Thanks to the Indianapolis Colts 2012 rookie class, last season’s 2-14 season is quickly becoming a distant memory.
With the Colts’ 27-23 come-from-behind win over Tennessee, Indianapolis is now 9-4 on the season and improved to 3-1 in AFC South play.
Indianapolis has registered its eighth one-possession wins this year.. And the rookies continue to play a large role in the Colts victories.
“I can’t say enough. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them, especially offensively. They continue to [make plays]. [Wide receiver] LaVon [Brazill] made a big catch again to set up [our] last field goal [against the Titans]. It looked meaningless, it was an 8-yard [pass]. But it put us right back into field goal-makeable range,” interim coach/offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Sunday.
“[Wide receiver] T.Y. [Hilton] is getting more electric every week. [Tight end] Dwayne’s [Allen] big catch at the end [of the Tennessee game]. You can’t say enough about the whole crew. A.Q. Shipley jumps back in and plays another great half at center. It’s every time the next man is called on, he answers.”
For the handful of veterans who played for the Colts a year ago, the turnaround this year has been a blessing.
“It feels good. As everybody knows, it was a long year for us [in 2011],” safety Antoine Bethea said. “For us to come in here and do the things that we’ve done so far, we still have three games left and still can possibly get a 12-win season. That means a lot to the vets and even to the newcomers.”
• Luck and the record book – The Colts quarterback set a franchise rookie seasonal record as he now has 3,792 passing yards, surpassing the mark set by former Colts QB Peyton Manning (3,739). Panthers quarterback Cam Newton holds the NFL rookie record with 4,051 yards.
Luck got credit for his sixth fourth quarter/overtime game-winning drive for the Colts, which is the most by a rookie since the AFL/NFL merger. He surpassed Vince Young (2006 Titans) and Ben Roethlisberger (2004 Steelers) who each had five.
• More Reggie – Reggie Wayne now has a team-leading 94 receptions this season for 1,220 yards and four TDs.
Wayne (956) moved past Andre Reed for 10th place on the league’s all-time receptions list. With his touchdown reception against the Titans, Wayne (77) also moved into a tie for 24th place on the league’s all-time touchdowns list with Joey Galloway and Larry Fitzgerald.
He became one-of-eight NFL receivers to total 100-plus career catches against three-or-more teams (Jacksonville – 133, Houston – 117 and Tennessee – 103). Wayne surpassed the 1,200-yard receiving plateau (1,220) this season and tied Marvin Harrison and Torry Holt for the third-most seasons with at least 1,200 yards (six). Jerry Rice holds the record with 11 seasons followed by Randy Moss with eight.
• Kickers had good games – Placekicker Adam Vinatieri tied his season-long field goal with a 53-yard kick in the fourth quarter. The field goal moved him into third place in franchise history in 50-plus-yard field goals (8), passing Raul Allegre and Cary Blanchard. Vinatieri tallied his second kick from 40 yards to seal a Colts 27-23 victory.
Punter Pat McAfee totaled four punts for a 53.3 average and a net of 49.8. He pinned two punts inside the 20-yard line to pass Chris Gardocki (80) for the third most in Colts history. McAfee also logged six touchbacks on kickoffs.
• Injury list – Safety Tom Zbikowski (knee), running back Donald Brown (ankle) and offensive guard Joe Reitz (head) were held out of the Tennessee game.
The injury list got longer during the game as running back Delone Carter (ankle), fullback Robert Hughes (knee), inside linebacker Kavell Conner (hamstring), center Samson Satele (ankle) and offensive tackle Winston Justice (biceps) were all sidelined and did not return.
Thanks to the Indianapolis Colts 2012 rookie class, last season’s 2-14 season is quickly becoming a distant memory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
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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.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
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Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
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Colts’ chief strength: No panic
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Luck has knack for knowing when to run
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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.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
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Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
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Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
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Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
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Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
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Many doubt Cincy runner scored on goal-line play
Did he make it or didn’t he?
Was Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis stopped on fourth down short of the end zone or did he make to the end zone without being touched?
Heavy snow appears in forecast for Colts
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrew Luck doesn’t have a history of playing a lot of football in the snow or in snowy conditions. But if weather forecasts for this weekend remain on track, Sunday’s AFC battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals may be severely tested by the weather.
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