INDIANAPOLIS – COLLIE AND WAYNE RECORD SUCCESSFUL OUTINGS –For much of the 2011 season, wide receiver Pierre Garcon has been the most frequent target for Colts quarterbacks.
While Garcon was held to two receptions on Sunday against the Jaguars, fellow wide receivers Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne came through with productive games as the club fought for 60 minutes and staged a comeback effort that reached the game's final moments.
After ending the 2010 season on the sidelines, Collie ended 2011 with the top single-game totals of his season.
Collie led all Colts with nine receptions for 96 yards, including a 12-yard scoring reception with 3:22 to go that pulled Indianapolis with six points of Jacksonville.
All nine of Collie's receptions came in the second half. He got started early in the third period with a 21-yard gain on a third-and-five play from the Indianapolis 25-yard line on the opening possession. Collie had an 11-yard reception on the next play and was targeted late in the drive at the Jacksonville seven-yard line. His five-yard reception set the stage for a 20-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The kick cut the deficit to 10-6 with six minutes gone in the period.
Colts wide receivers had only four receptions for 35 yards in the opening half, with quarterback Dan Orlovsky hitting nine-of-16 passes for 75 yards. Orlovsky hit six-of-eight passes for 62 yards on the opening second-half drive. In addition to finding Collie three times for 37 yards, he teamed with wide receiver Reggie Wayne three times for 25 yards on the march.
With the Colts down two scores late in the fourth quarter, Collie again became the popular target for Orlovsky.
On the Colts' touchdown drive, Collie caught four straight passes and capped off the 82-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown reception. Collie's receptions gained 13, seven, seven and nine yards before the score. Indianapolis was moving in an up-tempo mode on the drive.
The touchdown was the first of the season for Collie, and he also set a season-high in yards.
Wayne had eight receptions for the second straight week, with those totals marking his highs for the season. He ended 2011 with a club-leading 75 receptions, the eighth straight season he has topped 75 snares. Wayne now has 96 consecutive games with a reception, second in Colts history to wide receiver Marvin Harrison (190). Wayne now has receptions in 167 different outings, second only to Harrison (190) in club history. Wayne now has paced the club in receptions in six different seasons, third in club history to Harrison (nine) and wide receiver Raymond Berry (eight).
Wayne finished the season with a team-leading 960 reception yards, 13 more than Garcon for the most on the team. With the team having three different starting quarterbacks, Indianapolis was not able to attack in the passing game to the degree it had in previous seasons. Wayne ended a stretch of seven consecutive seasons with 1,000 reception yards. The streak made him one of eight NFL players ever to achieve the feat, and it was one season behind Harrison's club record (11, Jerry Rice; 9, Tim Brown; 8, Harrison; 8, Cris Carter; 8, Torry Holt; 7, Lance Alworth; 7, Jimmy Smith).
With three 100 games in 2011, Wayne pushed his career total to 38, second to Harrison's 59 in Colts history. He has 64 different career games with a scoring reception, second to Harrison's 90.
With 862 career receptions, Wayne now ranks 16th in NFL history.
Also getting in on the receiving act at Jacksonville was tight end Dallas Clark. After battling injuries the past two months and catching only one pass, Clark had five catches for 53 yards on Sunday afternoon.
Looking for a third straight win to end the season, the Colts fell just short of evening their AFC South record. Orlovsky started the last five games, and he was pleased with the effort shown by his teammates all season.
"We should be proud of ourselves," Orlovsky said. "I don't think we're proud of our record or the way we played football, but at least we fought hard. We could have very easily quit a lot of times this year and we didn't. It's a testament to the head man and the veterans in this locker room. I've been on a lot of teams with a lot of different guys, and I'll play with these 52 any day of the week."
DEFENSIVE LINE GETS TO GABBERT –Facing a rookie quarterback for the second consecutive game, the Colts once again were active in the opponent's backfield.
Just like he did last week against Houston's T.J. Yates, defensive end Robert Mathis recorded a sack and forced a fumble on the same play.
The sack on Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert was the fourth in the last three games for Mathis. Mathis finished the season with a team-high 9.5 sacks. He has 83.5 career sacks, along with 39 forced fumbles and 14 fumbles recovered.
Two plays prior to the sack by Mathis, defensive end Jamaal Anderson recorded his third sack of the season. The three sacks set a new season-high for Anderson. He had two sacks for Atlanta in 2008.
Defensive end Dwight Freeney sacked Gabbert in the third quarter to push his total to 8.5 for the season.
Last week Freeney was named to his seventh Pro Bowl, and the 10-year veteran has 102.5 career sacks. Gabbert became the 50th different quarterback Freeney has sacked during his career.
The Colts ended the season with sacks in 10 straight games, including seven in the final two outings. It marked the club's highest two-game total of the season.
Punter Pat McAfee had 88 punts for a 46.6 average. Angerer set the club seasonal record for average. The previous leader was Rohn Stark (45.9) in 1985. McAfee had 21 punts inside the 20, along with three touchbacks.
Linebacker Pat Angerer had 146 tackles in 2011 to top the team. It was a career-high for Angerer, who moved to the middle during the year in replacing an injured Gary Brackett. Angerer reached double digits in tackles in six different games, including 20 against Pittsburgh in week three.
Safety Antoine Bethea had 139 tackles, the fourth straight year he topped 100 stops, and it was the fifth time in his six-year career. Bethea and Angerer were the only defensive players to start 16 games.
Center Jeff Saturday finished the season by participating in 132 career victories. Saturday is tied with quarterback John Unitas for the second-most participations in victories in Colts history. Quarterback Peyton Manning tops the list with 141. Saturday has played in 197 career games with the Colts, tying Rohn Stark for fourth-most in franchise history (208, Peyton Manning; 206, John Unitas; 198, Eugene Daniel). His 13 seasons of service tie for third-most in franchise history (17, John Unitas; 14, Peyton Manning; 13, Raymond Berry; 13, Eugene Daniel; 13, Ray Donaldson; 13, Marvin Harrison; 13, David Lee; 13, Gino Marchetti; 13, Rohn Stark; 13, Dick Szymanski).
Long-snapper Justin Snow now has appeared in 192 consecutive games, the second-leading total in Colts history (208, Peyton Manning).