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Colts/Chargers Notebook: With Donte Moncrief Out, Colts Use More Two Tight End Sets

Intro: In the Colts/Chargers Week Three Notebook, we take a look at the tight end usage on Sunday, the play of Erik Walden leading the defense and how the Colts will handle next week going to London.


INDIANAPOLIS – The spirits will be a bit higher when the Colts (1-2) board their plane for London on Thursday evening.

That will come thanks to a 26-22 victory in Week Three over the San Diego Chargers (1-2).

Here's a notebook look at the Colts getting their first win of the season on Sunday afternoon.

**Tight Ends Produce In Donte Moncrief's Absence

**How would the Colts adjust their offensive personnel with Donte Moncrief out of the lineup?

Well, Sunday, the Colts leaned heavily on their reliable tight ends.

Jack Doyle (6 catches for 65 yards) and Dwayne Allen (3 catches for 35 yards) received ample playing time with the Colts opting to utilize more two tight end looks, versus three receiver sets.

Doyle, who graced the front cover of Sunday's game program, continues to produce in 2016. The Indy native has caught 13-of-15 (86.7 percent) targets on the year, the top percentage in the NFL for tight ends with at least 11 targets.

"He is a dependable, dependable guy," Chuck Pagano said of Doyle after the Colts moved to 1-2 on the year.

"He is a guy that comes in every single day and you know exactly what you are going to get. He has improved in the run game, his blocking and obviously his route running and his catch ability and run-after-the-catch has gotten better since he has been here. Again, there is just a trust factor and he is a trustworthy guy and he is always going to be where he is supposed to be and is going to be in the right spot and he finds a way to get himself open and make critical catches for us. I am proud of him."**

**With uncertainty on how the Colts would make up for the loss of Moncrief, early returns have the tight end position factoring quite large into the needed production

"It is huge for us," Allen said after the win. "Thanks for (Rob) Chudzinski for calling our number. We always say, 'Whenever our number is called, we are going to step up.' And thankfully (Sunday) it was called a little bit and we were able to step up."**

Erik Walden Leads Strong Defensive Afternoon

**Coming into Sunday, the Chargers were the NFL's third ranked rushing team, having eclipsed the 150-yard mark in each of the first two weeks.

They would barely get a fifth of the way there on Sunday.

The Colts held San Diego to 37 rushing yards on 17 carries.

It was the type of effort the Colts hope to build on in 2016, with a unit that had 10 of its 11 expected starters playing on Sunday.

"Unbelievable," Andrew Luck said in describing the defense allowing 15 total points, with San Diego going 1-of-4 in the red zone.

"What an outstanding job they've done. The beauty of football is it's the greatest team sport in the world. The offense and the defense and the special teams do it together. I think they certainly picked up the slack from our end, when we needed it."

The leader of the group Sunday was the always tenacious Erik Walden.

Coming off the edge, Walden had a pair of sacks and two forced fumbles.

With the coverage in the back end forcing Philip Rivers to hold and hold onto the ball, the Indy defense played a major, major role in win No. 1.

"We just wanted to get a win," Walden said on Sunday. "It didn't matter how the game was going to go – what kind of game we had to play. Our mindset was get a win, just get number one. We were able to do that."**

Colts London Bound In Week Four

**The consistent repetition of the NFL will be interrupted for the Colts in Week Four.

London is the destination for the Colts this coming Sunday.

Playing overseas for the first time ever in a regular season game, the Colts will alter their schedule leading up to kickoff.

Monday will be the players' day off. Normally it is Tuesday.

The team will then move their practices up one day this week. They will practice Tuesday-Thursday, before departing for London on Thursday evening.

Sunday's kick from Wembley Stadium will be at 9:30 a.m. ET.

"It's a challenge," Chuck Pagano said after Sunday's win about playing in London this week. "There has been a ton of work that has gone into this a year in advance. We started talking about this a long time ago, as soon as the schedule came out and we figured we were going, that is when we started planning it. It's very helpful to have (assistants) Joe Philbin and Darren Krein, those guys have been over there a couple times. We've got people that have experienced it and can give you the pluses and minuses and a lot of ideas on the practice week, the practice schedule, when to leave, what time to leave, boarding the plane, sleeping on the way over, staying up once you get over there to get your body clock adjusted to that time zone, all those types of things.

"Really our operations department, our organization has really stepped up and done a really great job. Jeff Brown has been an all-star. All of our departments have been over there a couple times and logistically found out hotels, buses, the trip to Wembley, all that stuff. It's an undertaking obviously and it's going to be a short turnaround for us. It's like playing a Thursday game for us even though we have a week and we are playing on a Sunday. It's going to be a heck of a challenge."

Colts/Chargers Snap Counts

  • With Donte Moncrief out, the Colts utilized much more two tight end personnel, than three receiver groupings. TE-Jack Doyle played 53 snaps (74 percent of the total on offense). WR-Chester Rogers played 31 snaps (43 percent of the total).
  • The offensive line had to do some shuffling on Sunday. When Joe Reitz left late in the second quarter, Joe Haeg (who was starting for Denzelle Good at right guard) slid out to right tackle. Jon Harrison then came in at right guard. For the game, Haeg played 32 snaps at right guard and 39 snaps at right tackle.
  • Behind Frank Gore (43 snaps), Josh Ferguson played 17 snaps and Robert Turbin logged 12.
  • Defensively, Mike Adams was once again the only Colt to play every snap. Adams played all 60 on defense.
  • Guys coming back from injury saw the following action: CB-Vontae Davis (55-of-60), S-Clayton Geathers (40-of-60) and DT-Henry Anderson (18-of-60).
  • We saw T.J. Green play 28 snaps, primarily as a third safety.
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