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PACKERS-COLTS NOTEBOOK

Posted Oct 8, 2012

The offensive line continues to live by the “Next Man Up” mantra with center A.Q. Shipley making his first career NFL start. The five-sack performance by the Colts defense marked the most the unit has had since October 4, 2009.

RUNNING GAME FINDS SUCCESS BEHIND PATCH WORK LINE – Bruce Arians said during training camp that no NFL team can win with just five offensive linemen.

 

He threw out the number “seven” for the depth among the offensive front that is needed to have success over a 16-game NFL season.

 

Four games into the 2012 season, the Colts already have used 10 offensive linemen and have only had the same five players start on the unit twice this season.

 

Center A.Q. Shipley made his first career NFL start on Sunday after being signed from the practice squad last week.

 

“I was just trying to stay even keel, make the right calls, keep these guys on the same page and just get everybody in the right spot,” Shipley said.  “I didn’t want to get too high.  I didn’t want to get too low.  I just wanted to stay right in the middle and try and not get too hyped up for this game.”

 

Shipley was a part of a unit that paved the way for running back Donald Brown to rush for 84 yards on 17 carries (a 4.9 average).  As a team, the Colts rushed for 119 yards.

 

It was a season-high for Brown and was even more impressive by the fact that the Colts once again had to battle injuries up front.

 

Right guard Mike McGlynn left the game briefly in the third quarter and newly-signed Tony Hills had to fill in.

 

Left tackle Anthony Castonzo is the lone lineman to start all four games this season at his normal position.  Jeff Linkenbach started at left guard against Green Bay.  Linkenbach started at right tackle in week two against Minnesota.  Normal left guard Joe Reitz has yet to play this year.

 

For the fourth straight game, Castonzo faced one of the game’s premier pass rushers (Green Bay’s Clay Matthews), but it was the team effort that had him beaming after the victory.

 

“It means a ton to this team, playing for each other and especially playing for Chuck,” Castonzo said.  “You can picture him with a big smile on his face in the hospital bed.  That means a ton to us.”

 

Starting center Samson Satele was active, but did not see action due to a knee injury that saw him miss time during each of the last two games.

 

Shipley spent all of the offseason and training camp with the Colts and could not script a better way to have his first NFL start.

 

“I’m going to remember this one for a long time, for sure,” Shipley said.  “It took a while at first but once we got things going in the second half, things started clicking and we got some momentum.  It ended up being a pretty special day.”

 

Coming off a tumultuous week that followed a final-minute loss to the Jaguars, the Colts now are riding some momentum as they head on the road next week.  Indianapolis visits the New York Jets on Sunday.  It is the first road game since the opener against Chicago.

 

“That’s a heck of a football team that we just beat,” Castonzo said.  “The Green Bay Packers are one of the best in the league.  It’s one of those things where we’ve seen ourselves come from a huge deficit at halftime to beat a team like that, the sky’s the limit for us.”

 

DEFENSE DOMINANT IN SECOND HALF – All week the Colts preached the importance of coming out of halftime and putting together a productive third quarter.

 

The offense did that job on Sunday, but it was the Colts’ defense that got things rolling early in the third quarter.

 

Cornerback Jerraud Powers got things started with an interception of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the first possession of the second half.

 

The Powers turnover led to a Dwayne Allen touchdown, and the spark was provided for perhaps the most impressive half the defense has played all season long.

 

On the next Packers’ possession, defensive Cory Redding sacked the mobile Rodgers and ignited the pressure needed to stymie the Green Bay offense.

 

The Colts would record four more sacks on Green Bay’s next four possessions.  Redding added a second takedown, and it was the third multiple-sack game of his career.

 

The five sacks for the Colts defense is the highest the team has had in more than three years.

 

Outside linebackers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis battled injuries to move the Colts’ record to 25-8 when the duo records sacks in the same game.

 

Green Bay’s passing attack seemed to be the focal point heading into the game but according to Redding, the stout defense started with limiting Packers running Cedric Benson to seven carries for 20 yards.

 

“Take care of Cedric Benson first of all, stopping the run,” Redding said.  “And then, two, getting on the passer, mixing it up on the back end where you can’t read our coverages as much and trying to eliminate the big plays.

 

“They’re going to make big plays because they’ve got great players over there, and Aaron (Rodgers) was leading the way.  We just had to hold on and make more plays than they did, and we did.”

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