Colts Reaching Toughest Part Of 2016 Schedule

Intro: The Colts are two weeks away from their bye week, but will see a pair of teams currently in the playoffs the next two weeks. What did Chuck Pagano have to say to the media following Sunday’s win over the Titans?

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INDIANAPOLIS – The halfway point of the 2016 season is upon the Colts this week.

It arrives with the Colts (3-4) coming off their first road, and first divisional, win of the season.

The Colts will next host Kansas City (4-2) and then travel to Green Bay (4-2) before having their bye week.

Chuck Pagano did not have any injury updates to provide at his normal Monday presser. The Colts appeared to have a pretty healthy game on Sunday.

Jack Mewhort and Jacoby Brissett were thought to be two guys the Colts could get back this coming week. Both missed Sunday's win over the Titans.

The Colts would love to get Donte Moncrief back to practice, as this is the sixth week he's been out (the original time table for Moncrief was four-to-six weeks).

Here is the Monday notebook recapping Pagano's thoughts on the 34-26 win in Tennessee:

Chuck Pagano on how important Sunday's win was over the Titans:

"It gives you great confidence.

"This team, when backs are against the wall they are probably at their best."


Bowen's Analysis:* *Yeah, the Colts had to have that one on Sunday. The win moved them to 3-4 on the season with the schedule starting to toughen up. Over the next four weeks, the Colts will play three teams currently in the playoffs (Chiefs, @Packers, Steelers). And in December, the Colts will face another three teams in the postseason right now (Texans, @Vikings, @Raiders).

Pagano's quote is right. When this team has faced "must win" sort of games in 2016 they've responded. But to get themselves truly back into playoff contention, they will have to start winning the games that don't come with such a label. The Colts will need to start stringing some wins together, even if the upcoming schedule is about to see teams off to strong starts.

Chuck Pagano on the play of Andrew luck:

"He's playing at a high level right now."


Bowen's Analysis:* *Another AFC Offensive Player of the Week could be coming for Luck on Wednesday, when the weekly honor is announced. Luck was 27-of-39 for 353 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in Sunday's win. He produced a passer rating of 123.1 (the fifth highest of his career) and did it without several starters.

Chuck Pagano listed off what Luck has done so well in the start to 2016: decision making, spreading the ball around, hitting on chunk plays, finding check downs, making plays with his feet. You look at the numbers and you can certainly make an argument Luck is having the best year of his five NFL seasons. And he's doing that in a new offense, and without the services of his No. 2 wideout for pretty much all but one game this year.Chuck Pagano on the 12 penalties for 131 yards against the Titans:

"We've got to clean some things up."


Bowen's Analysis: The Colts are averaging the fourth most penalties per game through seven weeks. In the last three weeks, they've averaged more than 11 penalties per game, the most in the NFL. On Sunday, the penalties nearly cost them a victory.

This is obviously on the mind of Chuck Pagano with players returning to work on Wednesday. Pagano did want to touch on the Josh McNary unnecessary roughness penalty that negated a Patrick Robinson interception from Sunday. Pagano said there was no malice in McNary's hit. The inside linebacker, who apologized for the hit, said he lost track of where Marcus Mariota was throwing the football and thought that tight end Delaine Walker was making the catch. The defensive penalties are making things very difficult for a unit that is trying to improve from a tough start to 2016.

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