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Colts Daily Headlines: October 31st Edition

Posted by Kevin Bowen on October 31, 2013 – 8:43 am

The Colts returned to the practice field on Wednesday in preparation for their third straight prime time game. Today’s news looks at the Colts trying to re-capture the AFC South and the task of facing the league’s top defense.

Take a look below at the top pieces from Thursday, October 31st.

Indianapolis Colts look to retake the AFC South from two-time defending champ Houston Texans

By: Stephen Holder, Indy Star

The message started with Chuck Pagano and extended throughout the Colts locker room.

“It’s huge,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of the prime-time matchup on NBC’s “Football Night in America.” “First and foremost, our No. 1goal is to win the division. The road to winning the division goes through Houston.”

Not long ago, this couldn’t be said. The Colts, during a span of sustained success few franchises have enjoyed, cruised to division championships in most seasons. In the seven division-title seasons, Indianapolis averaged 12.4 victories and recorded an astounding 34-8 mark (.810 winning percentage) against division foes Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville. Twice, in 2005 and ’09, the Colts went unbeaten in the AFC South.

But the struggles of 2011, when quarterback Peyton Manning was injured, and the emergence of the Texans have prevented the Colts from winning a division title since 2010. The current team, comprised mostly of players who weren’t around for the days when the Colts dominated the South, has a renewed focus on winning the division because it’s something most players on the roster have not experienced.

“There’s a saying, ‘To be the champs, you have to beat the champs,’ ” said outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of just eight holdovers from the 2010 team. “So, in order to get it back, we have to go down there and handle our business. I’ve been a part of some championship teams. (This team) is focused and they want it.”

Colts’ next challenge is beating NFL’s top defense

By: Mike Marot, The Associated Press

Through the first seven games of the NFL season, the Colts have piled up a pretty impressive list of accomplishments.

They beat the defending NFC champs on the road. They are the only team with wins over two of the NFL’s three one-loss teams. They’ve already beaten the NFL’s top offense and, on Sunday, they’ve got another big challenge — facing Houston’s top-ranked defense .

“They’ve got game-wreckers all over the place. They’ve got a front seven that is as good as anybody in football. They’ve got probably the best defensive player in football in J.J. Watt,” coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday.

Pagano didn’t stop there, and with good reason. There are plenty of other guys on Houston’s defense who are capable of creating chaos, and the Colts know it.

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