The Colts rookies accounted for all three offensive touchdowns on Sunday afternoon as Indianapolis closed out the 2012 regular season with a 28-16 win over the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here is a closer look at the three touchdown drives.
Fleener’s one-yard touchdown catch
The scene: 0-0, the Colts begin at their own 25-yard line following a 28-yard kick return by Deji Karim to begin the game.
The anatomy of the drive: Thirteen plays, for 75 yards in 7:09. It was perhaps the Colts finest opening drive of the season on Sunday that ate up nearly half of the opening frame.
Key play: With the Colts facing a third-and-three from the Houston 24-yard line, quarterback Andrew Luck went to one of his most reliable targets. Tight end Dwayne Allen hauled in the first down catch and took the reception all the way down to the four-yard line.
The score: The Colts lined up with all three tight ends in the game and linebacker Mario Harvey shifting to the left side of the line of scrimmage prior to the snap. Fleener, who was lined up to the left of offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, drifted into the end zone at the snap appearing to look for a potential block. The play-action fake to running back Vick Ballard was executed perfectly with Fleener wide open in the back of the end zone and Luck finding him. Fleener broke out Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ dance to celebrate his second career NFL touchdown.
Ballard’s one-yard touchdown run
The scene: Leading 7-6, the Colts took over at the Houston 39-yard line, following Vontae Davis’ first career interception at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The anatomy of the drive: Six plays, for 39 yards in 2:05. The drive included all 39 yards coming from Colts rookies.
Key play: On the second play of the drive, Ballard took a draw behind Castonzo and went 20 yards into the red zone. The draw has been a vital weapon in the Colts rushing attack all season long and Ballard’s run was his longest of the afternoon.
The score: On a first-and-goal from the one-yard line, the Colts come out in the same alignment that they lined up in during the game’s first touchdown. This time Ballard took the handoff and followed the blocks of Castzono, Harvey and Fleener into the end zone for his second career rushing touchdown.
Hilton’s 70-yard touchdown catch
The scene: Leading 21-16, the Colts take over at their own 43-yard line, following Shayne Graham missing a 52-yard field goal.
The anatomy of the drive: Three plays, for 57 yards in 1:51. The drive came after the Colts had just four total yards in the third quarter.
Key play: The key play came on the prior possession when the Texans marched down to the Indianapolis 27-yard line before facing a third-and-four. Schaub dropped back to pass and defensive end Lawrence Guy recorded his first career NFL sack when he took down the Houston quarterback for an eight-yard loss. The sack forced the long field goal attempt that went wide right.
The score: A holding penalty forced a third-and-23 for the Colts from their own 30-yard line. The Colts lined up in a four receiver set with Hilton in the left slot, to the right of Donnie Avery. Luck took the shotgun snap, looked to his right and a subtle pump fake forced Houston safety Quintin Demps to roam towards that side of the field. Luck quickly turned to his left and fired a perfect pass into Hilton’s arms and the speedster did the rest outrunning the Texans secondary for the Colts longest offensive play of the season.
Tags: Andrew Luck, anthony castonzo, Coby Fleener, donnie avery, dwayne allen, Mario Harvey, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog
How do you BUILD a new house? You get a great group of draughtsman together like Chuck Pagano, Bruce Arians, Greg Manusky and a draughting team that gels and assists one another as well as helping everyone on the construction site. Together they walk a difficult path but they draw up some wonderful lines from the master plan.
Then we need a master builder to co-ordinate all our men; so enter Andrew Luck. Just finishing as a master apprentice but a great pedigree so let’s cut the kid a break as he graduates into a fully fledged builder. As a new builder, Andrew needed the backing of some experience men, so Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery assisted by Justice, Castonzo, Satele, McGlynn, Reitz, Stanton, Carter, Saunders, Hills, Shipley, Linkenbach, Stanton, Olsen, Moore, Hills and Karim who came in to do some carpentry, chipping away to build our home. And while they were there they too took on some apprentices like Fleener, Allen, Ballard, Hilton, Sowell, Brazill and Palmer. In fact, the Colts have so many rookies, people thought we were reforming a group from the mid-60’s, The Master Apprentices.
And when you build your house, you need great storm protection so Redding, Johnson, Geathers, of course Mathis, Freeman, Conners, Freeney, Davis, Zbikowski, Bethea and Butler and back them up with Mathews, Tevaseu, Heard, Hughes, Harvey, Angerer, Westerman, Vaughan, Brown, Lefeged, Gordy, Guy, Howells, Williams and the mighty Moise Fokou. These guys know how to protect from a storm, doing it as if our very lives depended on it. Doing it as if their own lives depend on it because that’s what they lay on the line!
No construction is complete without some specialists; you know, electricians, plumbers and the like. So we need the great specialist Adam Vinateri along with McAfee and Overton and they even help in training up some of our young guns.
While all this is great, construction cannot start until the architect presents his work. He is the man who brings all these workers together and he is none other than the very Jim Irsay. His master plan is now being auctioned but this year is just our building year, remember. Thank you Jim; it’s been an amazing year in the construction of this house we are building.
This house, this COLTSHOUSE, is built on solid foundations with bricks and mortar. The foundations are the tradition and workers that have gone before us. Solid as any rock, they remain with us in this proud city of Indianapolis and are treasures that can never be stolen or removed. Our bricks are the hard work that all the above men do over the year. The mortar is the love from the support staff, the fans and all the families who come together to call ourselves THE COLTSTRONG FAMILY.
Happy New Year, Indianapolis from your mate down here!
Rooting for the Colts a half a world away. Our resident Aussie blogger, Rob Zammit, is a veterinarian and dedicated Colts fan.
Posted in Voice of the Fans
Each week Colts.com will take a look at the rest of the AFC South and review the previous weekend’s games.
Colts 28, Texans 16
-Houston had a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed on Sunday but only had the lead for 12 seconds at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Texans took a 16-14 lead with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter but the Colts took the ensuring kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown and never trailed again. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt finished 1.5 sacks short of the NFL single season record. Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson had 12 catches for 141 yards on Sunday.
NEXT GAME: Cincinnati in the AFC Wild Card, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Titans 38, Jaguars 20
-The Titans put up a season-high 38 points on Sunday but only scored one offensive touchdown. Tennessee got two special teams and two defensive touchdowns over a five-minute span in the second and third quarters thus turning a seven-point deficit into a 21-point lead. Tennessee running back Chris Johnson finished the season with 276 carries for 1,243 yards, his fifth straight season of eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark.
NEXT GAME: Season Over.
Titans 38, Jaguars 20
-The Jaguars difficult 2012 season ended on Sunday afternoon. Jacksonville jumped out to a 14-7 lead behind quarterback Chad Henne throwing a pair of touchdowns. However, things began to unravel late in the first half when the Titans scored two quick touchdowns via defense and special teams. For the season, rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon led all rookies with 64 catches for 865 receiving yards.
NEXT GAME: Season Over.
2012 AFC South Standings
Tags: AFC South
Posted in Colts Blog
With a plethora of rookie players on the Colts roster, each week Colts.com will take a look at how the first-year players performed.
Dwayne Allen, TE: Allen had two catches for 21 yards on Sunday and finished the season with 45 catches for 521 yards. His 45 catches set a tight end rookie record for the Colts and Allen led all first-year tight ends in receiving.
Vick Ballard, RB: Ballard had a season-high 27 carries for 78 yards and helped grind out the final 9:46 off the clock against the Texans. For the season, Ballard had 211 carries for 814 yards as the feature back during the Colts run of winning nine of their last 11 games. Ballard finished fifth among all rookies with his 814 rushing yards this season.
LaVon Brazill, RB: Brazill played on offense and special teams on Sunday. He finished the season with 11 catches for 186 yards including a 42-yard touchdown in the comeback victory over the Lions.
Coby Fleener, TE: Fleener had one catch for one-yard and a touchdown on Sunday afternoon. The Stanford product overcame a shoulder injury to haul in 26 catches for 281 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
T.Y. Hilton, WR: Hilton notched his fifth 100-yard receiving day on the season with four catches for 111 yards. His 70-yard touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage this season for the Colts. On the season, Hilton had 50 catches for 861 yards and seven touchdowns. Hilton finished second among all rookies in receiving yards, just four yards behind the Jaguars Justin Blackmon
Delano Howell, S: Howell played his fifth game with the Colts, seeing action on special teams with one tackle.
Andrew Luck, QB: Luck was 14-of-28 for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Texans. He has now gone 14 quarters without an interception. Luck’s 11 wins is four more than any other rookie quarterback who was drafted No. 1 overall has recorded in their first NFL season. Luck finished the regular season 339-of-627 for 4,374 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Bradley Sowell: OT: Sowell was active and returned a short kickoff 11 yards on Sunday.
Rookie wide receiver Nate Palmer was inactive against the Chiefs.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Bradley Sowell, Coby Fleener, Delano Howell, dwayne allen, LaVon Brazill, Nate Palmer, T.Y. Hilton, vick ballard
Posted in Colts Blog