennessee running back Chris Johnson had a 94-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the Titans a 7-3 halftime lead. The run was a franchise record for the Titans. Second-year quarterback Jake Locker pushed the Titans ahead late in the third quarter with a 13-yard designed run for a touchdown and the defense did the rest in earning the victory.
NEXT GAME: Jacksonville at 1:00 p.m.
Dolphins 24, Jaguars 3
-After taking a 3-0 lead on a Josh Scobee field goal, the Jaguars would remain scoreless for the remainder of the afternoon. Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne was 18-of-34 for 221 yards on Sunday. Wide receivers Cecil Shorts (six catches for 101 yards) and Justin Blackmon (six catches for 93 yards) paced the receiving corps. Newly acquired defensive end Jason Babin forced a fumble against the Dolphins.
NEXT GAME: Tennessee, Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
2012 AFC South Standings
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