Colts/Falcons Notebook: Red Zone Machine Ahmad Bradshaw Finds End Zone Twice

Intro: In the Colts/Falcons Week 11 Notebook, we take a look at the red zone presence of Ahmad Bradshaw, the critical special teams play from Pat McAfee and Donte Moncrief, the current AFC South standings and the snap counts from Sunday.

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ATLANTA – The Colts three touchdowns on Sunday in Atlanta came via things we saw quite a bit in 2014.

Ahmad Bradshaw in the red zone and downed punts inside the five-yard line were staples of the Colts, 24-21, victory on Sunday afternoon.

Here's a notebook look at the Colts returning from the bye week with a victory:

Ahmad Bradshaw Shines In The Red Zone

Getting the Colts running backs more involved in the pass game has been something the Indianapolis offense has wanted to get going in 2015.

On Sunday, it came to fruition to the tune of nine receptions in nine targets for Ahmad Bradshaw and Frank Gore.

Bradshaw was the beneficiary of once again flashing quite bright in the red zone.

The veteran running back caught two touchdowns on Sunday, giving him nine receiving scores in the last two years with the Colts (15 games).

With the running game being held in check Sunday (Gore and Bradshaw combined for 66 yards on 23 carries), the running backs impacted things out of the backfield (nine catches for 66 yards).

"I can't imagine having to tackle those guys," Matt Hasselbeck said of Gore and Bradshaw after the game.

"They are tough. They are hard-nosed and have the respect of everybody in the locker room. Today we needed them in the running game and we needed them in the passing game as well."

*Special Teams Makes The Play Before *The Play

**Donte Moncrief played one special teams snap on Sunday but it was a mighty big one.

Punting from the Indianapolis 49-yard line with 10:23 left in Sunday's fourth-quarter, the Colts sent out Moncrief, who also played the most wide receiver snaps in the game.

The Colts needed to flip the field and Moncrief helped do just that by locating a towering Pat McAfee punt.

"It was a pooch punt and I had to make a play," Moncrief said of the downed punt at the Falcons one-yard line.

"We work on that situation every day in practice. (McAfee's) going to hang it high so the gunner will make a fair catch. I just had to find the ball and make a play."

Moncrief, who was sent in for this punt in place of Sunday's normal gunner D'Joun Smith, made the play look pretty effortless has he corralled the punt like he would later snag a key third-down reception to milk the clock.

Down 21-14, the Colts successfully flipped field position and on the very next play a pick six from D'Qwell Jackson erased a two-touchdown deficit the visitors had faced some six minutes prior.

The special teams once again played a pivotal role in that.

"That is just us going out there and doing our job," McAfee said after the 24-21, comeback victory.

"It's an incredible athlete in Donte Moncrief, being incredibly selfless and wanting to play on the punt team in that situation, because he's so talented at it. It's the punt team protecting well and the punt team going out there and making a play. It's a big, big play."

**Indianapolis, Houston Stay Atop AFC South At 5-5

**The AFC South race is showing no signs of quieting down anytime soon.

In Week 11, the Jaguars, Colts and Texans all won, thus keeping things very crowded at the top of the division.

The Colts and Texans are tied at 5-5 with Indianapolis holding the current tiebreaker based off their head-to-head win over Houston earlier this season (the two teams will play again on Dec. 20 at Lucas Oil Stadium).

Jacksonville currently sits a game back at 4-6.

There are six games remaining in the 2015 regular season. The Colts will close the year with three of their last four games in AFC South rematches.

With the AFC Wild Card teams also hovering around .500, there is a chance for the AFC South to get multiple teams in the playoffs.**

Colts/Falcons Snap Counts**

  • The wide receiver snaps on Sunday went as followed: Donte Moncrief (54-of-64), T.Y. Hilton (50-of-64), Andre Johnson (30-of-64), and Griff Whalen (16-of-64).
  • The running back reps were led by Frank Gore (32 of 64). Ahmad Bradshaw played 30 snaps in his fifth game with the Colts this season.
  • At tight end, the snaps were divided up with Coby Fleener receiving 43 snaps. Dwayne Allen also logged 43 snaps. Jack Doyle played 19.
  • Anthony Castonzo missed the final three snaps of the game due to a knee sprain. It was his first snaps missed due to injury since his 2011 rookie season.
  • Safety Dwight Lowery played all 75 defensive snaps on Sunday against his former team.
  • In starting for Mike Adams, rookie safety Clayton Geathers played 63 defensive snaps in his first career NFL start.
  • Playing without Henry Anderson for the first time in 2015, the defensive line snaps were as followed: Kendall Langford (63), David Parry (37), Billy Winn (30), Zach Kerr (25) and T.Y. McGill (22).
  • Rookie D'Joun Smith played 16 defensive snaps in his NFL debut.
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