INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will have their mandatory off day today before preparation ramps up for the Houston Texans on Sunday. Today's news look at the Colts struggling defense, the NFL debut of Daniel Adongo and Houston naming quarterback Case Keenum the permanent starter.
Take a look below at the top pieces fromTuesday, December 10th.Colts know defense must improve for playoffsBy: Stephen Holder, Indy Star
Holder takes a look at the Colts defense who missed chances for some potential game changing turnovers on Sunday.
For the Colts, who clinched the AFC South title when the Titans fell to Denver late Sunday afternoon, the postseason will bring similar challenges. They are challenges the Colts haven't consistently proved capable of withstanding.
"In the playoffs, the old cliché is that if you don't have a quarterback, you don't have a chance," outside linebacker Robert Mathis said. "All teams (in the playoffs) have a good quarterback. We have one too so we have to help him and give him a chance to lead us."
Mathis, the NFL's sack leader, routinely is the center of attention from the opposing offensive front. But he made barely a ripple Sunday. He did not register a sack and barely came within shouting distance of Dalton, who was not sacked. It marked the first time this season the Colts failed to take down a quarterback, allowing Dalton more than ample time to throw to his many talented receivers.
But the Colts had equally distressing issues in the secondary, where cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Darius Butler, along with safety LaRon Landry, had forgettable games.
Davis and Butler, in particular, struggled. The defensive backs were often step for step with receivers but the receivers still managed to catch deep balls from Dalton. The Colts needed someone to make plays on the football, and that rarely happened.
The Bengals' first touchdown, a 29-yard strike from Dalton to Marvin Jones, came with Davis in coverage, a half-step behind his man. But Davis never turned and found the football, allowing Jones to catch Dalton's pass. The same thing played out with Butler in other instances.
"Personally, I know I can play better," Butler said. "There are plays we left out there that we can do better on."
'They Can't Stop You'By: Robert Klemko, MMQB.com
Monday Morning Quarterback was in Cincinnati on Sunday to cover the NFL debut of Daniel Adongo.
The Colts could've used his athleticism on the defensive line, as Indy failed to sack Dalton. On one special teams play, Adongo met Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey, who had been following his story. "I knew he was out there," Rey said. "I had to make sure I didn't get wrecked. He seemed as good as anybody else out there, and he's huge. He's going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Adongo asked for pointers on the sideline from fellow Colts special teamers, and commented that the game was way faster than practice. Veterans said he didn't seem nervous for the circumstances, as if he had played in big games before. The rugby veteran of the Eastern Province Kings, the Pretoria Blue Bulls and the Counties Steelers of New Zealand certainly has, but never in front of 60,000 people.
"I was nervous," Adongo says, "but I subdued that because I had an obligation to the team and my brothers here to perform whatever task or duty asked of me on the special teams to the greatest of my abilities."
Case Keenum named Texans' starting QB because of 'team decision,' Phillips saysBy: Brian T. Smith, The Houston Chronicle
The Colts will once again see Case Keenum on Sunday when they welcome the Texans to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Texans interim coach Wade Phillips said Monday that Case Keenum was named the team's starting quarterback as part of a "team decision."
Asked if he was involved in the move to name Keenum the starter for the Texans' final three games, Phillips didn't directly answer the question.
Texans owner Bob McNair announced Keenum would start last Friday, during the same day former coach Gary Kubiak was fired.
Phillips said Keenum deserves the right to prove he can finish and win close games.