Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts Football

Colts do not travel six players to Kansas City

Posted by craigkelleycolts on December 21, 2013 – 7:23 pm

On Friday, the Colts designated five players to be doubtful for Sunday’s game – safety Sergio Brown, guard Jeff Linkenbach, defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, guard Joe Reitz and defensive tackle Montori Hughes.

Among players listed as questionable to participate was guard Hugh Thornton.

All of those players were declared out for Sunday’s game today.

A banged-up Colts team was limited through many parts of the roster in preparation for Kansas City.

To help bolster an offensive line depleted of three guards, Indianapolis elevated Thomas Austin off the practice squad Saturday and released running back Shaun Draughn.

The Colts’ line will be operating with a seventh different starting alignment on Sunday that could include rookie Xavier Nixon at left guard.  A natural tackle, Nixon played 61 plays at right guard last Sunday against Houston when Reitz left with a concussion.

The state of the line on Friday caused Chuck Pagano to say, “It’s like everybody else.  We’re not the only (team) that’s pregnant right now.  We got what we got.  We got a job to go do, and we’re going to get it done.  Try to find a way.”

The Colts have used a league-high 71 players this year and will be starting a different offensive line in a fifth straight game.

Indianapolis will be facing potent Kansas City special teams return units, and Brown has been the club’s top specialty performer this season.  Brown was hurt during last week’s game, and this is his first missed outing.

Francois has missed the past two contests and could be ready for the Jacksonville finale.

Indianapolis is the lone NFL team to clinch a division title.  The Colts currently are the AFC’s fourth seed, with division leaders Denver, New England and Cincinnati owning better records.

Kansas City at 11-3 is tied with Denver record-wise, but the Chiefs lost both games to the Broncos and would need to finished with a better record in the last two games to wrest the AFC West crown.

A loss to Kansas City would cement the fourth seeding for the Colts.  Indianapolis could move to the second seed with two wins to close the season, if Baltimore could win its final two outings.

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Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 8:58 am

The Indianapolis Colts today elevated center Thomas Austin from the practice squad to the active roster and waived running back Shaun Draughn.

Austin, 6-4, 310 pounds, has competed in seven career games (one start) with the Houston Texans (2011) and Carolina Panthers (2012). He was signed by the Colts as a free agent on August 1, 2013 before being signed to the practice squad on September 1.

Draughn was signed by the Colts as a free agent on December 17, 2013. In 20 career games, he has totaled 63 carries for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

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Robert Mathis “honored” to be in discussion for Defensive Player of the Year

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 20, 2013 – 2:00 pm

The Colts defense is playing a game of ping-pong in the locker room.

There’s Robert Mathis answering questions about being under consideration for Defensive Player of the Year, yet giving all the credit to his teammates.

Around the locker room there’s Mathis defensive teammates throwing it right back to No. 98.temp2013_1215_HOU_3908--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

No matter who is right or wrong, there’s no denying that Mathis is in the talk for 2013 Defensive Player of the Year.

Mathis is a man of few words but his league-leading 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles do plenty of talking.

“I would credit that more to our defense then just the individual on it,” Mathis says of his name being in the discussion.

“It takes a lot of guys around him, from secondary, up to our nose tackle. Especially the d-line, they take pride in getting me to the quarterback. It would be a team accomplishment more than an individual.”

When Mathis was chosen in the fifth round of the 2003 draft, he was simply trying to find a spot on special teams.

Now 11 years later, Mathis is turning in a career-year at the age of 32 and garnering the deserving national attention.

What impresses Mathis’ teammates so much is how he has gone about piling up his sacks/forced fumbles.

Mathis acknowledges his consideration for such a honor but he, and his teammates, make it clear that he’s racking up these numbers within the framework of the defense.

“Win it or not, it’s an honor to be considered,” Mathis says.

“It’s a team sport so you’ve got to be a team guy. You can make plays being a team guy. That’s the message. You don’t have to be selfish. Just do your job and good things will happen.”

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Live Chat Today at 2:00 p.m. EST

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:00 am

Looking for a place to have your Colts questions answered at the end of the week? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

On Friday, I will host a one-hour chat called “Horseshoe Roundup” beginning at 2:00 p.m EST.

The chat will cover a variety of topics with the focus being the pertinent news during that time period. I will take your questions and try to answer as many as I can during the hour.

For this week, the Colts are 9-5 and in the thick of trying to earn a playoff bye.

What were your thoughts on the Colts 25-3 win over the Houston Texans last weekend?

How do you think the Colts will handle the environement at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday against the 11-3 Chiefs?

Feel free to join the chat via this link around 2:00 p.m. on Friday (scroll to the bottom of the page) and we will talk for an hour about whatever is on your mind.

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Key to Future 3rd Down Success is Finding Managebale Situations

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 19, 2013 – 2:20 pm

The slow starts for the Colts offense over the past two months have been difficult to put a finger on.

A lack of execution has been the most frequent answer from many Colts players.

When it boils down though, the inability to sustain drives due to a 5-of-40 third-down performance in first halves is the most alarming number.

That was the case heading into Sunday’s game versus the Houston Texans.

However, a 5-of-5 third-down effort followed in the first quarter and it was no coincidence that led to a 20-3 halftime lead.

Here are a few reasons why the Colts were so successful in the first half on Sunday:

3rd and manageable: Of the five conversions in the first quarter, four came in third-and-three or smaller situations. The Colts got into those down and distances thanks to plenty of first-down success. The Colts had gains of 7, 0, 7, 5 and 8 yards on first-down during those five conversions. In possessing the ball for 11:05 of the opening quarter, the Colts can point directly to ample first-down success in allowing for more manageable third-down conversions.

1st down success: Building off that point, the Colts averaged 4.5 yards on their 28 first-down plays on Sunday. The Colts gained at least 5 yards on 11 separate first-down plays against the Texans. A reason why the Colts did not see the same third-down success the rest of the game is that 9 of those 11 plays of at least five yards came in the opening quarter. After the first quarter, the Colts had just two third-downs that were less than a 3rd-and-5 situation. That relates directly to fewer “big” plays on first down.

Pep Hamilton’s thoughts: The next step for the Colts offense comes in trying to build off the sustained drives they showed early on Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs are second in the NFL in allowing just 31.9 percent conversions on third-down.

“Having that run/pass threat on third-down makes it more feasible to convert third-downs,” Hamilton said on Thursday. “It’s our goal to be efficient on first and second down and, if there is a third-down, make sure that it’s third-and-short-or-medium.

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Reggie Wayne talks the feeling when he learned of his torn ACL and a possible life after football on radio show

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 9:00 am

On Tuesday, it was once again the “Reggie Wayne Show” with Queary and Schultz.

The one-hour show aired on WNDE here are some of the highlights from No. 87:

On the fast start on Sunday:

“It was a good game, real good. Our mentality was to come out do the things we’ve been trying to do. That’s to start fast and just keep our foot on the gas pedal. That’s kind of how it was. It was a great team victory, all three phases.”

On the play of Griff Whalen:

“He’s a true professional. He’s what you look for in a teammate. He never pouts. He just waits for his number to get called. He’s been on the active roster. He’s been on the practice squad, been going back and forth. One thing about Griff, he played at Stanford. He’s been with Pep Hamilton. He understands the offense. He knows Andrew pretty good. He can play any position.

“He just sits back, waits on his number to be called. He was doing it all. He was doing offensive stuff. He was returning punts. I think it kind of surprised everybody that he was returning punts. He practiced that all week, got his opportunity and made some great plays for us.”

On the feeling when he found out that he had torn his ACL

“I saw the long face of my head trainer, Dave Hammer, saw a couple of my trainers look at me like, ‘Sorry, dude.’ I already knew what it was. My dark time came from the time (Hammer) told me that I had a torn ACL. From that time it probably went from there until another 2-3 hours. They told me that then I drove home and shared the news with my family and kind of put my head together with my family and figured out what I was going to do from that point on, along with a couple of tears, here and there.

“I played in 189 games in a row, that was tough. That was probably the toughest thing of it. I take so much pride in just answering that bell every week. I just want to be out there with my teammates. That’s why I’m still here. That’s why I’m on the sideline. I just want to be out there with him. That was the toughest thing for me. Then after that it was on to rehab and move forward.”

On if Wayne would ever pursue a career in television after his playing days are over:

“I’m not against it. If the opportunity is right, if the timing is right, I’m all for it. I do also want to enjoy my family. I have beautiful kids, a beautiful wife, who’ve put the sacrifice in throughout my career. I want to make sure that I enjoy every bit of all that stuff. If the opportunity came and the timing and stuff was right, I’m all for it. If not, I’ll be one of those guys with my feet in the sand, on the Corona commercial.”

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Andrew Luck’s Ability to Run a Nightmare for Opposing Defenses

Posted by Kevin Bowen on December 18, 2013 – 3:32 pm

On 15 separate occasions this season, the Colts have faced various third downs and things have bogged down.

Whether it be premier coverage in the secondary or an intense pass rush, the thought and eventual action has crossed Andrew Luck’s mind to tuck and utilize his 4.6 40-yard dash speed that people, and specifically defenses, seem to forget.

“That’s just instincts,” Chuck Pagano said of Luck’s ability to know when to run. “That’s just Andrew being Andrew and being the athlete he is. He gives you that dimension at the quarterback position.

“He’s able to create his own yards and get you first downs when they got everything else covered, especially on third downs. It’s great for us and it’s something else that our opponent defenses have to worry about when you’ve got an athletic guy back there that’s strong and can shrug off guys and get yards.”

3rd Down Rushes


1st Downs


Andrew Luck


149 (9.9 YPC)




With a 6’4”, 230-pound frame, Luck is unique in that every one of those runs, outside of the occasional quarterback sneak, comes from No. 12 deciding when to take off.

Luck has never looked at his running as highly as the stats indicate.

“It’s probably effective because it’s not supposed to happen,” Luck says of his runs.

“I need to get the ball to the guys who can really run.”

Many would argue Luck fits that script.

On Luck’s 15 third-down rushes in 2013, he is averaging 9.9 yards per carry (up from 4.8 yards per carry last season).

“He’s got “it.” Pagano says when describing Luck.

“He’s got that sixth sense, he knows exactly the clock in his head is always ticking. He knows where to go with the ball and when it doesn’t happen and when it breaks down, the guy’s a threat.

Of course there is the topic of sliding that Pagano has mentioned to his quarterback a few times.

Is Luck ever going to learn to slide?

“What’s the local baseball team we have down here? Pagano said on Wednesday.

A reporter interjected, The Indians. You going to send him over there to learn to slide?

“Yeah, we might in the offseason. It’s that or him and Clyde (Christensen) in Clyde’s back yard with a slip’n’slide.”

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Playoffs and Colts scenarios

Posted by coltsindianapolis on – 10:44 am

INDIANAPOLIS – With two weeks to go in the season, Indianapolis is the lone crowned division champion, while only three other teams have qualified for the 12-team playoff field – Denver, Kansas City and Seattle.

Currently slotted fourth in AFC seedings with a 9-5 record, the Colts could climb as high as the second seed, but a victory this Sunday at Kansas City is one determining factor.

A Colts win at the 11-3 Chiefs is essential for any possible movement upward, but outcomes in games involving New England and Cincinnati are components as well.  A loss cements the Colts in the fourth seed.

Moving up from a fourth seed is an important thing Indianapolis hopes to accomplish.  Getting to the second seed means an automatic ticket past the Wild Card Round.

Even moving to the third seed is important and while it means a Wild Card game is necessary, it is one step closer to possibly hosting an AFC Championship game.

That was the scenario in 2006 when the third-seeded Colts and fourth-seeded Patriots advanced in the Divisional Playoffs and the RCA Dome was the site for the title match leading to Super Bowl XLI.

Chuck Pagano has indicated the Colts will do whatever is necessary in each phase of the game to win on Sunday.

Kansas City will do the same since finishing with a better record than Denver (11-3) means one less playoff game.  The Chiefs have lost twice to Denver, and the Broncos finish on the road against Houston and Oakland, teams with combined records of 6-22.

Listed below are the current AFC standings, the remaining schedule for teams competing for the playoffs and Colts scenarios:


Team Record Div. Record Conf. Record
x-Denver 11-3 4-1 7-3
New England     10-4 3-2 7-3
Cincinnati 9-5 2-3 7-4
y-Indianapolis 9-5 5-0 7-3
x-Kansas City   11-3 2-3 7-3
Baltimore 8-6 3-2 6-4
Miami 8-6 2-2 7-3
San Diego 7-7 2-2 4-6
Pittsburgh 6-8 3-2 5-6

 [y] Clinched Division Title [x] Clinched Playoff Berth


Team Week 16 Week 17
Denver @ Houston (2-12) @ Oakland (4-10)
New England @ Baltimore (8-6) vs. Buffalo (5-9)
Cincinnati vs. Minnesota (4-9-1) vs. Baltimore (8-6)
Indianapolis @ Kansas City (11-3) vs. Jacksonville (4-10)
Kansas City vs. Indianapolis (9-5) @ San Diego (7-7)
Baltimore vs. New England (10-4) @ Cincinnati (9-5)
Miami @ Buffalo (5-9) vs. N.Y. Jets (6-8)
San Diego vs. Oakland (4-10) vs. Kansas City (11-3)
Pittsburgh @ Green Bay (7-6-1) vs. Cleveland (4-10)


Colts Win + New England Loss + Cincinnati Loss = No. 2 Seed

Colts Win + New England Loss + Cincinnati Win = No. 3 Seed

Colts Win + New England Win + Cincinnati Loss = No. 3 Seed

Colts Win + New England Win + Cincinnati Win = No. 4 Seed

Colts Loss = No. 4 Seed

*Note: the Colts playoff seed would not be final based on these scenarios. Week 17 games will have impact on final seeding.

NEW ENGLAND at BALTIMORE:  Coming off a last-minute loss at Miami, New England has won 17 of its last 19 December games and has not dropped consecutive contests since weeks two and three in 2012.  Baltimore has won four straight games to tie the NFL’s longest current streak.  Baltimore hosts on a short week, having gained a last-minute 18-16 win at Detroit on Monday.  These teams have met in the last two AFC Championship games, with each team winning once.  New England’s loss last week kept the Patriots from passing Denver (11-3) for the top seed, and the Patriots want to stay in front of Cincinnati (9-5) since the Bengals beat New England in October, 13-6.  It is the lone time the Patriots have been kept in single digits this year and broke a string of consecutive games with a TD pass by Tom Brady at 52.  A Patriots win closes out the AFC East.  If New England ends up tied with Denver for the top mark, the Patriots have beaten the Broncos.  Baltimore has beaten Cincinnati once and visits the Bengals in week 17.  Cincinnati is undefeated at home and hosts Minnesota Sunday.  Baltimore must win to remain alive in the division hunt, pending a Cincinnati win.  The Ravens own the sixth seed at the moment, but are tied with Miami, who plays at 5-9 Buffalo.  At 8-6, the Ravens and Dolphins could be battling for the AFC’s last playoff seed.  STAT TO NOTE:  Brady is 43-7 for his career in December, the best mark among QBs in the Super Bowl era and 146 regular-season starting wins are 5th-most in history.  Ray Rice has three 100-yard rushing games in his last six overall outings against NE.  Bill Belichick is 5-3 vs. Baltimore, John Harbaugh is 3-3 vs. NE.

MINNESOTA at CINCINNATI:  After a 10-point loss in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati returns home where it is 6-0.  The loss last week kept Cincinnati from climbing into the second seed, while they fell to 2-3 in the division.  Prior to last week, Cincinnati had not lost by double digits since week four and their four prior losses had come by 19 total points (with two defeats in overtime).  The Bengals must avoid going into week 17 tied with Baltimore since they have lost to the Ravens already and want to ice a first division title since 2009.  Cincinnati has fallen in the Wild Card Round in four tries since 2005, including the last two seasons.  Avoiding the Wild Card round is motivation.  Andy Dalton is hot with five TD passes in the past two games (101.5 rating), while the RB combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard has been effective.  A stingy Cincinnati defense that allowed 30 points in Pittsburgh and 28 to Indianapolis ranks second in the AFC at 19.6 points per game and wants to get back to that average.  Minnesota is the lone NFC North team not in the hunt, but they snapped a five-game Philadelphia winning streak by rolling to a 48-30 home win last Sunday.  Adrian Peterson can present problems to any defense, and Matt Cassell (382 yards, 116.6 rating) is coming off a hot performance.  STAT TO NOTE:  Dalton has 27 TD passes to tie a career-best and the Bengals are 14-1 when he has a 100-plus rating.  Since entering the league in 2007, Peterson tops all rushers with 10,070 yards and 86 TDs.  Marvin Lewis is 1-1 against Minnesota, Leslie Frazier is facing Cincinnati for the first time.

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AFC Playoff Picture with 2 Weeks Remaining

Posted by Kevin Bowen on – 1:00 am

We normally post the “Eye on the Prize” mid-week but since the Colts have clinched the AFC South, we now look big picture.

The Colts have guaranteed themselves at least one home playoff game in 2013 and can earn anywhere from a 1-4 seed in the AFC.

Right now in the AFC, the Colts (9-5) have clinched the AFC South.

Denver (11-3) and Kansas City (11-3) have also clinched a playoff berth.

Here’s a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture with Miami on the heels of the 6th and final playoff spot:

1.  Denver (11-3, 7-3 in the AFC): Has clinched a playoff spot. Can clinch the AFC West with a win and Kansas City loss this weekend.

-Remaining Schedule: @Texans, @Raiders

2.  New England (10-4, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a Bengals loss. Can clinch the AFC East with a win or a Miami loss.

-Remaining Schedule: @Ravens, Bills

3.  Cincinnati (9-5, 7-4 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win or a Miami lossCan clinch the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.

-Remaining Schedule: Vikings, Ravens

4.  Indianapolis (9-5, 7-3 in the AFC): Have won the AFC South.

-Remaining Schedule: @Chiefs, Jaguars

5.  Kansas City (11-3, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win, or Miami loss, or Baltimore loss.

-Remaining Schedule: Colts, @Chargers

6.  Baltimore (8-6, 6-4 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Miami loss and a Chargers loss.

-Remaining Schedule: Patriots, @Bengals

7.  Miami (8-6, 7-3 in the AFC): Can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Ravens loss and a Bengals loss.

-Remaining Schedule: @Bills, Jets

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Colts have won their division and still can advance to Divisional Round. Denver, Kansas City and Seattle have clinched playoff berths. Check out all playoff scenarios for Week 16.

Posted by craigkelleycolts on December 17, 2013 – 11:38 am



CLINCHED: Denver – playoff spot

Indianapolis – AFC South

Kansas City – playoff spot


Denver clinches AFC West division and a first-round bye with:

1)    DEN win + KC loss

Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1)    DEN win + KC loss + NE loss or tie


New England clinches AFC East division with:

1)    NE win or tie OR

2)    MIA loss or tie

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    NE win + CIN loss or tie + IND loss or tie OR

2)    NE tie + CIN loss + IND loss

New England clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    CIN loss or tie


Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:

1)    CIN win + BAL loss or tie OR

2)    CIN tie + BAL loss

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    CIN win + MIA loss or tie OR

2)    CIN tie + MIA loss


Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    BAL win + MIA loss + SD loss or tie


Miami clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    MIA win + BAL loss + CIN loss


CLINCHED: Seattle – playoff spot


Seattle clinches NFC West division and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1)    SEA win or tie OR

2)    SF loss or tie


New Orleans clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye with:

1)    NO win

New Orleans clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    ARI loss OR

2)    NO tie + SF loss or tie OR

3)    NO tie + ARI tie OR

4)    SF loss + ARI tie


Carolina clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    CAR win OR

2)    CAR tie + ARI loss OR

3)    CAR tie + SF loss OR

4)    ARI loss + SF loss


San Francisco clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    SF win OR

2)    ARI loss OR

3)    SF tie + ARI tie


Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

1)    PHI win + DAL loss or tie OR

2)    PHI tie + DAL loss


Chicago clinches NFC North division with:

1)    CHI win + DET loss or tie + GB loss

Information provided by National Football League.


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