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Colts Continue Quarterly Success

Posted Dec 8, 2013

Extended periods of success usually are made by taking one step at a time. Indianapolis’ record of 130-58 since 2002 has been built that way by taking care of business on a weekly basis. The team has endured only five losing “quarters” of seasons in near 12 full years.



INDIANAPOLIS – When Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano took control of the Colts in January of 2012, it was a time when many household names would depart, treasured players who had helped the club reside among the NFL elite for years.

 

When Grigson and Pagano fielded a team at Chicago in the September opener, only 18 of 53 active-roster players pre-dated their arrival.

 

What continued after then is what has marked the club’s history for almost 12 full seasons – winning.


In 2012, the Colts went 11-5 after a 2-2 start.  After falling to 2-3, the Colts won four straight times.  Indianapolis then won five-of-seven outings and finished a season that surprised many observers.

 

CLICK HERE FOR CHUCK PAGANO

It meant the club went 3-1 in each of the final three “quarters” of the season (games 5-8, 9-12, 13-16) with a team that was rebuilt nearly from the ground up.

 

While a few “pillar” players (Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, Adam Vinatieri, Antoine Bethea) remained from the previous core, the success level did not lapse from past seasons.

 

The four non-losing seasonal quarters last year kept the Colts with only five such losing segments since 2002.

 

With last week’s 22-14 victory over Tennessee, Indianapolis has posted 3-1, 3-1 and 2-2 quarters in 2013, meaning that 42 of the past 47 seasonal quarters have had records of at .500 or better.

WON-LOSS RECORDS DURING QUARTERS OF SEASONS (2002-2013)

Year

Games 1-4

Games 5-8

Games 9-12

Games 13-16

2002

3-1

1-3

4-0

2-2

2003

4-0

3-1

2-2

3-1

2004

3-1

2-2

4-0

3-1

2005

4-0

4-0

4-0

2-2

2006

4-0

4-0

2-2

2-2

2007

4-0

3-1

3-1

3-1

2008

2-2

2-2

4-0

4-0

2009

4-0

4-0

4-0

2-2

2010

2-2

3-1

1-3

4-0

2011

0-4

0-4

0-4

2-2

2012

2-2

3-1

3-1

3-1

2013

3-1

3-1

2-2

 

 

“I think this speaks to the mindset of our players and coaches,” said Pagano.  “Since day one, everyone has bought in to the notion of, ‘Sticking to the process, one day at a time, one game at a time, one play at a time, don’t judge.’  (It) does not matter what you did the week before, and it certainly does no good to look past your next game, opportunity.”

 

Pagano’s team did not look back prior to last week.  Had it, it would have seen an unsightly 40-11 loss at Arizona – one of the season’s biggest low points.

 

The team readjusted as it always had under Pagano and kept the losing streak at one game.

 

Pagano’s teams have won 19-of-28 games, never dropping consecutive outings.

 

“This organization has always had great veteran leadership, guys in the locker room that set the tone, know that the season is a marathon and that you have to stay the course,” said Pagano.  “You can’t get away from the process, no matter the circumstances.

 

“This model of consistency speaks to the character of our players and coaches.  They are a gritty bunch who refuses to live in circumstance, but choose to live in vision.  They expect a lot from themselves and a lot from each other.

 

“This is a TEAM of selfless individuals who are bound and determined not to let each other down.”

 

Mathis has been around for 39 of 43 non-losing quarters and understands what it takes to have the sustained achievement.

INJURY UPDATE -- Three Colts did not make the trip to Cincinnati - OG-Hugh Thornton, LB-Kavell Conner, CB-Greg Toler.  Toler will be missing his sixth straight game with a groin injury.  Thornton is battling with a neck injury and had started at LG since week three.  Joe Reitz could be getting his first start.  It will be the fifth different offensive line alignment for the Colts this season.

 

“Really just stick to the script,” said Mathis.  “You lay the blueprint at the beginning of the year, you stay on track and stay on course with it.  You just let it take care of itself, and you just have to put in the effort and the work.”

 

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY OF FRIDAY PRACTICE

A pillar player now, he was a small building block in 2003.  He has grown through the program and won 113 regular-season games with dozens of teammates and under three field leaders. 

 

They all have had the same type of approach and integrity.

 

“It hasn’t changed,” said Mathis.  “I’ve been here with three different head coaches and it remains the same.

 

“Guys show up to work and you are professional and let the scheme take care of itself, although it may be different schemes or whatever the case may be, you just have to stay the course.”



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