INDIANAPOLIS – WAYNE CATCHES 72ND CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASS– After failing to score any points during the second quarter on Sunday against Tennessee, quarterback Dan Orlovsky turned to his most veteran weapon on offense to end the drought.
On the Colts' opening drive to start the second half, Orlovsky found wide receiver Reggie Wayne in the left corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown reception.
The score re-gained the lead for the Colts at 10-6 and finished off a seven-play, 43-yard drive for the offense.
Wayne called the play routine, yet that routine effort provided a big boost for Indianapolis as it fought on in hopes of gaining a victory over a talented division foe.
"(I) just ran what we call a corner route and (am) just glad Dan (Orlovsky) looked my way and gave me the opportunity to make a play for them," Wayne said. "He put a pretty good ball (in there) and the rest was just catching it."
In only his third start in a Colts uniform, Orlovsky knew to look for the man who continues to rise up the all-time receiving lists.
"Going into it we felt good about that down there in the red zone," Orlovsky said. "It was something that we wanted to try and get to. We were able to get a couple of first downs there. I think it was on first down that we called it, so we could be a little aggressive there.
"This week we ran it in practice I think three times and I remember going over to (wide receivers coach) Frank Reich and I said, 'Normally, with a lot of different guys you wouldn't throw the ball versus a lot of looks when you are letting it go.' He (Wayne) runs that route so well and I've gained an amazing amount of trust in him quickly that right when we got the look that we had, I knew we had (Cortland) Finnegan out there who is an aggressive player and I just tried to peek (at) the back real quick and give him a seem. (He) ran a great route and (I) just threw it to a spot where he could make a play on it. He made a great play, which he continues to do. Every time he walks by my locker during the week he says, "Throw left," and I'm finding it is pretty easy to do."
The touchdown by Wayne opened up a 24-point second half as the Colts set a season-high for points in a game with 27. Indianapolis previously had scored 24 points twice in games this year. The Colts did it against Kansas City and New England.
"It was good for us to go out here and win," Wayne said. "It was great for us to win at home. Hopefully, it's contagious. Hopefully, we can win these next two games which are divisional opponents and go out have some good (memories) at the end of the year and look back on this and hopefully be better next year."
Wayne has 59 receptions for 781 yards and three scores this season. He is second on the club to wide receiver Pierre Garcon (62 receptions, 875 yards, six touchdowns) in all three categories. Wayne has 846 receptions for 11,529 yards to go with his 72 career touchdown receptions. Wayne stands second in receiving categories in franchise history to Marvin Harrison. Wayne previously had eclipsed the career marks of Raymond Berry, a Hall-of-Famer.
DEFENSE GETS INTO SCORING ACT THANKS TO LACEY –On a day when the Colts' rush defense attracted a great deal of attention, it was the play by one of the smallest men on the unit that made perhaps the biggest difference.
Just over three minutes after Reggie Wayne had re-gained the lead for the Colts in the third quarter against Tennessee, Lacey added to it with a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The play came at a key moment in the contest since this was the Colts' first second-half lead since the Kansas City game on October 9. The Colts led, 10-6, and had held Tennessee on a third-and-16 play from its own 14-yard line. The defensive stop was trumped by a penalty away from the play, but Tennessee had a new set of downs. The Titans moved for another first down and hoped to negate the swing on the scoreboard but on first-and-10 from 29-yard line, Lacey intercepted a pass and headed to the end zone.
The scoring interception return was the second of Lacey's three-year career and came while he was defending Titans running back Chris Johnson. Johnson was flanked out as a wide receiver on the play.
"We kind of had a beat on what they were doing when they motioned out to empty (the backfield), so he came right my way and I had to go take the play and that's how it happened," Lacey said. "I really just kind of jumped it and the ball was fifty-fifty and just kind of grabbed it. I had to go for it and from there, I just took it to the end zone."
Lacey had a 42-yard scoring interception return at St. Louis as a rookie in 2009. Like many teammates, he has endured a season of highs and lows, but Lacey has maintained his work habits and kept an eye toward contributing.
To go along with the third defensive touchdown of the season for the Colts, Lacey also totaled a career-high 12 tackles and an additional pass defensed.
"We came out and we set the tone early," Lacey said. "I feel like we scrambled them around in the running game by coming out and hitting and setting the tone, and we just went from there."
For Lacey and the secondary, the 2011 season has come with the challenge of dealing with significant injuries. The cornerback position was hit hard two weeks ago when Terrence Johnson and Jerraud Powers were both placed on injured reserve. The safety position also has had to deal with the early-season loss of safety Melvin Bullitt. The injuries have provided opportunity for action, and Lacey and others have used the opportunity to continue growing early in their careers.
"My emotions are through the roof right now," Lacey said. "It's been a while since we've felt this feeling of winning and closing a game out with a knee."