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Colts

December 16, 2013

Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season

INDIANAPOLIS — It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.

In fact, up until Sunday’s 25-3 win over the visiting Houston Texans, the Colts hadn’t had a double-digit lead in the third and fourth quarters since a 37-3 road win over Jacksonville way back on Sept. 29.

This one, though, was pretty much a no-doubter as Indianapolis rolled to a 20-3 halftime lead en route to its ninth win of the season.

The Colts (9-5) also improved to 5-0 in the AFC South heading into their final two games of the regular season.

How good was Indianapolis in its win over the Texans?

 The Colts scored on their first offensive possession of the game, driving 80 yards in 11 plays, as second-year wide receiver Griff Whalen hauled in 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Luck with 9:31 remaining in the first quarter.

It was Whalen’s first NFL touchdown and the first scored by Indianapolis in the first half of a game since the team’s Oct. 20 home game with Denver. Ironically, it was Luck connecting with one of his former Stanford teammates each time — tight end Coby Fleener against the Broncos and Whalen in the win over Houston.

A fast offensive start was exactly what the Colts needed. Indianapolis began the game with a quicker pace and was spreading the Houston defense out with multiple receivers.

“Better than the starts we’ve been having,” Luck admitted afterwards. “I thought we did a good job of it as an offensive unit. I thought the most stress it puts on is probably the [offensive] line. They handled it very, very well.

“What a great job they did in protection all day. We know if its no-huddle or not … it’s all about execution. When we can execute and not shoot ourselves in the foot, we give ourselves a pretty good chance of winning games.”

The Colts added three Adam Vinatieri field goals from 37, 43 and 40 yards out along with a 9-yard touchdown pass to running back Trent Richardson off a shovel pass from Luck.

The Colts’ final points came on a safety when outside linebacker Robert Mathis sacked Texans quarterback Case Keenum, forcing a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Houston offensive tackle Duane Brown.

On the play, Mathis set franchise records for career sacks with 108 and the single-season mark of 16.5. It also gave him 16.5 career sacks against the Texans, which is his most against any opponent.

The Colts defense took its cue from Mathis, limiting Houston to 12 first downs and 239 yards and forcing a pair of interceptions by cornerback Darius Butler. Butler very nearly missed getting his third interception midway through the third quarter.

A 49-yard field goal by placekicker Randy Bullock with 1:46 left in the second quarter accounted for all of the Texans’ points.

Keenum completed 18 of 34 passes for 168 yards and had the two interceptions. Running back Ben Tate netted a team-high 72 yards rushing in 16 carries to pace Houston’s offensive effort.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson, who had caused Indianapolis problems in the first meeting of the two teams this season, was limited to four catches for 18 yards.

The Colts defense came up with four sacks, one each by Mathis, safety Antoine Bethea, outside linebacker Erik Walden and rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner.

Luck connected on 19 of 32 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 29 yards in five carries. He was also intercepted once and sacked once.

Richardson had his best day running the ball since joining the Colts, picking up 64 yards in 19 carries. He also caught four passes for 45 yards and a TD.

Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton hauled in eight passes for 78 yards while Whalen had his best day in the NFL with four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. He also averaged 22.3 yards on three punt returns, including a 51-yard effort that set up one of Vinatieri’s field goals.

“We know we have a lot of playmakers on offense. T.Y., the wide receivers, the tight ends, the fullbacks, whoever is playing that position. Trent [Richardson], Donald [Brown]. The more we can get those guys touches, the better,” Luck said. “And the harder it is for maybe a defense to hone in on what we’re trying to do. We know if want to have a chance to continue to win games, we’ve got to execute well. I thought we did better. [We have to] keep moving forward.”

Indianapolis will play its final regular season road game this week with a trip to Arrowhead Stadium and a meeting with defensive-minded Kansas City. The Colts will then return home in two weeks to take on AFC South rival Jacksonville in the regular-season finale.

Photo gallery from today's Colts vs. Texans game

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Colts
  • Colts Owner Arrested _Ter .jpg Police: Colts owner had $29K in cash when arrested

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle when he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, according to a police arrest report.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Family source: Irsay has gone to treatment facility

    The family of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday that he has placed himself in a treatment facility after police found multiple prescription drugs in his vehicle during a traffic stop.
    The 54-year-old Irsay, who acknowledged a painkiller dependency more than a decade ago, faces preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested near his home in suburban Carmel late Sunday and released the next day.

    March 18, 2014

  • Colts owner has double image in media

    Colts owner Jim Irsay is known in NFL circles as a tough businessman and eccentric billionaire who enjoys interacting with fans about his beloved team and favorite songs from bands like the Beatles and the Grateful Dead. He may end up adding convicted felon to the mix.

    March 17, 2014

  • irsay.jpg Update: Colts owner Irsay arrested for DWI

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts owner Jim Irsay was jailed today on suspicion of intoxicated driving after police said he failed sobriety tests during a traffic stop and they found multiple prescription drugs inside his vehicle.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks

    Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants. That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.

    March 14, 2014

  • SPT 120113 VINA SCORE.jpg Colts keep Vinatieri, Davis, Bradshaw in fold

    With the NFL’s free-agency signing period getting underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be active participants.
    The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the National Football Scouting Combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent its money.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • mcafee1.jpg Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years

    Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson

    With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
    Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
    Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at  Maryland.

    March 6, 2014

  • EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts

    Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
    Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
     

    February 22, 2014

  • grigson.jpg Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency

    Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
    While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 010414 HILTON JUBI.jpg SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season

    The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
    And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).

    January 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • pagano.jpg Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development

    Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.

    January 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Colts Patriot_Pear.jpg Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts

    LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
    The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.

    January 12, 2014 7 Photos

  • ‘Still the same Tom’

    How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?

    January 10, 2014

  • SPT 010414 LUCK DIVE.jpg Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure

    Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
    Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.

    January 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 010414 HILTON CATCH.jpg Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time

    Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.

    January 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots

    Hello Tom Brady.
    Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).

    January 5, 2014

  • SPT 010414 LUCK RUN.jpg Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano

    What a game.
    Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.

    January 4, 2014 6 Photos

  • Colts sell out today's Kansas City game

    There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
    The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
    The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.

    January 4, 2014

  • NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award

    Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
    He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
    The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.

    January 3, 2014

  • Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says

    Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.

    December 30, 2013

  • SPT 122913 BROWN SCORE.jpg Record-setting Indy win

    Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

    December 30, 2013 8 Photos

  • In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers

    Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.

    December 30, 2013

  • SPT 120113 LUCK CALLS.jpg Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably

    Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.

    December 28, 2013 4 Photos

  • SPT 102013 COLTS O LINE.jpg Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near

    The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.

    December 23, 2013 3 Photos

  • Colts’ chief strength: No panic

    The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
    In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.

    December 23, 2013

  • Luck has knack for knowing when to run

    To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.

    December 22, 2013

  • Chiefs Raiders Footba_Tayl.jpg Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs

     Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.

    December 18, 2013 1 Photo

  • SPT 121513 LANDRY STOP.jpg Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season

     Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.

    December 16, 2013 2 Photos

  • SPT 121513 WHALEN SCORE.jpg Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season

    It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.

    December 16, 2013 3 Photos

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