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Texans-Colts Game Report

Posted Dec 30, 2012

Texans-Colts Game Report

Colts 28, Houston 16

 

FOURTH QUARTER UPDATE

 

Indianapolis converted a third-and-one with a Dwayne Allen run.  Houston was flagged for interference on a long pass attempt to Hilton.  The Colts moved to the Houston 49 after the penalty.  A second third-and-one from the Houston 40 was converted on a two-yard Luck keeper.  Ballard ran twice for 10 yards and another first down at the Houston 28, then burst for eight yards.  Luck hit Wayne for a first down at the Houston 14 with 2:00 left.

 

Davis intercepted his second pass of the game with 9:46 remaining.  After Schaub hit three completions to the Colts’ 30, Davis made an end zone interception to halt a quick-strike effort by Houston.

 

Two Colts rushes lost three yards and Indianapolis was hit for a holding call that negated a first-down producing completion to Wayne.  On third-and-23 from their 30, the Colts struck on a 70-yard Luck-to-Hilton touchdown with 11:22 to go.  It is the longest scoring completion of the year for the Colts, with the previous long being from the same duo from 61 yards out against Houston three games ago.  This is the first time since October 3, 2011 at Tampa Bay the Colts had two touchdowns exceeding 50 yards in the same game.

 

Schaub hit Johnson for 14 and 21 yards to get the possession going.  Jamaal Westerman had a sack of Schaub following the second completion to Johnson.  Walter caught a 22-yard pass to the Indianapolis 33.  Lawrence Guy sacked Schaub on third down from the Colts’ 27.  Graham was short and wide right on a 52-yard field goal with 13:13 left in the game.

THIRD QUARTER UPDATE

 

Schaub hit Johnson for 14 and 21 yards to get the possession going.  Jamaal Westerman had a sack of Schaub following the second completion to Johnson.  Walter caught a 22-yard pass to the Indianapolis 33 to end the period.

 

The Colts could not benefit from the field position and punted.  McAfee’s 50-yard punt found the end zone.   A Houston hold on the play pushed the possession start to the 10-yard line.

 

A first-down sack by Freeney and a false start doomed the Houston possession.  After the three-and-out and a 55-yard Jones punt, the Colts took possession at their 47 with 3:21 left in the period.

 

The Houston lead lasted 12 seconds as Karim sprinted 101 yards untouched for the Colts touchdown.  It is the club’s sixth return for a score this year (one kickoff, one punt, four interceptions).  It is the longest of 12 kickoff returns for touchdowns in the club’s Indianapolis era, and it tied the fourth-longest in franchise history.  It is the club’s first scoring kickoff return since 2010.

 

Houston gained its first first down on the drive with a 10-yard Schaub-to-Johnson completion, their ninth hookup.  Foster burst for 39 yards to the Colts’ 22 on the next play.  Schaub could not complete a third-down attempt under a heavy rush, and Graham hit a 37-yard field goal to give Houston its first lead, 16-14, with 5:22 left in the quarter.

 

Indianapolis started at its 29 after a 30-yard kickoff return by Deji Karim.  The Colts went three-and-out, and McAfee punted 44 yards to the Houston 26 with 7:50 left in the period.

 

Mario Harvey made a special teams stop at the Houston 16 to start the second half.  On third-and-one, Houston was able to convert on a Schaub-to-Johnson completion of two yards.  The duo teamed up again two plays later on a 20-yard gain to the Indianapolis 48.  Schaub hit Kevin Walter for 14 yards on third-and-five.  Johnson dropped a potential touchdown pass on second down, but the Colts were flagged for holding on third-and-seven from their 26.  Foster burst across from 13 yards out with 9:25 to go to end the march.  Foster carried four times for 26 yards on the drive.  The drive was 12 plays, 84 yards.

 

Guard Joe Reitz is questionable to return with a head injury.

 

SECOND QUARTER UPDATE

 

Starting from their 13, Houston could not convert a third-and-one sneak with 1:28 left.  Donnie Jones was forced to punt and the Texans downed the punt at the Colts’ 32 with 1:18 left.  The Colts have three time outs.  On third-and-one after a timeout, Luck kept for a first down.  Two incompletions moved the clock to 27 seconds left.  Luck and Wayne could not convert a third-and-10, and McAfee punted to the Houston 13 with 14 seconds left.  Houston ran out the clock.

 

The Colts converted the turnover into points when Ballard scored on a one-yard run with 2:00 left in the half.  Ballard ran a delayed draw for 20 yards on the second play of the drive.  Two completions by Luck after the Ballard run gained one yard, then he hit T.Y. Hilton for 17 yards to the one-yard line.  Ballard scored one play later for a 14-6 lead.

 

Houston gained a first down to start the drive with a pass interference call on the second play.  After hitting Owen Daniels for a first down, Schaub was intercepted by Vontae Davis, and Davis returned the takeaway 26 yards to the Houston 39. 

 

Luck hit Wayne on seven- and 10-yard completions to start a drive that started from the Colts’ 21.  Vick Ballard converted a second first down with an eight-yard rush.  After a second Houston five-yard penalty aided the drive, the Colts could move no further than the Houston 42.  McAfee punted 39 yards to the Houston three, where the pooch punt was downed by Sergio Brown with 6:12 left in the half.

 

Schaub hit Johnson for 39 yards to the Colts’ 24 to start the drive.  He teamed with Johnson for four yards before Foster swept left for four yards.  On third-and-two, Dwight Freeney stuffed Foster for a three-yard loss.  Graham hit a 37-yard field goal with 10:22 left, cutting the deficit to 7-6.  Jerrell Freeman made the stop on the second-down sweep, setting up the key stop.

 

On the Colts’ second play of their second possession, Luck was sacked by J.J. Watt and Connor Barwin, with Barwin forcing a fumble that Winston Mercilus recovered at the Indianapolis 14.  The play was reviewed and over-ruled that Luck’s arm was in forward motion.  The Colts converted for a first down on the ensuing play.  The drive stalled from there, and Antonio Smith sacked Luck on third down.  McAfee punted 53 yards and after a 23-yard return by Keshawn Martin, Houston started at its 37.

 

Tickets distributed today:  66,957.

 

FIRST QUARTER UPDATE

 

Houston started at its 20 following a Pat McAfee touchback. Matt Schaub mixed the run and pass well on the march, and Houston overcame a nine-yard sack by Clifton Geathers.  A false start penalty slowed the drive when it reached the Colts’ 24-yard line.  Indianapolis was able to stuff Andre Johnson on a third-down reception, and Shayne Graham ended the 14-play drive with a 51-yard field goal with six seconds left in the period.  The drive consumed 7:45 and covered 48 yards.  Schaub was six-of-seven passing for 39 yards, while five Texans rushes gained 23 yards.

 

With the first possession, the Colts moved for five first downs to the Houston one-yard line, where Andrew Luck found Coby Fleener for the touchdown.  It was a 13-play, 75-yard drive where Luck completed five-of-seven passes for 59 yards.  Luck set the club rookie record for completions on the drive, snapping the 1998 mark of 326 by Peyton Manning.

 

Indianapolis won the coin toss and elected to receive.  Houston defended the south goal.

 

COLTS PRE-GAME REPORT

 

The roof and window for Lucas Oil Stadium are closed.

 

COLTS GAME-DAY DEACTIVATIONS:

 

WR-Nathan Palmer

S-Tom Zbikowski

RB-Delone Carter

C-Samson Satele

OT-Tony Hills

DE-Cory Redding

DT-Antonio Johnson

 

EXPECTED LINEUP CHANGES FOR COLTS:

 

Joe Lefeged starts at SS for Tom Zbikowski

A.Q. Shipley starts at C for Samson Satele

Martin Tevaseu starts at NT for Antonio Johnson

Lawrence Guy starts at DE for Cory Redding

COLTS PRE-GAME NOTES:

 

Today’s game marks the 87th straight sellout for the Colts, and the team has sold out 121 of the last 122 games.  There never has been a game in Lucas Oil Stadium that was not sold out.  The 2012 season marks the ninth consecutive sold out season for the Colts.

 

The Colts’ 2013 opponents almost are determined:

 

HOME:  Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Denver, Oakland, St. Louis, Seattle and either Miami or the New York Jets.  Should Miami and the Jets have the same record, the Jets will be the Colts’ opponent based on a better division record.

 

ROAD:  Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Kansas City, San Diego, Arizona, San Francisco, Cincinnati.

 

The Colts are 9-1 in games decided by seven points or less, the most number of such games this year.  Indianapolis has won its last eight straight games decided by seven points or less.

 

By earning a playoff berth, the Colts joined Miami (2008) and New England (1982) on the list of teams to make the playoffs one year after going 2-14 or worse.

 

By earning 10 wins, the Colts became only the fourth team to win as many as 10 games after a season of two or fewer victories (Miami, 1-15 in 2007 and 11-5 in 2008; Colts 2-12 in 1974 and 10-4 in 1975; Oakland 1-13 in 1962 and 10-4 in 1963).

 

At 10-5, Indianapolis has an eight-game improvement from last season.  Twice previously the team had one-season eight-game improvements – from 2-12 in 1974 to 10-4 in 1975 and from 1-15 in 1991 to 9-7 in 1992.  These are tied for the seventh-best one-year jumps in history.  The 1999 Colts and 2008 Dolphins share the NFL mark with a one-year 10-game jump.  The Colts went from 3-13 in 1998 to 13-3.

 

LARGEST ONE-SEASON JUMPS

 

Games, Team, Year One, Year Two, Playoff record/result

10, Colts, 3-13 (1998), 13-3 (1999)*, 0-1/Lost in Divisional Playoffs

10, Miami, 1-15 (2007), 11-5 (2008)*, 0-1/Lost in Wild Card Playoffs

9, N.Y. Giants, 4-7-2 (1928), 13-1-1 (1929), No playoffs

9, Oakland, 1-13 (1962), 10-4 (1963), No playoffs

9, St. Louis, 4-12 (1998), 13-3 (1999)*, 3-0/Won Super Bowl XXIV

9, Pittsburgh, 6-10 (2003), 15-1 (2004)*, 1-1/Lost in AFC Championship game

8, Colts, 2-12 (1974), 10-4 (1975)*, 0-1/Lost in Divisional Playoffs

8, New England, 3-11 (1975), 11-3 (1976), 0-1/Lost in Divisional Playoffs

8, Cincinnati, 4-11 (1987), 12-4 (1988)*, 2-1/Lost in Super Bowl XXIII

8, Colts, 1-15 (1991), 9-7 (1992), No Playoffs

8, N.Y. Jets, 1-15 (1996), 9-7 (1997), No Playoffs

8, Chicago, 5-11 (2000), 13-3 (2001)*, 0-1/Lost in Divisional Playoffs

8, San Diego, 4-12 (2003), 12-4 (2004)*, 0-1/Lost in Wild Card Playoffs

8, Colts, 2-14 (2011), 10-5 (2012), 0-0/Playing in Wild Card Playoffs

*Won Division

 

In NFL history, 37 teams have lost 14 or more games in a season.  Only six bounced back with winning records.  Detroit jumped from 2-14 in 1979 to 9-7 in 1980.  New England jumped from 2-14 in 1981 to 5-4 in the strike-shortened 1982 season.  The 1991 1-15 Colts were 9-7 in 1992.  The 1996 1-15 New York Jets were 9-7 in 1997, and the 2007 1-15 Miami Dolphins went to 11-5.  The 2011 2-14 Colts are 10-5 in 2012.  St. Louis is 7-7-1 with one game remaining and can become the seventh team to do so.

 

The Colts did not lose consecutive games this season, marking the ninth such season in franchise history:

 

SEASONS WITHOUT CONSECUTIVE LOSSES

 

Year, Record, Post-season result

1964, 12-2, Lost in NFL Championship game to Cleveland, 27-0.

1967, 11-1-2, Lost tiebreaker to 11-1-2 L.A. Rams in Coastal Division, missed playoffs.

1968, 13-1, Lost in Super Bowl III to New York Jets, 16-7.

1970, 11-2-1, Won in Super Bowl V over Dallas, 16-13.

1971, 10-4, Lost in AFC Championship game to Miami, 21-0.

1976, 11-3, Lost in Divisional Playoffs to Pittsburgh, 40-14.

1999, 13-3, Lost in Divisional Playoffs to Tennessee, 19-16.

2003, 12-4, Lost in AFC Championship game to New England, 24-14.

2012, 10-5, Playing in Wild Card Playoffs.

 

By earning a playoff berth in 2012, the Colts have their 12th since 1999, the NFL’s highest total.

 

By reaching double-digit victories, the Colts have their 10th such season since 2002, tying New England for the most in the league.  New England gained its 10th this year.  It is the club’s 12th since 1999, a total that leads the league.  New England is second with 11.

 

A victory over Houston would give the Colts their eighth 11-win season in the last 10 years (14, 2005, 2009; 13, 2007; 12, 2003, 2004; 2006; 2008).

 

Indianapolis has four interceptions returned for touchdowns this year, tying the franchise seasonal record done also in 1959, 1965, 1968, 1975 and 1996.  The club did it three times in 1967, 1970 and 1994.

 

Andrew Luck has six 300 games, the NFL rookie record.  Luck surpassed Peyton Manning (4, 1998) for the club and NFL record by a rookie quarterback. 

 

Luck (325-of-599 passing for 4,183 and 21 TDs) has joined Manning (3,739, 1998) as the only Colts rookies to throw for 3,000 yards.  He needs two completions to eclipse Manning’s rookie club record, while he has broken Manning’s attempts total (575; 326).  At Kansas City, Luck eclipsed Cam Newton’s NFL record for rookie passing yards (4,051).

 

Earlier this year, Luck joined Newton as the only players with three 300 games in the first four games of a career.  Against Miami in week nine, Luck threw for 433 yards to eclipse Newton’s (432) previous NFL rookie record.   

 

Luck (21) is one of a handful of rookie quarterbacks to throw 20 or more touchdown passes (26, Peyton Manning, 1998; 25, Russell Wilson, 2012; 22, Charlie Conerly, 1948; 21, Cam Newton, 2011; 20, Dan Marino, 1983; 20, Andy Dalton, 2011, 20, Robert Griffin III, 2012).

 

Luck has taken every offensive snap and has had a major hand in the club’s successes.  He became the first NFL rookie quarterback since 1971 to lead a September fourth-quarter comeback win in the club’s week two triumph over Minnesota. 

 

After the Green Bay win, Luck became the first NFL rookie to pass for 1,200 yards (1,208) and record at least two wins in his team’s first four games.  After the Cleveland win, he was the first NFL rookie with 1,500 passing yards (1,674) and three wins in a team’s first six games.

 

After the Tennessee win, Luck had the highest winning percentage (.571, 4-3) by a rookie quarterback who was a top overall pick through week eight in NFL history.

 

He won AFC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his outing against Miami.  Luck completed 30-of-48 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns.  In facing then the NFL’s best third-down defense, he completed 13-of-17 third-down passes for 204 yards and a touchdown, converting 12 third downs via the air on that down.  Luck set the NFL record for best winning percentage by a top overall pick through week nine (5-3, .625; minimum two starts). 

 

Luck set the club rookie record with four touchdown passes at Detroit.  He directed scoring drives of 85 and 75 yards, ending both with touchdowns in the last 2:39 to earn the win.

 

Luck’s fourth touchdown came with no time remaining, and he joined Wilson, Tim Couch and Matthew Stafford as the only rookies since 1970 with a game-winning toss with no time left on the clock. 

 

At Detroit with the two late scoring drives, the Colts became just the seventh team since 2000 to win a game despite trailing by 12 or more points with less than three minutes remaining.  (Advanced NFL Stats calculated the chances of winning in that scenario are two percent).  The 2003 Colts (at Tampa Bay) and 2009 Colts (vs. New England) were two of those teams as well.

 

Luck (.667) had the best winning percentage through nine games by a rookie QB who was first overall pick in Super Bowl era (6-3; minimum three starts).

 

Luck at Detroit surpassed St. Louis’ Sam Bradford (7, 2010) for the most wins by a rookie quarterback drafted first overall.  He is the winningest such rookie QB since 1950 (10, Luck, Colts, 2012; 7, Bradford, St. Louis, 2010; 6, Cam Newton, Carolina, 2011; 6, Jim Plunkett, New England, 1971; 5, Drew Bledsoe, New England, 1993; 5, Jeff George, Colts, 1990). 

 

Luck has produced seven wins in fourth-quarter or overtime fashion, tying the NFL seasonal record done six other times, including in 1999 and 2009 by Manning.  With his sixth comeback win, he snapped the record he shared with Ben Roethlisberger (2004) and Vince Young (2006).  The comeback performances came against Minnesota, Green Bay, at Tennessee, Miami, at Detroit, vs. Tennessee and at Kansas City. 

 

After the Tennessee win, Luck shared the franchise mark for starting QB wins by a rookie (9-4, Chris Chandler, 1988).  He set the club rookie mark with the win at Kansas City.

 

The NFL post-merger record for rookie starting wins is 13 by Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.  Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco had 11 in 2008, while Kyle Orton had 10 in 2005 and Russell Wilson has 10 in 2012.  With nine wins, Chandler joined Joe Ferguson (1973) and was joined by Andy Dalton (2011).  Roethlisberger was 13-0.  Flacco and Ryan both were 11-5.  Orton was 10-5 and is tied with Luck and Wilson.  Chandler was 9-4, while Ferguson was 9-5 and Dalton was 9-7.

 

Luck is averaging 278.9 passing yards a game, 7th-most in the NFL and most among rookie QBs.

 

Luck is second among AFC QBs with 254 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.  The rushing touchdowns broke the previous club seasonal record of four by Bert Jones (1974) and Peyton Manning (2001, 2006).  He has produced 21 first downs.

 

Reggie Wayne has receptions in 111 straight games.  He leads active NFL receivers with 188 career games played.  Wayne (145) is one of six Colts ever to start more than 100 consecutive games (208, Peyton Manning; 115, C-Ken Mendenhall; 104, DE-Fred Cook; 102, DB-Jason Belser; 101, OT-Tarik Glenn).  He has played in 181 straight games, the league’s best streak by a WR.

 

Wayne (964, 13,023) is 10th in NFL career receptions.  The player ahead of Wayne is Randy Moss (980, 9th).  He is 14th in NFL reception yards.  Next on the yardage list is Steve Largent (13,089, 13th). 

 

Against New York, Wayne became the 14th NFL player with 900 career receptions.

 

Against Green Bay, Wayne (13-212, 1 TD) produced his highest yardage day (200 vs. Dallas 12/5/10) and became the first Colts receiver with two career 200 regular-season games.  His yardage ranked only behind Raymond Berry (224 at Washington 11/10/57) and it was the fifth 200 game in club regular-season history (224, Berry; 212, Wayne; 210, Roger Carr at NY Jets 10/24/76; 203, Reggie Langhorne at Washington 11/7/93; 200, Wayne).  Wayne became only the seventh player since 1990 to have a 200 game in a 10th career season or later (James Lofton, Irving Fryar, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, Terrell Owens (2), Wayne (2)).

He earned the AFC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for the first time in his career.

 

The Colts are 29-12 when Wayne tops 100 reception yards, 21-12 when he has at least eight receptions, 56-13 when he scores a touchdown.

 

Wayne (78) ranks third in Colts history in career touchdowns (128, Marvin Harrison; 113, Lenny Moore).  His 78 touchdown receptions are second-most to Harrison (128).

 

Wayne has 13,018 career scrimmage yards, second in Colts history (14,608, Marvin Harrison; 12,065, Edgerrin James).

 

Wayne has three or more receptions in a league-record 63 straight games, snapping the previous best of Cris Carter (1993-97).  Wayne has receptions in 182 of 188 career games.  He has multiple receptions in 177 outings and three or more receptions in 158 contests.

 

Wayne has 87.7 yardage average this year.  His career-best was 94.4 in 2007.  The only two times in franchise history when a player held a 100.0-yard average were 1999 (Marvin Harrison, 103.9) and 2002 (Harrison, 107.6).

 

Wayne (1,315) has produced his eighth 1,000-yard season.  Reaching that plateau ties him with Marvin Harrison (8, 1999-2006) for the club record.  Wayne had seven consecutive from 2004-10, the second-longest consecutive streak in franchise history.

 

Wayne has produced his sixth 1,200-yardage season (1,510, 2007; 1,355, 2010; 1,315, 2012; 1,310, 2006; 1,264, 2009; 1,210, 2004).  It ties him with Harrison for the club record and ties him with Harrison and Torry Holt for third-most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice (11) and Randy Moss (8).

 

Wayne (13,023) is one of 14 players (three active) to reach the 13,000-yard plateau (22,895, Jerry Rice; 15,934, Terrell Owens; 15,264, Randy Moss; 15,208, Isaac Bruce; 14,934, Tim Brown; 14,580, Marvin Harrison; 14,227, Tony Gonzalez; 14,004, James Lofton; 13,899, Cris Carter; 13,777, Henry Ellard; 13,382, Torry Holt; 13,198, Andre Reed; 13,089, Steve Largent).

 

Wayne (102) has produced his fourth 100 -catch season.  He had 104 in 2007, 100 in 2009 and 111 in 2010.  Wayne has tied Marvin Harrison (115, 1999; 102, 2000; 109, 2001; 143, 2002) for the club record.  Jerry Rice and Brandon Marshall have four 100 -reception seasons, while Wes Welker has a league-record five.

 

Wayne has led the team in receptions seven times, ranking behind Marvin Harrison (9) and Raymond Berry (8) in club history.  Wayne has done it the last six seasons, tying Harrison’s (6, 1999-04) club mark for the most consecutive seasons leading the team.

 

The Green Bay game was Wayne’s 15th with 10 receptions, one behind Marvin Harrison’s club record.  At 18, Wes Welker is the NFL leader, while Jerry Rice and Andre Johnson have done it 17 times.  Harrison (16) and Brandon Marshall (16) are tied for fourth-most.  Wayne is sixth.  Wayne (2007-08) is tied with Johnson (2008) and Brett Perriman (1995) for the NFL lead with three straight games with 10 catches. 

 

Against Green Bay, Wayne became the 16th NFL player with 40 career 100 games (76, Jerry Rice; 64, Randy Moss (active); 59, Marvin Harrison, 51, Terrell Owens; 50, Don Maynard; 47, Torry Holt; 47, Michael Irvin; 46, Jimmy Smith; 45, Isaac Bruce; 43, Tim Brown; 43, James Lofton; 42, Cris Carter; 41, Lance Alworth; 40, Steve Largent; 40, Steve Smith (active)).  Rice, Maynard, Irvin, Lofton, Alworth and Largent are Hall-of-Famers.

 

Wayne has more than 100 receptions against each AFC South foe (133, Jacksonville; 120, Houston; 103, Tennessee).  It makes Wayne the eighth player with 100 or more receptions against three or more teams.  He joins Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Cris Carter (who did it against four opponents), as well as Art Monk, Jerry Rice, Rod Smith and Hines Ward.

 

Antoine Bethea has 113 tackles this season and has 804 for his career.  Bethea is one of seven Indianapolis Colts to top 700 career tackles (1,149 Jeff Herrod; 1,052, Duane Bickett; 785, Jason Belser; 754, Gary Brackett, 744, Eugene Daniel).

 

Kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored in the last 145 consecutive games.  His 53-yard field goal with eight seconds left against Minnesota was the 24th game-winning kick of his career.

 

Against Tennessee, Vinatieri became the eighth player in NFL history to reach 400 career field goals.  Vinatieri has 500 career field goal attempts, 10th in NFL history (Jason Elam is ninth at 540).  Vinatieri (705) at Detroit moved past Lenny Moore (678) for fourth-place in Colts career scoring.

 

Vinatieri had 1,158 points with New England and with 705 with the Colts, he is one of only three players with 700-plus points with two different teams (Morten Andersen – 1,318 with New Orleans and 806 with Atlanta; John Carney – 1,076 with San Diego and 768 with New Orleans).

 

Vinatieri has eight field goals from the 50 -range, third-most in club history (18, Dean Biasucci; 14, Mike Vanderjagt).

 

Vinatieri has produced his 15th career 100-plus point season.  It is his fifth with the Colts, second to Mike Vanderjagt (8).  Vinatieri has passed Morten Andersen (14) and Gary Anderson (14) for the second-most 100-point seasons.  The leader is Jason Elam (16).

 

Linebacker Jerrell Freeman topped the club in tackles in each of the first seven games before the streak was ended vs. Miami.  Freeman had 13 at Chicago, 18 vs. Minnesota, 16 vs. Jacksonville, 11 vs. Green Bay, 19 at New York, seven vs. Cleveland and 15 at Tennessee.  He topped the team with 13 at New England, 18 vs. Buffalo, 10 at Detroit, nine vs. Tennessee and 13 at Houston.  Freeman was involved in takeaways in two of the first three outings – scoring interception return at Chicago; forced fumble against Minnesota.  Freeman is the first Colts undrafted player ever to return an interception for a touchdown in a career debut, and was the first to do so in the since 1987 (LB-Peter Noga; DB-Paul Tripoli).

 

Freeman (192) can become the second Colts player in the Indianapolis era to have a 200-tackle season, and his current total is among the all-time best (200, Jeff Herrod, 1994; 192, Cliff Odom, 1985).

 

Against Jacksonville, T.Y. Hilton became the first NFL rookie receiver this year to post a 100-yard game when he had 113 yards against Jacksonville 9/23.  He was 6-102, 1 TD vs. Miami for his second 100 outing.  Hilton joined Ray Perkins (1967), Bill Brooks (1986), Marvin Harrison (1996) and Anthony Gonzalez (2007) for the second-most 100 outings by a Colts rookie receiver (3, Andre Rison, 1989).  With 6-100, 2 TDs at New England, Hilton tied Rison for the club mark.  Hilton set the club rookie mark for 100-yard games with 6-100 at Detroit.

 

Hilton was the 13th receiver taken in the draft.  There were four selected in the first round, five in the second and three in the third before he was taken with the 92nd choice. 

 

Against Buffalo, Hilton scored on a 75-yard punt return and an eight-yard reception to become the first Colts player to record such scores in the same game in franchise history.  Hilton earned AFC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honors for the achievement.

 

Cornerback Darius Butler (two interceptions/one fumble recovered) had three takeaways at Jacksonville, one shy of the Indianapolis era club record for the most by a player in a game (4, Eugene Daniel, 3 interceptions/1 fumble recovered vs. Green Bay 10/27/85; 3, Leonard Coleman, 3 ints. vs. New Orleans 10/12/86; 3, Mike Prior, 3 ints. vs. Phoenix 12/20/92).

 

Tight end Dwayne Allen (43) has set the club rookie tight end record for receptions.  At Detroit moved past John Mackey (35, 1963) and at Kansas City he surpassed Ken Dilger (42, 1995).

 

Linebacker Dwight Freeney (106.5) has recorded sacks against 27 of 31 teams.  Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans and Washington are the only teams that Freeney has not produced a sack against.  Freeney has 25 career multiple-sack games, including five three-plus sack games.  He has sacked 53 different quarterbacks.  Freeney has seven of the 17 double-digit sack seasons in club history.

 

Linebacker Robert Mathis (91.5) had an eight-game sack streak end at New England.  It tied his personal-best.  In 2005, he set an NFL record with sacks in eight consecutive games to start a season.  Mathis has 20 career multiple-sack games, including two three-plus sack games.  Mathis has four of the 17 double-digit sack seasons in club history.

 

The Colts are 26-9 when Freeney and Mathis combine for sacks.  They each produced 10 sacks in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010 to set the NFL mark for most seasons with teammates doing so together.  They surpassed Reggie White and Clyde Simmons by doing so.  They have combined for 20-plus sacks in five different seasons (26.5, 2004; 22.5, 2005; 22.0, 2008; 23.0, 2009; 21.0, 2010).

 

Pat McAfee (68-48.4, 40.6 net) is set to break the club seasonal gross punting average for the second straight year.  His 46.6 in 2011 snapped the prior club mark of Rohn Stark (45.9, 1985).  McAfee’s net average is on pace to set the club seasonal mark (39.3, Stark, 1992; 39.2, McAfee, 2011).

 

There are 14 players in franchise history, nine in the Indianapolis era, to participate in at least 100 regular-season victories:  141 games, QB-Peyton Manning; 132, QB-John Unitas; 132, C-Jeff Saturday; 127, TE-Justin Snow; 126, WR-Reggie Wayne; 118, WR-Marvin Harrison; 114, P-Hunter Smith; 111, LB-Dwight Freeney; 109, P-David Lee; 108, OT-Ryan Diem; 107, LB-Don Shinnick; 106, DE-Ordell Braase; 105, C/LB-Dick Szymanski; 104, Robert Mathis.

 

Bruce Arians was the sixth interim head coach in club history (1972, John Sandusky, nine games; 1974, Joe Thomas, 11; 1984, Hal Hunter, one; 1991, Rick Venturi, 11 games; 2005, Jim Caldwell, one game).  Arians was the lone one who subbed for a coach (Chuck Pagano) who returned to the team.

 

In beating Green Bay, Arians was the only Colts interim coach to win his first game.  Arians (9-3) set the franchise record for the most wins by an interim field leader (five) in the 27-10 victory at Jacksonville.

 

Sandusky was 4-5 in the games in 1972 when he succeeded Don McCafferty.  His four wins under those interim conditions stood as the club mark until Arians tied him with the team’s 23-20 victory over Miami this year.  Thomas was 2-9 in 1974 after succeeding Howard Schnellenberger, while Venturi was 1-10 in his outings in 1991 after replacing Ron Meyer.  Hunter lost the final game in 1984 after the departure of Frank Kush.  Caldwell lost his one game in the absence of Tony Dungy.

 

The only interim coaches in NFL history with nine wins (according to Stats LLC) are Wally Lemm (9-0, Houston, 1961; replaced Lou Rymkus), Hamp Pool (9-2, LA Rams, 1952; replaced Joe Stydahar) and Arians.  Don Coryell (8-4, San Diego, 1978; replaced Tommy Prothro), Mike Holovak (7-1-1, Boston Patriots, 1961; replaced Lou Saban), Bruce Coslet (7-2, Cincinnati, 1996; replaced David Shula) and Art Shell (7-5, L.A. Raiders, 1989; replaced Mike Shanahan) are the most successful interim coaches in addition to Pool, Lemm and Arians.

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