The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

November 8, 2012

Chuckstrong Colts head to Jacksonville

Indianapolis looks to avenge September loss tonight

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck’s appearance was a little more aerodynamic Wednesday as he boarded a team charter bound for Jacksonville.

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback, who was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week and sent his game jersey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after Sunday’s rookie-record 433-yard explosion against the Miami Dolphins, was one of some 30 players to shave his head in support of ailing head coach Chuck Pagano.

The Colts’ first-year leader began his second round of chemotherapy this week in his ongoing fight against leukemia. The show of solidarity by the players is just the most recent example of the strong bond he’s forged with the team.

“We all know what he means to us all,” interim head coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. “On a personal level, I think each guy is different. He’s reached out to some guys who may not have been playing as good to try and spark them up and go over the last two or three weeks.”

It’s been an incredible recent run for Indiananpolis (5-3). The Colts have won four of five games since Pagano’s diagnosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia became public Oct. 1, and they’ve won their last three games overall.

Tonight’s trip to AFC South rival Jacksonville (1-7) is an opportunity to clear up one of the season’s few regrets.

The Jaguars’ lone win came at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 23, a 22-17 victory sealed by an 80-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds remaining in regulation.

“That definitely stung,” outside linebacker Dwight Freeney said, adding he’d be lying if he didn’t say the loss was the most painful of the season. “Losing that way, those games you chalk up as a ‘W’ at that point. They have to drive 80 yards with however many seconds that they had left. Just make a tackle, and that game’s over. It didn’t happen. So we obviously remember that.”

So does Jacksonville, even if it must seem like a lifetime ago.

The Jaguars have lost five in a row since, including a 31-14 decision against the Detroit Lions on Sunday in which the offense ran just 12 plays before the two-minute warning in the first half.

Needless to say, the subject of September success hasn’t come up often in the Jacksonville locker room this week.

“I’ve always equated this game to white water rafting,” Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said. “If you can get out of the same river 10 different times, it’s 10 different rides. It’s the NFL. That’s why, every one of these games, I’ve felt very confident in the preparation that we had a chance to win when we stepped out on the field. It just hasn’t come to light. We are waiting to put a complete game together. It’s not about the past. It’s about the now.”

The Colts also should have little trouble focusing on the present.

Three starters — cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Vontae Davis and tight end Coby Fleener — did not make the trip to Florida. Seven others appeared on the team’s final injury report Wednesday.

Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, running back Donald Brown, center Samson Satele, right tackle Winston Justice and wide receiver Donnie Avery are listed as questionable. Freeney and inside linebacker Pat Angerer are probable.

And Arians cautioned that nothing should be taken for granted. After the Colts upset the Green Bay Packers during the week Pagano was admitted to the hospital, they followed with a 35-9 loss at the New York Jets.

“We have to learn from the last time we had an emotional win,” Arians said. “We got our brains beat out. I’ll remind them of that. The short weeks are always tough on both teams, especially the one that’s traveling. ... It’s not a physical week. It’s all a mental week.”

In that regard, Indianapolis might turn to its precocious rookie leader.

Even while the hype swirling around him reaches new heights, Luck remains the calm at the center of the storm. He said early in the week his play has been “average” through the first half of the season, and he’s blocked out all the national attention the team’s impending appearance on the NFL Network has brought.

He similarly shuns any talk about exacting a measure of revenge against the Jaguars.

“I’m not too big in that business,” Luck said. “It’s another game and a chance for us to get a win. I know they’d love to get a win as well. So it should be a hard-fought, tough-nosed, good football game.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0731 - Colts Camp - Fleener - 206 Colts focusing on situational improvement One year ago, the focus in Indianapolis Colts training camp was on turnovers. The team had committed far too many in 2012 and was determined not to repeat its mistakes. The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field, and the Colts' 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0730 - Colts recap art 1 Looking back at Week 1 of Colts Camp

    The first week of Indianapolis Colts training camp has ended at Anderson University, and the players received their first day off Tuesday. Practice resumes today with the daily morning walkthrough followed by a public session scheduled to begin at 1:50 p.m. With the team's preseason debut at the New York Jets just eight days away, here's a look at three things that have stood out since the Colts hit campus on July 23.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig Ken de la Bastide: Good racing across the board

    This past weekend I got to witness four pretty good races at three different venues in central Indiana, none of them disappointed.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 4.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Tuesday, July 29

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

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colt Anderson - JC 2 Anderson hopes to make name with Colts

    Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the first person Colt Anderson saw upon reporting to Anderson University last Wednesday. And he couldn't resist making the obvious connection. "Colt Anderson's a Colt ... in Anderson," Manusky said as a way of greeting the new Indianapolis Colts safety to training camp.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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

  • Lions star plays in national tourneys Liberty Christian senior Chris Nunn, a three-year starting guard for the Lions and Indiana Class Basketball Junior All-Star, took his talents on the road this summer,competing in back-to-back tournaments with his AAU travel team, Team Progeny.

    July 28, 2014

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colts practice - JC 046a.jpg Colts Camp Update: ESPN's in town

    The first week of practice at Anderson University wrapped up Monday morning with the Indianapolis Colts working out from 9 a.m. to noon.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News