INDIANAPOLIS – When asked this week what type of offensive attack he expects to see from Arizona’s Bruce Arians, Chuck Pagano did not hesitate with his response.
“Throw it down the field as far as you can and complete a lot of them,” said Pagano. “He’s been doing it a long time. He’s a great play caller, and he’s utilizing their talent very well.”
Arians has a veteran quarterback in Carson Palmer, plus two talented targets in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
When Floyd scored on a 91-yard pass last week, Arizona became the first team since the 1971 Bengals to have an 80-yard TD run and a 90-yard TD pass in the same season.
Palmer became the first Cardinals quarterback to top 400 yards (419) and complete 70 percent of his passes (30-of-42) in a win in franchise history.
“(I see) what everybody else has been seeing all year, a heck of a quarterback who can throw the ball downfield,” said
Fitzgerald’s numbers sound familiar to Colts fans since they are getting into areas occupied by Marvin Harrison and
With 809 receptions, 10,967 yards and 83 TDs, Fitzgerald is one of 17 players with 10,000-plus yards and 80-plus scores. Five players in that category have busts in Canton.
Fitzgerald is one of four NFL players to top 1,400 yards in four seasons. With 33 yards Sunday, he will become the youngest player (30 years, 85 days) to reach 11,000 yards.
“He’s a future Hall-of-Famer, and he’s still playing at a high level and making plays – 45 catches and six touchdowns,” said Pagano.
Tom Moore assists with the attack, and Moore helped nine Colts earn 37 Pro Bowl appearances in 13 years in Indianapolis. Those Colts teams were known for attacking relentlessly.
Palmer has hit nearly 70 percent of his passes (63-of-92) for six touchdowns and a 109.5 rating in a three-game winning streak that has Arizona at 6-4. He has nine scoring passes in the last five games, with multiple scores in the last three games.
His veteran presence and that of Floyd has helped Arizona move to 15th in passing offense.
Floyd (42-657, three TDs) is within three receptions of his 2012 rookie total, while his yardage and scores are new highs.
Palmer has hit 14 other receivers this season, ranking third among NFL quarterbacks for the most receivers targeted.
“They’ve won three straight, but we got to be aggressive, physical and get Carson off his point and just rattle the receivers.”
Said Pagano, “They got a bunch of skill guys, a bunch of play-makers. Carson’s doing a good job of spreading the wealth and getting the ball out to them.”
As for the attack, Toler feels Indianapolis has opportunity, too.
“When that ball is in the air, it’s ours,” said Toler. “I wasn’t coached under (Arians), but I know from looking at film last season, he’s not a tic-tac guy. He wants the big play. That’s what the NFL is about.”
The Colts did not give up big pass plays at Tennessee a week ago like they did in previous games against Houston and St. Louis.
Pagano has talked about needing the unit in sync, “Eleven guys got to be singing out of the same hymnal. We say a lot of times, ‘If you’re all wrong, you’re all right.’ So even if we’re all playing the wrong coverage, we’re all on the same page, we’ll still be okay.”
Greg Manusky emphasizes the same message.
“We always talk about communication and everybody being on the same page,” said Manusky. “I don’t care what page it is as long as we’re all on the same page. It’s when one or two guys screw up (there are problems). We can’t have those screw ups on the back end, or even in the front end.
“From a DB standpoint, it’s always, ‘Hey, man, if (we) mess up it’s sometimes yard.’ When the guys up front mess up, maybe somebody else is behind them to protect them. Communication is vital.”
COLTS AGAIN FEATURED ON “PARKS AND RECREATION” – For the second time this year, the Colts are being featured on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” a sitcom based in the fictional Indiana town of Pawnee. Tonight’s episode at 8:00 p.m. (ET) again takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium and featured individuals include Jim Irsay,
PRACTICE REPORT – Did not participate: FB-