The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

January 13, 2014

Colts reflect on loss, refocus on future

INDIANAPOLIS — There was a definitive sense of loss Monday in the Indianapolis Colts' locker room. But there also was a strong undercurrent of hope.

Saturday's 43-22 loss against the New England Patriots in an AFC divisional playoff game proved the franchise still has work to do to reach its Super Bowl goal. But the fact Indianapolis beat each of the NFL's three other conference finalists — the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers — shows how close Indianapolis is to joining the league's elite.

"The sky is the limit for this group," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. "I really believe we came very close. We were one of eight."

Pagano was referring to Indianapolis' place in the NFL's quarterfinals, one step beyond last season's finish.

Despite a rash of injuries — especially on offense — the Colts matched their 11-5 record from a year ago and scored an epic come-from-behind victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round for the franchise's first postseason win in four years.

It all came crashing down during the fourth quarter in New England. Indianapolis entered the period trailing 29-22 but gave up a pair of rushing touchdowns to LeGarrette Blount — who finished with 166 yards and four scores on 24 carries — and turned the ball over twice.

Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck threw four interceptions against the Patriots to bring his two-game playoff total to seven. But the 24-year-old also threw six postseason touchdowns and led the second-biggest postseason comeback in NFL history.

The Stanford graduate still is processing Saturday's loss and said he isn't sure how long it will take him to put the game behind him.

"I think it just sort of happens when it happens," Luck said. "I don't think I'm quite over it yet. It's good motivation, too. Motivation and a learning tool. I know in my mind I got to be able to use that game as a learning tool and say how can I get better from that experience? I don't think I'm over it yet."

Text Only
Pro Sports
  • 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

  • news_irsaymugshot.jpg Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday night in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel on preliminary charges of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department Deputy Bryant Orem said.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0316 - Nicks photo Nicks betting deal with Colts will pay off Hakeem Nicks is betting on himself. The 25-year-old wide receiver with a Super Bowl ring and a long injury history from five years with the New York Giants chose a fresh start in Indianapolis because he believes the pieces are in place for the franchise to make a long postseason run.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0315 - Nicks art Colts add WR Nicks on one-year deal The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver corps was severely depleted in the second half of the 2013 season. On Friday, the franchise bought an insurance policy for this fall.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0314 - Jones art Colts DL Jones comes from fighting family If nothing else, Arthur Jones is up for a fight. Most older brothers are confident they can best their younger siblings. But it jumps to another level when the younger brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

Photographer’s pick
AP Video
Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury Seahawks, Sounders Visit Town Near Mudslide Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Tigers' Cabrera Gets Record $292M, 10-year Deal Dayton, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin in Elite 8
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin