Join Colts Authority Radio as Scott Kacsmar and Kyle Rodriguez discuss Week 17 in the NFL and next week's playoff matchups.no comments
It was an emotional day in Indianapolis with the return of coach Chuck Pagano, and the Colts gave him one of their best efforts of the season.
Andrew Luck played turnover-free football, and hit the biggest pass play of his career, which just so happened to come on a critical 3rd and 23 in the fourth quarter. That’s the story of the season for the Colts. Big plays in crunch time.
Despite all of Houston’s success and J.J. Watt’s dominance in Week 15, the Colts overcame the most aggressive opposing defense of the season to have one of their best offensive performances. In addition to scoring 21 points on nine drives (2.33 points per drive), the Colts held the ball for the final 9:46 to end the game, and closed out their 11th victory of the season.
Bring on the playoffs, but first let’s review how the Colts and Luck pulled this latest win off.
Drive No. 1
Drive Stats: 15:00 left (1st quarter), tied 0-0. 13 plays, 75 yards (1-yard TD pass to Coby Fleener).
Breaking the recent trend of starting with a three and out, the Colts may have had their best opening drive of the season. It had an ominous beginning though, as J.J. Watt was there in the backfield to tackle Vick Ballard for a loss of a yard.
Houston brought the blitz, but Luck stepped up and pitched to Reggie Wayne for 17 yards after a good run. Ballard picked up nine on a rare swing pass to the flat. Luck was off on a pass to Donnie Avery, then completed a bubble screen to T.Y. Hilton for 12 yards. Two plays later Luck used the hard count to draw Houston offsides.
On 3rd and 3, Luck found Dwayne Allen, who bobbled but caught the ball, and it was first and goal at the HOU 4. Ballard ran for three yards to the HOU 1. Luck went to Wayne in the right corner of the end zone twice, and the second play drew the flag for pass interference.
After Ballard carried for no gain, the Colts used play action and Coby Fleener was wide open for the 1-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone. The Colts had a lead, which they never had in Houston two weeks ago.no comments no comments
Sunday's 28-16 win over the Houston Texans was the perfect end to a great season from a Colts fan perspective. This was the game where the Colts truly put it all together - a consistent product on offense, defense and special teams resulted in a convincing win over our main rivals, putting a severe dent in their playoff hopes while imbuing our own with a fresh dose of Chuckstrong.
Even the Colts' reticence to pick the ball off disappeared on Sunday, with Vontae Davis picking up two interceptions thanks to some good positioning and smooth ball skills. To me, this was a tale of two quarterbacks headed in two different directions. Andrew Luck again showed how fantastic he really can be with an adequate supporting cast, while Matt Schaub was the primary reason Houston failed to muster any sort of challenge on the day. His physical limitations (arm strength, speed, agility) really limit the Houston offense considerably, and if I may continue banging the drum, Houston won't go to the next level until he is gone.
Concentrating strictly on the defensive performance, Arian Foster again had his fair share of success with 16 carries for 96 yards, with a long of 39 yards. Take that one run out of the equation and it's 15 carries for 57 yards - so props to the run defenders and the front 7 for stepping up when they had to.
The major performance worthy of praise on D was of course Vontae Davis, who has continued his recent improvement. Perhaps it's coincidence, but I can't help but consider the return of Chuck Pagano as a potential reason why - a DB coach by trade, he knows how to coach these guys up. Having Coach Pagano back at the helm will help in a multitude of ways, the foremost of which I'm hoping will be a patch-up job on the defensive backfield in time for the playoffs.
In any case, I digress.. Let's get to the good stuff:no comments
2012 was a roller coaster for Colts fans. Ending the 2011 season with a 2-14 record, having the entire management fired, and seeing a large portion of the team released, it seemed like Colts fans were in for a miserable 12 months. But the pain would eventually give way to an unbelievable journey, made even more enjoyable by the people - our fellow Colts fans - who experienced it with us.
As we move into this New Year, the Colts Authority Family wants to wish you and your family a happy, healthy 2013. The journey is just beginning for us, and we look forward to experiencing it with each of you.
For your clicks (page hits!!!), your comments, your support, thank you. I hope you find everything you're looking for in this New Year.
In the tradition of New Years, some of the Colts Authority staff gave their football-related New Year's Resoutions. Check ours out, and then share yours in the comments.
Happy 2013, and GO COLTS!no comments