The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

December 23, 2013

Big road win builds momentum for Colts

ANDERSON — The match has been struck. The fire has been lit. And now the Indianapolis Colts must continue to fan the flames.

It started on the offensive line sometime during the second half of a loss at Cincinnati two weeks ago, and it quickly spread to a defense that has surrendered just 10 points in the past eight quarters.

As a result, the Colts (10-5) finally have the momentum head coach Chuck Pagano was looking for as the postseason nears.

"Defense is playing great, special teams and offense, all three phases," wide receiver Griff Whalen said during a media conference call Monday. "It's exciting for us to watch the defense dominating out there and gets us fired up when we get the ball back. So we're definitely on a roll, and we like where we're at."

Sunday's 23-7 decision at Kansas City gave Indianapolis back-to-back victories for the first time since Nov. 3, and it was the team's first win against an opponent outside of the AFC South since Oct. 20.

The victory also improved the Colts record to 4-2 against current playoff teams and furthered the notion the team might be regaining some of the form that led to a 6-2 start.

The defense again was at the forefront.

Indianapolis did not allow a point after Jamaal Charles' 31-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, sacked Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith four times and created four turnovers.

"There's certain plays that are being made out there that are sparking this defense and this team," Pagano said.

Much of the credit must go to an improved secondary that got big hits from safety Antoine Bethea and outstanding coverage from cornerbacks Vontae Davis, Darius Butler and Josh Gordy.

Smith appeared to pull the ball down several times while struggling to find an open receiver, and the extra time allowed the pass rush to reach its target. The Colts got sacks from Jerrell Freeman, Cory Redding and Bjoern Werner while Ricardo Mathews and Fili Moala shared another. Robert Mathis could be added to the list later in the week after the league reviews his hit on Smith that knocked the football out of the quarterback's hand and forced it downfield to Freeman.

Text Only
Pro Sports
  • Judge OKs record-setting $2 billion sale of Clippers

    Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

    July 28, 2014

  • SPT - HB0729 - Chris Rainey - DK Colts release RB Rainey

    Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning. The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later confirmed by Pagano during an afternoon session with the media.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 1 Luck still learning

    Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University. During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0728 - Colts Camp - Castonzo 2 - 278 Castonzo comfortable with Colts' changing O-line

    For all the changes along the offensive line the past three seasons, Anthony Castonzo has been the lone constant. He joined a veteran group anchored by center Jeff Saturday in 2011, was part of a remodeled unit in 2012 and became a mainstay at left tackle for all 16 games last year.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0728 - Colts Camp - Allen 1 - 290 Colts' offense adapting to new arsenal

    Third-year tight end Dwayne Allen suffered a season-opening hip injury in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, then watched as left guard Donald Thomas, running backs Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Reggie Wayne also exited the lineup over the next six weeks. It left offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton scrambling to come up with new ways to attack defenses with an ever-changing cast of characters.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT-HB0727-Luckwatch-ColtsCamp-094.jpg Colts Quick Hits: Sunday, July 27

    Notes,news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0727-AndrewLuck3749.jpg Change the Play

    Andrew Luck had an active childhood filled with a myriad of sports and activities. Now, he wants Hoosier kids to have that opportunity, too.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0727 - RBs - Colts Camp - 141 Colts have options in Ballard's absence

    Chuck Pagano delivered the news Saturday afternoon in a solemn tone, confirming running back Vick Ballard will miss the 2014 season. "It's a part of the game. It's an ugly part of the game," the Indianapolis Colts head coach said shortly after revealing an MRI on Friday night found a torn Achilles tendon in Ballard's left foot. "It's a tough pill to swallow. You never want to lose anybody."

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Super Bowl MVP Warner has high praise for Luck

    It's no secret the NFL's version of football has become a quarterback's game. Kurt Warner is one of the men who helped make it that way. And he had plenty of praise for the man many see as the future at the quarterback position, third-year rising star Andrew Luck.

    July 26, 2014

  • luck watch.jpg Colts Quick Hits: Saturday, July 26

    Notes,news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo