Hayden's Interception Return Keys Colts Against Falcons
ATLANTA, Ga. – Kelvin Hayden has done this before.
And he has done it on a slightly bigger stage.
None of which meant the Colts' fourth-year cornerback took it for granted when he intercepted a pass and returned it 67 yards for a touchdown in the Colts' 17-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night.
Hayden, who returned an interception to clinch the Colts' victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI two seasons ago, said that for a cornerback, scoring a touchdown is nice whatever the time of year. Still, he said it was the preseason, so there was only so much to celebrate.
"You keep those in mind," Hayden said. "You have to remind yourself, 'It's the preseason. It matters but it doesn't matter.' You take it as it is.
"They say when a bad play happens a corner has to have a bad memory, but when a good play happens, you just forget about it and continue to work."
Hayden's touchdown gave the Colts their first lead after the Falcons took an early 6-0 lead. That lead came about largely because of two long runs by Falcons running back Michael Turner.
On the Falcons' first series, Turner ran for a 52-yard gain on 1st-and-10 from the Falcons 22. The play led to a 25-yard field goal by Falcons kicker Jason Elam. One series later, Turner's 63-yard run set up a 35-yard field goal by Elam.
"They did a good job of hanging in there," Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said of the defense. "They didn't panic even though we had a couple of situations. They had two (big) runs early. But you hang in there and don't give up touchdowns you have a chance to make something happen.
"That was obviously the biggest play of the game and probably a 10-point turnaround."
Said Hayden, "I think we have some room for improvement. You can look at the big runs and that's all they had. You can look at it and say, 'We didn't give up seven points,' and that's a good thing, but we can't have those. They probably had 100 yards on seven or eight carries.
"That's one thing we can't have in the regular season, so we just want to learn from it and continue to work. I think those things can be fixed so it won't be a problem."
TIP DRILL: Brannon Condren has had an impressive 2008 Training Camp for the Colts, intercepting several passes while the Colts were working at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
On Saturday night, he continued the performance, and did so after a couple of bounces.
Condren, a second-year safety from Troy, intercepted two passes for the Colts on Saturday night, with each coming off tipped passes.
First, he intercepted a deflected pass on the first play of the fourth quarter from Falcons quarterback Chris Redman at the Colts 9 and returned it nine yards.
Less than eight minutes later, Condren intercepted a deflected pass from Falcons quarterback D.J. Shockley and returned it 32 yards to the Falcons 15.
"We were just in Cover 2 both times," Condren said. "The corners made good breaks on the ball and forced the tip. They were just in the air and I came up and scooped it out. We work on that in practice every day, everybody getting to the ball. It just showed off what we do in practice."
QUICK BURSTS: The Falcons took a quick lead on Saturday, and the biggest reason was two quick, long runs by Falcons running back Michael Turner.
Turner, who signed with the Falcons as a free agent in the offseason, rushed for a 52-yard gain on the Falcons' opening drive and a 63-yard gain on their second drive.
Each drive ended with a field goal by Falcons kicker Jason Elam.
"It was just guys not doing the right thing," Dungy said. "We weren't going where we were supposed to. There were big holes and Turner – we've seen that before. We saw that movie. It's the same thing when you don't go the right direction with him."
Three years ago, Turner's 83-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run clinched a 26-17 San Diego victory over the Colts in the RCA Dome.
"I guess that was the good news," Dungy said. "We caught him both times this time. Three years ago, we couldn't catch him."
TOO MUCH YELLOW: Dungy looks for a lot of things from preseason games. One of those things isn't 10 penalties.
That's one reason Dungy wasn't thrilled Saturday night.
The Colts committed 10 penalties against the Falcons for 74 yards, with four of the penalties offsides or false starts.
RICHARD, FEDERKEIL START: With Colts right tackle Ryan Diem out with a shoulder injury, rookie offensive lineman made his first start of the preseason.
Richard, a seventh-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft from the University of Buffalo, started at left guard in place of veteran Dan Federkeil, who had started the first two preseason games at left guard. Federkeil moved outside to start in place of Diem.
The Colts following players did not play for the Colts:
Defensive end Dwight Freeney (foot, Physically Unable to Perform), safety Bob Sanders (shoulder, PUP), quarterback Peyton Manning (knee, PUP), tight end Tom Santi (knee, PUP), offensive guard Ryan Lilja (knee, PUP), linebacker Tyjuan Hagler (chest, PUP), safety Melvin Bullitt (thumb), Diem, wide receiver Roy Hall (hamstring), defensive end Josh Thomas (groin), linebacker Philip Wheeler (knee) and linebacker Victor Worsley (hamstring).
HOW THEY SCORED
COLTS 00 10 03 03 – 16
FALCONS 06 00 03 00 – 09
FALCONS 3, COLTS 0
Jason Elam 25 FG, 10:30 remaining first quarter. Drive: Seven plays, 76 yards, 4:30. Key play: Michael Turner 52 run on 1st-and-5 from Falcons 22.
FALCONS 6, COLTS 0
Elam 35 FG, 4:56 remaining first quarter. Drive: Five plays, 68 yards, 2:00. Key play: Turner 63 run on 1st-and-10 from Falcons 15.
FALCONS 6, COLTS 3
Adam Vinatieri 24 FG, 11:26 remaining second quarter. Drive: 17 plays, 85 yards, 8:30. Key play: Reggie Wayne 30 pass from Jim Sorgi on 3rd-and-4 from Falcons 41.
COLTS 10, FALCONS 6
Kelvin Hayden 67 interception return (Vinatieri kick), :33 remaining second quarter.
COLTS 10, FALCONS 9
Elam 40 FG, 11:06 remaining third quarter. Drive: Five plays, 19 yards, 2:25.
COLTS 13, FALCONS 9
Adam Crossett 20 FG, 3:55 remaining third quarter. Drive: Nine plays, 85 yards, 3:10. Key play: Jacob Tamme 47 pass from Quinn Gray on 3rd-and-11 from Colts 12.
COLTS 16, FALCONS 9
Crossett 33 FG, 1:45 remaining fourth quarter. Drive: 12 plays, 41 yards, 3:28. Key play: Zac Herold 9 pass from Jared Lorenzen on 3rd-and-5 from Colts 49.