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 - HB0722 - Luck Dungy art George Bremer: Five favorite memories of Colts camp I thought, as a kind of primer before Wednesday's main event, I'd celebrate the fifth straight summer of the Colts at AU by sharing my five favorite memories of training camp so far.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0722 - Stuckey art Pacers face uphill battle after signing Stuckey Last week, the Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson. On Monday, they replaced one of the NBA's best young players with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT-HB0720-HoosierParkart3.JPG Miller leads Champion Driver Series

    When the format was announced for Hoosier Park’s initial Champion Driver Series, it was thought that getting either the fifth or sixth pick in every race but never first or second might be a huge disadvantage. Lewayne Miller proved otherwise.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Tennis Classic - JC 1 Hiatt repeats, Hammel wins first title at tennis classic There was a repeat winner and a first-time winner in the Men's A Singles and Women's A Singles championship matches on Saturday morning at the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hucks move on in A Doubles bracket Shawn Huck doesn't have an easy decision when it comes to picking partners for the 34th Annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 18, 2014

  • SPT - HB0718 - Tennis Classic logo Varsity mixed doubles champs crowned at Tennis Classic The scene slightly resembled a war zone and slightly a country club at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. As Indianapolis Colts personnel started tearing down tennis court bleachers and parked what appeared to be nearly 100 golf carts in preparation for training camp starting on Thursday next week, one of the first titles was handed out in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Champion drivers ready for series opener Saturday at Hoosier Park Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

  • Champion Driver Series ready to roll Saturday

    Harness drivers were turned into handicappers on Thursday and their effectiveness in that role will be determined Saturday night.

    July 17, 2014

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News