Still Going Strong
Ask Frank Gore what he’s feeling after competing in 89 consecutive games, he says he has “been blessed, especially in this sport with how physical the game is. I don’t think about it. When I am out there I try my best to give my teammates everything I’ve got. Go out there and have fun and don’t think about it.” With the team, at least on offense, healing up after the win against Green Bay, the Colts have hope “I am happy that we got a win before the bye” Gore said “now in the second half of the season our receivers are back, Andrew (Luck) is still here, the running backs are still here, the offensive line is healthy so we are going to try to make that run to win the division and get into the playoffs.” Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski is grateful for the health of his offense. “it’s nice to have guys back, no doubt about it.” Coming off of injury isn’t always seamless. Some polish needs to be applied “We are getting some guys healthier, getting guys back. Again, when a guy comes back you look at like Donte (Moncrief) for example who was out for a long time, his first game back he wasn’t as crisp or clean and still had to get some of the rust off. Then I thought he played a really good game against Green Bay. As they are coming back, it’s nice to have them back, but we have to get the rust off of some of them that haven’t played in there for a while but it’s good to have the guys back.”
With the bye week comes rest. But that has now passed and the Colts face an uphill battle to get into the postseason, but a win on Sunday is a great start to the last half of the season. The next game is the most important because it’s the next one. If you haven’t seen this yet it’s well worth the watch.
As the Colts gear up for the final two months of the season. This Sunday they square off against the Tennessee Titans. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is coming into town on a hot streak. In his last three games he has tossed 9 touchdowns while only throwing two interceptions. And going over the 70% completion mark in two of those three games. This will be the second meeting between these two teams this season. In the first outting Mariota played poorly. But even with his poor play there were other weapons to worry about on the Titans roster. In the first matchup against the Titans, the Colts defense was able to slow Titans running back DeMarco Murray just enough. Ted Monachino recalls the previous matchup “We played winning defense and that’s what matters. We didn’t allow the explosive runs. We had one explosive run by a running back, one by a quarterback and that’s positive. I think that our guys now absolutely know what DeMarco Murray is so they’re prepared to go out there and swarm him and get him on the ground when they have to. He’s a really good player with a good offensive line in front of him and a great scheme and the way that they’re calling it right now is problematic at times, but I think we’ll be able to get after him.”
To slow down the Titans passing attack, they will also need to get after Mariota to keep him from being too comfortable. Along with a great stat line, Mariota has only taken two sacks through the span of his last three games.
Clayton Geathers was a topic of discussion todays press conference with the Colts defensive coordinator. Geathers been moved around and featured in different roles on defense lately. That looks like it will continue on Sunday. After using him as a linebacker against Aaron Rodgers and his Packers it’s likely that the Colts will continue to use this wrinkle in obvious passing situations. Monachino knows it is important to get him involved “We’re trying to let him soak as much as we can there in sub as our dime linebacker, he’ll get reps there on Sunday and he’ll also get some reps in the deep parts of the field too. Based on what he is, we’ve got to try to find ways to use his skill based on the situation as often as we can. If it’s a situation where they’re in one back and one tight end and we don’t feel like they can run some hard gap scheme plays at him then it’s a great time for him to be there in the run game.” It is obvious Monachino thinks highly of Geathers and wants to give him opportunities “ I think that Clayton is a fine football player and we have to find ways to continue to keep him going and being productive because he has the ability to make a bunch of plays.”
All quotes courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts PR department