Can anyone explain how the Indianapolis Colts have managed to string together a 9-4 National Football League record this season?
The Colts have rebounded from a 2-14 record last year, which forced a massive roster reboot along with major changes on the coaching staff and in the front office.
Indianapolis goes into this week’s AFC South game at Houston with a chance to clinch a wild-card playoff berth.
With a win over the Texans — or losses by either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati — the Colts will find themselves back in the playoffs after a one-year absence.
Who would have believed it at the beginning of the season? Most observers had already penciled in Indianapolis for another sub-.500 season.
But the Colts have made a quick recovery with hopes of surprising even more people along the way.
“It all started with the foundation that [coach] Chuck [Pagano] put in — trust, loyalty and respect. And then the bonding of the football team was [Pagano’s] illness. The guys rallied to make sure that they extended this season until he gets back. And then the snowball effect,” interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Monday.
“But when teams are really close and they have a purpose, you’ll see those type of locker rooms. Guys are always hanging together. They’ll be [at Colts headquarters] on days when they don’t have to. And that’s the great thing. That word chemistry? I think it’s overused some times. But this team obviously has a caring for each other.”
Pagano is slated to return to the sidelines in time for the Dec. 30 regular-season home finale with Houston. Depending on how his recovery from leukemia treatments continues to progress, he might be back sooner.
The coach stopped by his office Monday morning, just as he has done for most of the season during his absence from the sidelines.
He has attended most of the team’s home games, including the Colts’ 27-23 come-from-behind win over Tennessee, and watched from the press box.
“He looks great. He picked up some film and got his iPad re-charged and loaded up. He looked really good,” Arians said.
n Injury news — As of Monday afternoon, there were no updates on any of the Colts who left Sunday’s game with Tennessee due to injuries.
Running back Delone Carter (ankle), fullback Robert Hughes (knee), inside linebacker Kavell Conner (hamstring), offensive tackle Winston Justice (biceps) and center Samson Satele (ankle) were all sidelined and did not return.
Safety Tom Zbikowski (knee), running back Donald Brown (ankle) and offensive guard Joe Reitz (head) did not suit up for the Titans game.
“Really nothing new as far as injuries. We’re gathering all the information, some scans and stuff, but we’ll have to wait until Wednesday to make any announcements as far as who is in and who is out and where we’re heading,” Arians said.
n Reviewing the Tennessee win — After the win over the Titans, the Colts prepare for Sunday’s big divisional clash with Houston.
“I thought it was a great team win. I think it was a good wakeup call for us to learn that we can’t start slow like that and expect to beat anybody,” Arians said. “It’s going to be a big week for us and we’ll look forward to this challenge we’ve got coming up and learning from last week’s mistakes and getting them corrected and seeing what healthy bodies we have to go to Houston.”
n Getting off to a good start — The Colts have been slow starters for most of the season, which has helped to contribute in road losses to Chicago, New England and the New York Jets. Indianapolis can’t afford a repeat performance against the Texans this week.
“I thought when I watched us go out for warmups [prior to the Tennessee game], we were more than ready. Like I said, if you can ever figure that one out, we can get rich, when a team is ready and when they’re not,” Arians said.
“We just played flat [in the first half of the Titans game]. We picked up the emotion and the energy level at halftime and executed on all sides better and we were able to win the ballgame.”
Should the Colts earn their way into the postseason, they’ll be facing a quality team like Houston. The Indianapolis coaching staff would like to use this week as a sort of preview for what it takes to prepare for a playoff-quality opponent.
“It will be really good for us to learn how to prepare, stay within that moment of the process and then go and play a big game on the road that may or may not decide whether we play at home or on the road. [in the playoffs],” Arians said.
Can anyone explain how the Indianapolis Colts have managed to string together a 9-4 National Football League record this season?
Colts suffer another season-ending injury in guard Thomas
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano must be getting tired of being the bearer of bad news.
First it was running back Vick Ballard, who suffered a torn left Achilles during practice last Friday. And on Wednesday, offensive guard Donald Thomas went down with a torn right quadriceps muscle.
Colts notebook: Rookie Mewhort ready to compete
So just who is Jack Mewhort?
Well, the Indianapolis Colts rookie is slated to take over as the team’s new starting left guard due to the season-ending quad injury suffered Wednesday by veteran Donald Thomas.
A former standout at Ohio State, the 6-foot-6, 308-pound Mewhort was selected by the Colts in the second round of this spring’s NFL draft. And since Indianapolis didn’t have a first-round pick, the Toledo, Ohio, native is getting a lot more scrutiny that most second-rounders taken in the draft.
Colts need Woerner to step up in Mathis' absence
Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner — the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts— is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.
Colts' Thomas leaves practice with lower-leg injury
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has been trying to take a lighter approach to training camp practices this year in an effort to slow down the list of injuries that dogged his team a year ago.
Pagano’s plans, though, haven’t been bearing fruit.
Colts, Fleener focused on situational football
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.
Colts waive running back Rainey
What a difference a couple of days make. After Saturday's morning training camp practice, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was effusive in his praise of running back Chris Rainey. But on Monday, the Colts surprisingly announced that Rainey had been waived after violating an unspecified team policy.
Colts camp: Defense shines in workout
There was a change in the Indianapolis Colts training camp schedule Monday as the team had just one practice instead of the usual two.
Colts seek more adaptable offensive line
That’s what the Indianapolis Colts are looking for on their retooled offensive line.
Hot, humid, rainy: Colts work through first day in full pads
Rain, rain go away. That’s pretty much what happened Sunday afternoon on the fourth day of Indianapolis Colts training camp.
Pagano, Colts 'feel awful' for Ballard
The news coming from Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano after Saturday morning’s practice may have been expected, but the fact that running back Vick Ballard suffered yet another season-ending injury was still disappointing.
COLTS NOTEBOOK: Luck draws comparisons to Rodgers, Roethlisberger
Quarterback Andrew Luck continues to be the main attraction as the Indianapolis Colts training camp wrapped up its third day of workouts at Anderson University.
Colts' Hamilton excited to get to work with talent on team's offense
As he heads into his second season as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton has a pretty good feel for what he wants to get accomplished this year.
Wayne gets special escort to Colts’ training camp
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne has seemingly raised the bar the last several years when it comes to making flashy arrivals for Indianapolis Colts training camp. So when the unmistakable roar of an IndyCar engine was heard on the Anderson University campus Wednesday morning, nobody was surprised. Wayne, decked out in an official racing uniform and custom-made helmet, had reported for duty.
Colts begin training camp with loftier goals in 2014
With training camp starting today at Anderson University, third-year head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson both believe that the Indianapolis Colts are ready to take another big step in 2014.
Retiring as Colt, Clark appreciates Terre Haute fans
Dallas Clark was always a fan favorite when the Indianapolis Colts conducted their annual summer training-camp workouts at Rose-Hulman. During an emotional 45-minute retirement ceremony Wednesday morning at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Clark — who spent 11 seasons as a tight end in the NFL (nine with the Colts) and signed a one-day career-ending contract with the Colts this week — admitted the obvious. The team’s fans in Terre Haute meant a lot to him too.
Colts know what they want to accomplish at mini-camp
With three weeks of organized team activity practices now behind them, the Indianapolis Colts headed into their three-day mandatory mini-camp Tuesday with a specific goal in mind when training camp starts July 23 at Anderson University.
The mini-camp will continue today and wrap up early Thursday afternoon.
Team’s all-time top tight end Clark to retire as Colt
Jeff Saturday did it last year, returning to the Indianapolis Colts after a brief stint as a center with the Green Bay Packers and officially ending his National Football League career with the team where he had his most success. Now it looks like Dallas Clark will be following in Saturday’s footsteps.
Colts agree to terms with veteran safety
Mike Adams will get a chance to erase bad memories from Super Bowl XLVIII as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
The franchise announced Saturday morning it had agreed to terms with the veteran safety.
Adams started the NFL's most recent championship game at free safety for the Denver Broncos and recorded six tackles in a 43-8 loss against the Seattle Seahawks.
Ex-Sycamore Lutz begins NFL journey with Colts
The end of the journey. Or, really, just the beginning. That's how former Indiana State center FN Lutz described his emotions after signing a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday morning.
Newcomers to Colts trying to find their way
That’s what many of the Indianapolis Colts have been trying to do during the first week of organized team activity practices. OTA sessions began Tuesday and will wrap up in two weeks.
Pagano, Colts look at Mathis' suspension as opportunity for young players
The Indianapolis Colts lost first-year head coach Chuck Pagano for most of 2012 season as he battled leukemia. Gloom and doom was predicted. The result? An 11-5 record and a trip to the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs.
NFL suspends Colts’ Robert Mathis
While the Indianapolis Colts three-day rookie mini-camp got under way Friday morning, the biggest news didn’t come until later in the day.
Grigson excited about potential of Colts' 2014 draft picks
With the 2014 NFL draft wrapping up Saturday evening, the Indianapolis Colts came away with a diverse group of players to add to the roster.
Colts take versatile offensive lineman with first pick
It may have taken awhile, but the Indianapolis Colts came away from their first pick in the 2014 National Football League Draft with a versatile offensive lineman who can play guard, tackle and center.
Colts keep options open as NFL Draft begins today
While the 2014 NFL Draft gets underway today (8 p.m.) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, the Indianapolis Colts will be sitting the first round out.
Thanks to last September’s trade with the Cleveland Browns that brought running back Trent Richardson – a 2012 first-round selection by the Browns – to Indianapolis, the Colts will be on the outside looking in this evening.
Colts’ Luck getting timing down with newcomer Nicks
The Indianapolis Colts have officially put the 2013 season in the rear-view mirror with the start of the team’s off-season conditioning workouts, which got under way at the team’s West 56th Street Indiana Farm Bureau Center on Monday morning.
Colts open against Manning, Broncos
Indianapolis will open this season at AFC champion Denver in a Sunday night showdown pitting quarterback Peyton Manning against his former team.
Colts take another look at Shakir Bell
Under general manager Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts have searched nationally and internationally for talent to build a program that has won 23 of 34 games in the last two seasons.
On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
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.
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.
- More Colts Headlines
- Colts suffer another season-ending injury in guard Thomas