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Colts Tired Of Being "Cardiac Kids"

Intro: The Hollywood drama of constant Colts comebacks makes for a tremendous highlight film. What can the Colts do in trying to get off to better starts and avoid the great theatre of end game scenarios?


INDIANAPOLIS – The comebacks are thrilling and at the end of the day, that 'W' is the only thing that matters.

This Colts team isn't naïve though.

They realize that relying on fourth quarter heroics every few weeks can be a taxing process over the course of a 16-game NFL season.

"The whole 'cardiac kid' thing that we had going on for the first two years was fun," Dwayne Allen says. "But we're a seasoned group of guys now and it's time for us to start playing like one---going into games, getting a lead and holding on to a lead throughout the extent of a game."

Coming out quicker is something that has plagued the Colts lately.

On Sunday night, there were chances early on to settle into the game with a scoring drive or keep the Broncos off the board.

The Colts quickly pushed into Broncos territory before a third-and-one pass to Coby Fleener fell incomplete. Personnel issues on a potential 54-yard field goal led to a delay of game and the Colts were forced to punt.

Denver took advantage with a 16-play drive, converting a pair of third-and-shorts and eventually kicking a field goal.

It's hard to go back and play a game of what-ifs but when you're playing the caliber team of a Denver, those chances are replayed time and time again.

"The slow start is something that I'm sure people are talking about and are going to ask just based on our history," Chuck Pagano said on Monday. "It's obviously something that we're trying to avoid.

"I look at that first drive and it was scripted and orchestrated perfectly until the third-and-one. If we execute and make that third-and-one on that drive, who knows what the rest of the story is starting that game out?"

When Reggie Wayne arrived to Training Camp this year, his message behind the IndyCar entrance was the need for the Colts to start quicker in 2014.

A weeklong game plan is predicated on the Colts not having to abandon a script so early by digging themselves multiple-possession deficits.

Staying ahead of schedule would allow for the Colts not to rely on Andrew Luck tossing the ball 53 times against a team you would like to keep the ball away from thus limiting their chances.

"We've got to play better early, move those chains so we can feed those guys (Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw) and let them get going," Pagano says.

For Luck, he has trouble pinpointing one or two specific reasons for the slower starts.

He liked what he saw early in the opening drive on Sunday night before things bogged down in the third-and-one situation.

The ability to never feel you are out of a game is a luxury the Colts truly posses but alleviating some of that end game stress would be welcomed on many levels.

"Since I've been here, guys have always played hard to the end of the whistle," the Colts quarterback says.

"That's Chuck's (Pagano) mantra and it seems to be the DNA of the locker room. That's what makes it fun to play with these guys, real special group, special bond."

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