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Divisional Round Notebook: Tuesday Edition

Posted Jan 7, 2014

Intro: Throughout the course of the playoffs, Colts.com will publish daily notebooks addressing some key points heading into that week’s contest. Today’s notebook looks at Bill Belichick’s evaluation of the Colts, Josh Gordy’s mindset on fourth down and how the Colts snaps changed drastically in the playoffs.



Belichick Talks Colts— Bill Belichick has been the headman of the Patriots since the Indianapolis Colts were AFC East rivals with New England.

The “rivalry” has seen many faces come and go over the years with Belichick being one of the constants.

This will be the second time that Belichick has prepared for Andrew Luck and the Patriots head coach was very impressed by the Colts second-year signal caller.

“A really complete player. Great long-ball thrower. Very accurate. Has a good touch on short, intermediate passes. Reads defenses well,” Belichick says of Luck.

“Does a good job checking plays at the line of scrimmage and making some of those adjustments. Active in the pocket. Hard guy to tackle. Hard guy to bring down. There’s not really any weaknesses to his game.”

Luck’s top weapon since Reggie Wayne has gone down is T.Y. Hilton.

Belichick has a history of taking away opposing teams No. 1 receivers. But, he knows that the challenge of defending Hilton will be very difficult.

“He’s pretty dangerous on everything. He’s caught long passes, intermediate passes, short catch-and-run plays,” Belichick says of Hilton.

“He’s very quick, fast, explosive, good with the ball in his hands. Runs good routes. Hard guy to tackle. So he can beat you in a lot of different ways. You obviously have to be aware of where he is.”

One player that Belichick has watched plenty of time on tape is Robert Mathis.

Just like Belichick, Mathis has been a frequent participant in the Colts/Patriots battles.

“One of the most disruptive players in the league. Not only does he hit the quarterback a lot, but he causes the turnover, game-changing plays,” Belichick says of Mathis.

“They move him around, but he’s a guy you got to be aware of every time the ball’s snapped. You have to do a good job on him or he can absolutely ruin a game.”

What Was Josh Gordy Thinking On 4th Down Saturday Night?—Last week, a Colts trainer asked cornerback Josh Gordy what goes through his mind on critical plays late in a contest.

Does Gordy want to see the ball coming his way on a 3rd or 4th down?

Gordy told the trainer he wanted the ball coming towards him.

A few days later, Gory got his wish.

With the Colts holding a one-point lead with two minutes remaining on Saturday night, the Chiefs faced a fourth-and-11 at the Indianapolis 43-yard line.

A conversion by the Chiefs and Kansas City could milk the clock under a minute and potentially kick a game winning field goal.

A stop and the Colts would move on to the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs and complete a 28-point third-quarter comeback.

The Chiefs No. 1 receiver Dwayne Bowe lined up across from Gordy, who had not played major defensive snaps until the end of the regular season.

Gordy did a wonderful job in coverage, forcing Bowe towards the sideline and when the ball came, the Chiefs receiver could not get two feet down to secure the reception.

After a brief celebration, Gordy thought back on that conversation coming to fruition.

“You want that ball so that you will stay aggressive on the play and finish through it. That’s kind of what happened,” Gordy said.

“I thought it might come my way so I said, ‘Let’s get ready to party."



Player Snaps Change Drastically Against Chiefs—
In the week leading up to the Wild Card matchup against the Chiefs, Colts players and coaches talked about the intensity level rising in the postseason.

One look at the Colts snap counts from Saturday night would certainly indicate that.

T.Y. Hilton set Colts playoff records with 13 catches and 224 yards and played a total of 60 offensive snaps (91 percent) on Saturday night.

Over the past month of the regular season, Hilton has been battling a shoulder injury and saw his snaps shrink down to 68 and 59 percent of the Colts offensive snaps in the final two weeks of the year.

However, with playoff time here, Hilton missed just six offensive snaps all game on Saturday. Griff Whalen (53 snaps) and LaVon Brazill (46) also saw their season-high in plays.

At the running back position, Donald Brown (85 percent of snaps) also played his season-high in snaps.

Coby Fleener (94 percent of snaps) saw his reps rise significantly from 50 and 71 percent the last two weeks of the regular season.

Defensively, Ricky Jean Francois (60 snaps, 72 percent) and Cory Redding (54 snaps, 65 percent) played ample time after sitting out Week 17 with various injuries.

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