The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

December 15, 2013

Colts Report Card: Week 15

COLTS 25, TEXANS 3

Player of the Game

Darius Butler, CB, Indianapolis

In just his third start of the season, Butler responded with three interceptions and two pass deflections as the defense had its best all-around performance since September. Butler's picks were especially significant because both came on targets to notorious thorn in the Colts' side Andre Johnson. It was another example of a subtle change by head coach Chuck Pagano paying off. Three weeks ago, Pagano moved Butler ahead of Cassius Vaughn on the depth chart. The move turned golden Sunday.

GRADES

Offense: B

Indianapolis ended an ignominious streak when Andrew Luck threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Griff Whalen just more than five minutes into the first quarter. It was the team's first touchdown in the first half since Oct. 20 against Denver, a span of six games. The Colts converted on their first five third-down chances, breaking another slump, and put up 20 points before intermission. They had scored 24 combined in the previous six outings. Things slowed down in the second half, with just an Adam Vinatieri field goal and a defensive safety going up on the board. But, for the first time in weeks, the offense did more than enough to hold its own.

Defense: A

The highlight was Robert Mathis' strip-sack of Case Keenum that resulted in a third-quarter safety. The sack gave Mathis 16.5 for the season and 108 for his career, surpassing Dwight Freeney's franchise records in both categories. The Colts allowed just 239 total yards and 12 first downs, keeping the opponent out of the end zone for the first time since a 37-3 victory at Jacksonville on Sept. 29. Add in two takeaways on Butler's interceptions, and it was fine day all around for the Indianapolis defense.

Special teams: A

Vinatieri made field goals from 37, 43 and 40 yards, and Pat McAfee dropped two of his six punts inside the 20-yard line. Whalen also gave the crowd a thrill with a 51-yard punt return that led to a field goal. It wasn't all good news, however, with stalwart Sergio Brown and former rugby star Daniel Adongo leaving the game with injuries. Their status will be updated later in the week.

1
Text Only
Pro Sports
  • Reggie photo for online notebook Colts notebook: Few doubts about Wayne in locker room If there are outside doubts about whether Reggie Wayne can return to form because of his age and the severity of his injury, few are shared inside the Indianapolis Colts' locker room.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0424 - Mathis armor Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the proud possessions of the NFL's reigning sacks champion thanks to the generosity of Daniel Adongo and Bjoern Werner.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

    During a recent game at Wrigley Field, John Weber was using a pencil and scorecard to expertly track the game between his hometown Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 86-year-old retired transit worker figures he is an increasingly rare kind of baseball fan.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers remain puzzling So now what? The NBA playoffs began Saturday night, and nothing had changed. They are still the Indiana Puzzles. They are still the enigma that no one can explain, least of all themselves. They are still a shadow of December, only now, the defeats start to really hurt.

    April 20, 2014

  • PACERS LEGEND 1.jpg Leonard still believes in the Pacers

    For the past 36 hours, the NBA universe has been buzzing about the decision made by Indiana Pacers' coach Frank Vogel to rest all of his starting five Wednesday in Milwaukee.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tiger Woods has back surgery, will miss the Masters

    Tiger Woods chose surgery to heal his ailing back over a quest for another green jacket, announcing Tuesday that he will miss the Masters for the first time in his career.

    April 1, 2014

  • SPT - HB0325 - Adam Lind swing Momentum swinging in Lind's favor Adam Lind is hitting .386 with one home run and seven RBIs through 15 Grapefruit League games this spring.

    March 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0322 - Grigson art Grigson happy with offseason additions Though he stopped just short of declaring his shopping spree over, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it clear Friday he's happy with the team's offseason haul.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0318 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • George Bremer-2.JPG George Bremer: Irsay's plight not about football

    Jim Irsay has a problem.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin