News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 1, 2013

Luck’s analysis: ‘Great job’ by defense and Vinatieri; ‘terrible job’ by offense and ‘by me’ — but he’ll take a win

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Nobody had to tell the Indianapolis Colts that Sunday’s performance against the Tennessee Titans was far from perfect.

Make that far, far from perfect.

But quarterback Andrew Luck and the rest of the Colts’ players aren’t about to apologize to anyone for getting a crucial AFC South win over the Titans. As ugly as the game was, above all it was a victory that put Indianapolis in the driver’s seat for the division title.

“Yeah, [we’ll take a win] 100 percent of the time,” a worn-out Luck said afterward. “We know we can’t survive our mistakes forever. I know it sounds a bit like a broken record. But sometimes you just got to gut a win out no matter how ugly it is.

“I’ll never complain about a win. I don’t think you’ll hear anybody in that locker room complain about a win, especially against a good division opponent like Tennessee. What a great job by the defense. I think they were the leaders of the pack.”

The second-year signal caller was sacked five times, tying a career high, and struggled at times against the Titans defense.

“Terrible job offensively by us, by me, of converting off those interceptions and those big turnovers [by the defense],” Luck said.

“Great job by (placekicker) Vinnie (Adam Vinatieri). I don’t know what NFL record he broke today but it always seems like it’s some type of milestone. [But] we know, and I know, I’ve got to do a better job of taking a quick throw and not taking a sack in some of those situations.”

• Lineup changes — The Colts made  two major offensive lineup changes on Sunday. Running back Donald Brown replaced Trent Richardson, and offensive guard/tackle Jeff Linkenbach took over at right guard for Mike McGlynn.

“They just earned the opportunity,” head coach Chuck Pagano said. “Donnie (Brown)earned the opportunity by the way he was working and running the football. We’re still going to use two backs.

“We just wanted to give [Linkenbach] an opportunity at right guard. We’ll look at the tape moving forward. Mike McGlynn has helped us win a lot of football games and he’s a good football player. It’s nothing against Mike. We just wanted to give Link a shot.”

Rookie wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers saw his first playing time of the season after being elevated from the practice squad three weeks ago. Rogers drew a pass interference penalty in the second quarter to set up a Vinatieri field goal.

Veteran wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey continued to struggle, dropping a pass in this third quarter when he was all alone downfield.

“No excuses. I should have caught it,” Heyward-Bey said afterward.

• Injury list — Running back Dan Herron (pectoral) and defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (foot sprain) were sidelined during the Tennessee game and did not return.

Herron and Francois are both scheduled to undergo magnetic resonance imaging tests. Their status for the Cincinnati game next Sunday won’t be known until later this week.

Inside linebacker Pat Angerer left briefly with a shoulder burner but was able to finish out the game.

Cornerbacks Greg Toler (groin) and Josh Gordy (ankle), along with inside linebacker Kavell Conner (ankle), were among the Colts’ inactive players.