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Posts of category  "Colts"

Intro: What were the main takeaways from Sunday’s 2017 Week 5 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers? Here are Five Things Learned, presented by McDonald’s.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts moved to 2-3 on the season Sunday afternoon with their 26-23 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The game was a back-and-forth trade of field goals until the third quarter, when the Colts would finally find the end zone — thanks to a spectacular Marlon Mack 22-yard touchdown run — and by the 9:56 mark of the fourth quarter, after another 49ers field goal, Indianapolis appeared to be well in control after a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacoby Brissett, putting his team up 23-9.

But as they had done in their three games prior to Sunday’s battle, the 49ers continued to scratch and claw, and at the 20-second mark of the fourth quarter, they capped their game-tying 14-0 run with a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer to fullback Kyle Juszczyk to force overtime.

In that extra period, after a 49ers interception on the Colts’ initial drive, and then a punt on San Francisco’s ensuing possession, the home fans were sent home happy when Adam Vinatieri hit his fourth field goal of the day, this time from 51 yards out, to earn a 26-23 overtime victory.

“Obviously great to get the win,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. “We make it harder sometimes than it has to be. Credit the Niners, they played their tails off. It was a heck of a ball game; it was a slugfest. They made plays, we made plays and we found a way just to make a few more at the end.”

Here are the FIVE THINGS LEARNED from Sunday’s victory over the 49ers:

• RETURN OF THE MACK: The Colts selected Marlon Mack in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft to add a completely different gear to their crop of running backs; a speedster capable of breaking big plays any time he has the ball in his hands. Unfortunately for Mack and the Colts, a shoulder injury suffered Week 2 had kept Mack off the field the last two weeks heading into Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Mack was able to make up for lost time, however, turning in a career day against the San Francisco defense, as he logged nine carries for 91 yards (10.1 avg.) with a touchdown, oftentimes kicking things outside and using his quickness to break tackles and gain yards in big chunks. Mack also nearly had a second rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, when he bounced another run to the right end, evaded would-be tacklers, lost his balance along the sidelines but still managed to stay in-bounds and dive into the end zone, but a replay showed his knee was down just short of the goal line.

• THE GOAT: On a day in which the Colts would honor the greatest quarterback of all-time, Peyton Manning, the man who will likely soon own every major kicking record there is in the NFL shined in the actual game. Adam Vinatieri on Sunday hit all four of his field goal attempts, two of which — including the game-winner in overtime — came from 50-plus yards. Just about every kick he hits ties or breaks a record, which was certainly the case on Sunday: he moved into second place all-time in NFL history in field goals made (539); he became the third player in NFL history to accumulate 2,400-plus points; and he now has 10 career game-winning field goals in overtime, the most in NFL history. Vinatieri, the league’s oldest player at 44 years old, just keeps, well, kicking.

• SAME STORY: One of the major storylines now for the past four games for the Colts has been the team’s second-half struggles. On Sunday, for the second time in three weeks, the Colts had at least a two-score fourth-quarter lead, at home, yet their opponent would be afforded the opportunity to get back into the game. Against the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago, Indianapolis was able to close it out in regulation, but on Sunday against the 49ers, the Colts would need an overtime period — and an interesting, up-and-down overtime period at that — to escape with the win. “It’s good to get the win. We’ll take it right now any way we can. But you’re exactly right, you’re up 14 (points) in the fourth, you’ve got to find a way,” Pagano said. “They made plays, they got hot, they found the tight end, they got something going and the guy made some plays. We made a few more than they made in overtime.”

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Intro: Krishawn Hogan grew up in Indianapolis always dreaming of one day playing in the NFL. Last Sunday, he did just that, making his professional debut with his hometown Colts, of all teams.

INDIANAPOLIS — Krishawn Hogan played in his first football game as an 8-year-old second grader for the Buccaneers of Warren Township on Indianapolis’ east side. Ever since that day, he dreamed about getting the chance to play in the National Football League.

Last Sunday – 14 years later – Hogan fulfilled that dream by playing in his first NFL football game as a 22-year-old wide receiver for his hometown Indianapolis Colts.

The rookie — who was on the team’s practice squad before being called up to the active roster earlier in the week — made a handful of appearances in the offensive lineup at receiver and also contributed on kickoff coverage during the Colts’ 48-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

After getting into the game for a few snaps in the first half, the Indy native made a play on the opening kickoff of the second half. After Rigoberto Sanchez booted the ball to begin the third quarter, Hogan sprinted down the field and tackled Seahawks returner Tyler Lockett inside the Seattle 20-yard line.

“It was kind of weird – I got up, and I didn’t even celebrate (after the tackle),” Hogan said with a laugh after the game. “A tackle inside the 20 is pretty good, but I didn’t know what to do. I was just happy I made a play.”

Many in Indianapolis are happy as well — happy for a hometown kid that made good on his dreams against the odds. It’s remarkable for any player to make it to the very top of a game played by millions across the world, but Hogan’s story is particularly incredible.

Hogan grew up playing quarterback in Indianapolis (and, thus, naturally loved Peyton Manning), but he never had great size. He was a short reserve quarterback at Indiana high school powerhouse Warren Central for two seasons before hitting a growth spurt as a junior. In a matter of months, Hogan shot up by five inches from 5-9 to 6-2 and made the transition to wide receiver.

Awkward with his new body at first, Hogan finally saw playing time at the varsity level, but caught only 20 passes for one touchdown as a slot receiver his senior year.

After graduation, thanks to his cousin Kyler White, Hogan spent one year at Division II Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. White had an offer to play for the Cavaliers, and he convinced the coaching staff to bring his cousin Krishawn onto the team as well.

Hogan played 10 games for Walsh in 2013, but the team released him after the season. Hogan admitted to having an attitude problem and being a little immature as a freshman. He clashed with coaches at times during the season, but one interaction did instill confidence in the young player. Offensive coordinator Adam Sherman regularly told Hogan he could someday become an NFL-caliber receiver.

Hogan didn’t believe him at first.

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Intro: Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino each addressed the first four games on Thursday. What else did we learn on the day? Let’s check today’s Daily Notebook, brought to you by ATI Physical Therapy.

INDIANAPOLIS — The quarter-mark of regular season is a good point for all coaching staffs to take a look at what’s working — and what’s not working.

At 1-3 heading into Sunday’s home matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, Rob Chudzinski and Ted Monachino, the leaders of the Colts’ offensive and defensive units, know much work needs to be done in the coming weeks in order to feel a little more comfortable four games from now, at the halfway mark of the season.

“We have to improve. We have to get better,” Chudzinski told reporters on Thursday. “We know there are a lot of areas we have to do that in. Some of it’s some guys growing up in a hurry, making strides in a hurry. Other things we have to do are more technical and bring all of that together.”

Heading into Sunday’s game, the Colts rank 31st in the league in total offense with 265.8 yards per game; they rank 29th in passing offense (180.5 yards per game) and 25th in rushing offense (85.2 yards per game).

While Chudzinski says he never tries to use statistics and rankings as a guide, he knows there are obvious areas of improvement for his unit to work on, starting on Sunday.

“There have been different issues throughout early in the season,” he said. “Some were negative plays in some games. Some were mental ID issues and things like that.”

One source of optimism for Chudzinski, however, is the return of center Ryan Kelly to the lineup. Kelly, who had missed the first four games of the season with a foot injury, is expected to make his 2017 debut on Sunday, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

The Colts’ offensive coordinator admitted his offense needs to “play better up front,” but getting Kelly back in the mix should certainly help.

“You mentioned some of the guys that are missing, and it’s been a different group — that’s a difficult situation up front,” Chudzinski said. “There are no excuses. We need to play. We’re working to try to do that and try to find ways that we can allow those guys to play at their best, and that’s what my job is, to try to do that.”

Meanwhile, inconsistency has been the theme on defense for the Colts, Monachino said.

Through four games, Indianapolis ranks 31st in total defense (396.2 yards allowed per game), and is 29th against the pass (283.5 yards allowed per game) and is 22nd against the run (112.8 yards allowed per game).

Monachino said his players have rarely just missed their assignments so far this season, but it has come down to simply not making a play — not making a tackle — which has led to several chunk plays for the opposing offense.

“From a structure standpoint, I think we’re in good shape,” he said. “It’s just a matter of fitting the run correctly and then getting the guy on the ground when we have our chances, to. We missed some tackles on some runs that really stood out and made it look a lot worse than it should’ve been, for sure.”

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INDIANAPOLIS – The internet can be a breeding ground for theories that run the gamut, whether the subject is who killed John F. Kennedy or whether there really is life in other corners of the universe.

And, now, here comes another: Indianapolis Coltsquarterback Andrew Luck, if deemed ready to play by doctors and coaches, should sit out the rest of 2017.

No, social media, message boards and reader emails aren’t a fair depiction of fan sentiment. But they’re certainly representative of at least a segment of Colts fans. And they suggest a fair number of people — including Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd — have embraced this as something the Colts should absolutely do.

Luck on Wednesday practiced for the first time in 2017 after offseason shoulder surgery and appears to be slowly approaching a point where returning to action will be a consideration. He’s not there yet. And we don’t know when he’ll get there.

But when he does, you can rest assured Luck has every intention of playing and the Colts have every intention of playing him.

When asked Wednesday, in his first interview since late July, whether he is certain he will play in 2017, Luck unflinchingly replied, “Oh, yeah,” as if he were puzzled by why the question would even be asked.

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The Indianapolis Colts entered 2017 with a Jekyll and Hyde personality under head coach Chuck Pagano. In years past, however, the team would always come out super slow and have to furiously fight their way back into games. It is part of what allowed Andrew Luck to earn an early reputation for comeback wins.

This season it is still a tale of two halves in almost every game but Indianapolis has been starting games strong only to see opponents fight their way back in the second half. As Chris Blystone reported yesterday, this Indianapolis team has a total of 9 points in the second half in three straight games — one field goal in each.

This makes breaking down the game entirely frustrating. You have film that is peppered with good to great plays, bad plays, and some that are really ugly. It is with that in mind that we breakdown the Colts Sunday night match-up in Seattle in two pieces, starting with the defense.

One area the Colts hoped to improve upon from last season was being more opportunistic and winning the turnover battle. While, the offense has done its level best to make winning the turnover ratio very difficult, plays like this from Matthias Farley are encouraging for the future of the Colts young secondary.

This play looks eerily similar to Malik Hooker’s highlight reel from Ohio State where he gets up to bat the ball to himself for an interception. Plays like this kept the Colts in the game early.

This is another angle and shows how well Farley cut in front of Graham and timed his jump perfectly to bat the ball up in the air. This is a one man tip drill.

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With the complete collapse of the Indianapolis Colts in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks in week four, not much has changed on the power rankings front for the Colts. In a season that has defied consistency and any kind of logical outcomes, the Colts are a picture of consistency; they are consistently bad in the second half of games. Don’t expect this team to do much climbing until the guy throwing the football has a 12 on his jersey.

NFL.com’s Elliott Harrison ranks the Colts 31st, down two spots from last week.

The Colts hung in there against Seattle for a half and change, but the mismatch up front caught up to Jacoby Brissett. Despite losing by multiple scores, Brissett still shows promise, even if the numbers in Seattle didn’t. Same goes for Jabaal Sheard, too. While we’re at it, Malik Hooker looks the part of a future All-Pro safety. The problem is that there aren’t enough Brissetts, Sheards or Hookers to go around. That didn’t sound right. You know what I mean.

ESPN also has them at 31st, down one spot from last week.

The Colts have allowed the most points so far. But to the defense’s credit, the offense was on the field for four of the 16 touchdowns allowed. Take those out, and the Colts defense has allowed the fourth-most points.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has the Colts at 27th, one spot down from last week.

They competed for a half at Seattle, which is a good sign. But they don’t have enough talent to hold up for an entire game against a quality team.

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Washington Redskins tackle Vinston Painter (60), center Ronald Patrick (62) and guard Kyle Kalis (67) set to block against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a pre-season NFL football game Aug. 31, 2017 in Tampa, Fla. The Redskins won 13 – 10. (Al Messerschmidt via AP)

Intro: The Indianapolis Colts on Monday announced they have signed guard Kyle Kalis and center Mike Person, placed center Deyshawn Bond on Injured Reserve and released linebacker Sean Spence.

The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent center Mike Person. The team also signed guard Kyle Kalis to the 53-man roster off the Washington Redskins’ practice squad, released inside linebacker Sean Spence and placed center Deyshawn Bond on the Injured Reserve List.

The Colts signed tight end Evan Baylis to the practice squad and placed tight end Marcus Lucas on the Practice Squad Injured List.

Person, 6-4, 300 pounds, has played in 31 career games (14 starts) in his time with the Kansas City Chiefs (2016), Atlanta Falcons (2015-16), St. Louis Rams (2014), Seattle Seahawks (2012-13), Colts (2012) and San Francisco 49ers (2011). He was originally selected by the 49ers in the seventh round (239th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Montana State.

In 2016, Person spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons but did not see game action. He started all 14 games he played in with the Falcons in 2015. Person saw action in all 16 games with the Rams in 2014. He appeared in one game in 2013 with the Seahawks. Person spent time on Seattle’s active roster and practice squad in 2012. As a rookie in 2011, he spent time on the 49ers’ active roster but did not see game action.

Kalis, 6-4, 302 pounds, has spent the entire season on the Redskins’ practice squad. He participated in Washington’s 2017 offseason program and training camp before being waived on September 2. Kalis originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2017.

Collegiately, Kalis started 43-of-50 career games at Michigan. In 2016, he earned Second Team AFCA All-America honors and Second Team All-Big Ten recognition after starting all 13 games at right guard for the Wolverines. Kalis started all 13 games at right guard in 2015 and garnered Third Team All-Big Ten (media) accolades and Honorable Mention All-Big Ten recognition (coaches). He appeared in 12 games in 2014 and registered seven starts. In 2013, Kalis saw action in 12 games along the offensive line and started nine contests at right guard. He redshirted and did not see game action as a true freshman in 2012.

Spence, 5-11, 231 pounds, appeared in three games for the Colts this season and registered one special teams tackle. He has played in 49 career games (19 starts) and totaled 163 tackles (97 solo), 5.0 sacks, three passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 14 special teams stops in his time with the Colts (2017), Tennessee Titans (2016) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2012-15).

Bond, 6-1, 299 pounds, started all four games at center for the Colts this season. The Indianapolis native was one of only two undrafted rookie free agents to start in Week 1. Bond originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2017. He started 47-of-48 career games at Cincinnati.

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After two stifling performances by the run defense, the Colts finally gave a bit of ground. The Browns rushed for a total of 111 yards on 21 total carries, which is a disappointing 5.3 yards per carry average.

In order to bring the performance into focus, we’ll study the run defense with eyes first on runs by the Browns running backs and then on quarterback scrambles. What we will find is that the run defense was still relatively stingy against the running backs — except for a 19 yard touchdown run that includes a blatant hold — and that some of the quarterback runs were caused by game situation and defensive scheme.

This won’t make everyone feel better about the performance, nor should it. But it will help understand what went right and what went wrong and how it impacts the total numbers.

Consider that without Kizer’s 44 net rushing yards on seven carries, the Browns running backs ran 14 times for a total of 67 yards — a 4.8 yards per carry clip. If you remove the 19 yard run Johnson was gifted on the Browns first touchdown, Cleveland’s running backs gained 48 yards on 13 carries — a 3.7 yards per carry clip.

By comparison, the Baltimore Ravens defense allowed 93 rushing yards on 21 carries for 4.4 yard per carry in Week 2. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense only allowed 57 rushing yards on 26 carries for 2.3 yards per carry but Duke Johnson also didn’t get a single carry in week 1.

Either way, the Colts defense played relatively well on traditional runs and somewhere in line with two other respected NFL defenses. Today we’ll see that it was Kizer’s rushing yards — many of them late in the game — that really busted things open.

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A detail view of an Indianapolis Colts helmet is seen on the field prior to an NFL football game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 in Houston, Texas. Indianapolis won 27-20. (Aaron M. Sprecher via AP)

Intro: The Indianapolis Colts on Friday made two moves on the practice squad, signing linebacker Darnell Sankey and releasing running back Troymaine Pope.

The Indianapolis Colts today signed inside linebacker Darnell Sankey to the practice squad and released running back Troymaine Pope from the practice squad.

Sankey, 6-2, 250 pounds, was elevated to the Colts’ 53-man roster from the practice squad on September 16 and saw action in the team’s Week 2 loss against the Arizona Cardinals. He also spent time on the team’s practice squad this season. Sankey spent time on the practice squads of the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders as a rookie in 2016.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It would be understandable if T.J. Green experienced occasional bouts of vertigo.

One day, he’s a safety. The next, he’s a cornerback. Another day, he’s back at safety.

Dizzying. Make it stop!

Less than a month after making a safety-to-corner transition during training camp, Green started the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. He was on the field for 62 of 65 snaps and, not surprisingly, earned mixed reviews.

Green’s encore consisted of one defensive snap against Arizona and one against Cleveland. In the win over the Browns, he handled 21 special teams snaps.

Now, Green is on the move again.

“He’s a safety. He’s a safety,’’ defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said Thursday. “The thing about T.J. is we’re still going to continue to force-feed him the cornerback stuff, but corner takes time. If we’re going to make him a corner full time, it’s going to take time.

“Right now he’s most comfortable at safety, and right now that’s where we need him based on the health of the group.’’

So for now, Green, the Colts’ physically-imposing 2016 second-round draft pick, is back at what represents his natural position.

Sort of.

Asked whether he’s a safety or cornerback, Green responded, “I guess both.

“It’s challenging mentally to switch your mind back from corner to safety, back and forth each week, but it’s good for me to be diverse. They can plug me in anywhere. That’s the main thing. They know I can play both.’’

Green appeared in 12 games as a rookie safety, starting four. And it was clear he still was something of a neophyte at the position. He began his Clemson career as a wide receiver before switching to safety after the 2013 season.

When the Colts opened their offseason program without incumbent starting strong safety Clayton Geathers – he’s still on the mend from offseason neck surgery – Green worked with the first unit. It wasn’t long, though, before he was supplanted by Matthias Farley.

In mid-August, the Colts were dealing with injuries at cornerback and one of their remedies was to move Green.

“I talked to coach Pagano an hour before practice today and he asked, ‘You want to play corner?’’’ Green said at the time. “I said, ‘I’m all for it. That’s why we’re here.’ That’s where we’re at.’’

Chuck Pagano’s rationale at the time was determining the best four or five defensive backs and sorting out the best combination in the base and sub packages. In Green, he saw a 6-3, 211-pounder who would offer a physical presence at corner.

Six weeks later, Green is back where he started.

“I prefer corner just from the time I was playing it,’’ he said. “I adjusted and enjoyed it. But I still enjoy playing safety as well. It’s really whatever they need from me.

“Patience is just something I’ve got to practice I guess. Just patience with the defense and waiting for when my time comes.’’

That might be Sunday night at Seattle.

Farley appeared on the injury report for the first time Friday with a quad injury. He’s questionable.

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