All-Pro Kickers, Quan Bray Give Colts Much Needed Special Teams Boost

Intro: The Colts special teams unit played arguably its finest game of 2015 on Sunday. What did Chuck Pagano think of the unit’s performance with a possible return man emerging?

VinnyPatCelebrate.jpg

INDIANAPOLIS – It is a phase of the game, the Colts have prided themselves on in past seasons.

On Sunday in Atlanta, the Colts special teams helped spearhead a critical road victory through each area of the unit.

The All-Pro kickers led the way and an undrafted rookie continued to make quite the impression on special teams.

**McAfee To Moncrief

**Non-injury substitutions on special teams are a rarity in a game.

The Colts felt the need to make such a switch though when they faced a fourth-and-six at their own 49-yard line with 10:23 remaining on Sunday.

Wide receiver Donte Moncrief (who played the most wide receiver snaps of any Colt on Sunday) entered the game at gunner.

What then transpired was perfect execution from Pat McAfee and Moncrief.

As McAfee's lofted punt racked up hang time, Moncrief beat his man easily to the outside and positioned himself on the doorstep of the goal line, waiting.

Once McAfee's punt finally fell, No. 10 snagged the bounding ball at the one-yard line, setting up D'Qwell Jackson's pick six on the very next play.

"That is just us going out there and doing our job," McAfee said after the 24-21, comeback victory.

"It's an incredible athlete in Donte Moncrief, being incredibly selfless and wanting to play on the punt team in that situation, because he's so talented at it. It's the punt team protecting well and the punt team going out there and making a play. It's a big, big play."

Not to be lost in the special teams play of the game was McAfee setting a new franchise record for most career games with a 50.0-plus punting average (16). Rohn Stark held the previously mark.**

Highlights from the Colts win over the Falcons in Atlanta.

Vinatieri's Historic Game-Winner

**Playing in his 300th career game Sunday, the NFL's oldest player was once again Mr. Clutch.

"The two specialists did an outstanding job," is a quote that Chuck Pagano seemingly could say after ever game.

It was especially true on Sunday with McAfee helping to control field position and Vinatieri doing what he's done 26 times in his career.

Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal with 52 seconds remaining Sunday gave the Colts a 24-21 lead, and was his 26th career game-winning field goal.

On Monday morning, McAfee summed up what it is like to watch Vinatieri (who has now made his last 12 field goals) work his magic.

"It's just one of those things.. When Adam Vinatieri is walking on the field to kick a game winner.. Everybody knows what's about to happen," McAfee said on Instagram.

"The other team knows.. Our team knows.. The other team's fan's know.. Our fans know.. The whole world knows what the 42 year old is gonna do.. I'm just jogging out there ready to not mess it up.. And celebrate…"**

Bray Provides A Spark**

Phillip Dorsett's injury has opened the door to a possible return man for the Indianapolis Colts.

Fellow rookie, Quan Bray had kick returns of 36 and 34 yards Sunday and even had a punt return of 42 yards called back due to a hold well away from the play.

The Colts have been endlessly searching for a return man under Chuck Pagano and Bray certainly has provided a consistent spark in the past month.

As an undrafted free agent from Auburn, Bray caught the eye of the Colts staff throughout the offseason.

However, a crowded position group at wide receiver forced Bray onto the practice squad, until Dorsett's injury in the Saints game.

Bray showed again Sunday that the Colts might have found their, really, lone missing piece on special teams.

"He's got swag, he's got confidence and he's gaining confidence with every game and you can just see it," Chuck Pagano says of Bray.

"He's a fearless guy. He's a straight-ahead, no fair-dodging type of guy, not a dance-around guy. He gives you a guy back there that is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Single Game Tickets Available Now!

Single Game Tickets Available Now!

Join us at Lucas Oil Stadium for every exciting matchup this fall. Tickets are available now! Find your games below.

Advertising