INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will depart for the east coast this afternoon with their divisional matchup against the New England Patriots tomorrow night. Today's news looks at the Colts potential Hall of Fame members, the versatility of T.Y. Hilton and the Patriots ability to establish the run.
Take a look below at the top pieces fromFriday, January 10th.Harrison, Dungy are Hall of Fame finalisBy: Mike Chappell, Indy Star
A pair of former Colts made the cut to 15 Hall of Fame finalists and that group will be dwindled down to around a handful for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Harrison, the Colts' 1996 first-round draft pick, holds virtually every club career and single-season receiving records. He's also among the NFL's all-time top 10 with 1,102 receptions (No. 3), 14,580 yards (No. 7) and 128 receiving touchdowns (No. 5). Harrison was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and set an NFL record in 2002 with 143 receptions.
Dungy succeeded Jim Mora in 2002 and helped turn the Colts into perennial championship contenders during his seven seasons. They won at least 10 games each year, including at least 12 over the final six seasons, and earned the franchise's first world title in 30 years with a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI after the '06 season.
Dungy retired after the 2008 season with a 92-33 record, including the playoffs. Including his stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dungy's 148 career wins rank No. 21 in NFL history.
"It's an unbelievable honor,'' Dungy said in an interview on NFL Network. "Just look at the 10 guys they eliminated. I don't know how you eliminate those guys. To be there with three of my former players, it's quite a thrill.''
All eyes on T.Y.By: George Bremer, The Herald Bulletin
Bremer looks at how the Colts have moved T.Y. Hilton around to get him in the most advantageous situations.
Hilton most certainly was in the right spot late in the fourth quarter last Saturday against Kansas City. With the Colts in the midst of the second-largest comeback in playoff history and facing first down at their own 36-yard line, Luck turned to his receiver as the offense broke the huddle and said, "Run, just run."
He ran past Chiefs defensive backs Quentin Demps and Kendrick Lewis, splitting them on a seam route straight down the middle of the field. And he kept running after Luck placed a perfect pass into his hands directly in stride.
By the time he reached the end zone, the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd was at full roar. Hilton leapt into the air and spiked the football, creating an image from the game nearly as iconic as his quarterback's dive into the same end zone after a fumble recovery.
No one on the Indianapolis sideline was particularly surprised it was Hilton who made the day's game-breaking play.
"His preparation is really impressive," Luck said. "He's not just an athlete. He's not just a 'playground-go-make-a-play' guy. He's a football player. He's a professional. He was always in Reggie's ear last year about how to do things. He's always in his ear this year, still. It's been really fun to play with him."
Patriots can set the tempo with running game vs. Colts front sevenBy: Erik Frenz, Boston.com
It's no secret that with banged up weapons in the receiving game, the Patriots will rely on the run a lot on Saturday night.
There's one simple way for the Patriots to make sure that they beat the Colts -- and to also make sure they don't beat themselves: run the football.
The Colts were a bottom-10 run defense in nearly every major category, while the Patriots were a top-10 rushing attack across the board.
Whether it's LeGarrette Blount, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen or Brandon Bolden, an effective running game could set the tempo for the game, and even break the will of the Colts' defense.
"It wears and tears on a defense," said Blount. "They get tired of hitting backs like me, like Rid, like Bolden, and they get tired of chasing Shane around. So, I feel like if you do that to them for a while, sooner or later they're going to crack."
They will likely all get a chance to make the Colts crack, and with so many backs capable of different things, preparing for all of them isn't easy.
"It's a heck of a challenge," said Colts head coach Chuck Pagano of the Patriots running game. "What LeGarrette is doing and Ridley and certainly with Shane coming in, and Bolden is no slouch. I mean, they've got a stable of guys that are all more than capable, and you look at the one-two punch LeGarrette and Rid have been, and you look at almost identical numbers across the board, it's a huge challenge."