INDIANAPOLIS – The bye week mood around the Indianapolis Colts has taken quite the 180 from last year.
In 2016, the Colts are coming off their best performance of the season and aren't dealing with the worst possible scenario, like they were last season, after a significant injury to Andrew Luck going into the bye.
The Colts will be back to work on Tuesday, before the players get the rest of the week off.
Here is the Monday notebook recapping Pagano's thoughts after the team's 31-26 victory over the Packers.
**Chuck Pagano feels good about the progression of his injured players. The following players missed Sunday's win due to injuries: S-Mike Adams (groin), DE-Henry Anderson (knee), OLB-Chris Carter (hamstring), DE-Kendall Langford (knee), OG-Jack Mewhort (tricep) and OT-Joe Reitz (concussion).
Pagano did say that there is some longer term questions about Mewhort. The team' starting left guard had a setback at practice before the Chiefs' game, two weeks ago.
Langford is another one to watch as he has not practiced in two weeks, when the Colts decided to "shut him down" for some time.Chuck Pagano on Sunday's win moving the Colts to 4-5 on the season:
"Again, we said this game would be a defining moment for this team and our season.
"But, really, how we handle this is also going to define our football team and where we go from here."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Chuck Pagano said on Monday that all three of his coordinators deserved game balls for Sunday's upset victory over the Packers. In achieving such a win like we saw at Lambeau on Sunday, the Colts had to have such playmaking unit from each unit. And they got just that.
While Andrew Luck wasn't at his best early on Sunday, the special teams and defense did the heavy lifting. Eventually, Luck snapped out of it and the complementary football was why the Colts got their first win at Lambeau since 1988, when Chris Chandler was the team's quarterback.
Chuck Pagano on the bye week now arriving for the Colts:
"It's been one hell of a roller coaster ride to this point so (the bye) comes at a much needed time."
Bowen's Analysis:* *From paint malfunctions in Canton, to the transatlantic trip to London and the stop in iconic Lambeau, the Colts have seen and experienced quite a bit already in 2016. While the injuries aren't too major going into bye, the off week provides a mental break for a team filled with ups and downs through nine games.
The Colts will return from their bye to play seven games the rest of the season. They will play two home games in five days right away (11/20-Tennessee, 11/24-Pittsburgh). They will have their last three divisional games at home. They will also have consecutive December trips to division leaders in Minnesota (12/18) and Oakland (12/24). And if they want serious playoff consideration, the Colts will have a mighty big one in Week 14 at home against the Texans (12/11).Chuck Pagano on the Colts winning several "must-have" games already in 2016:
"When our backs are against the wall, I don't think there's anybody better.
"But I don't think we need to be there and that's our own doing."
Bowen's Analysis: Yes, the Colts have done this quite a bit in 2016. But Pagano is right. If the Colts want to have some sustained success this season, and ultimately earn a playoff spot, this team has to avoid being in such "do or die" situations.
After the bye week, the Colts will play three of their next four at home. The road game in that four-game stretch is against the Jets (3-6). The opportunity is about to come for the Colts (4-5) to stay right in the rearview mirror of the Texans (5-3). But the Colts are still in a scenario where the margin for error is minimal, given Houston being two games ahead of the Colts in the loss column.