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Colts/Titans Notebook: Onside Kick Sparks Afternoon Of Aggressiveness

Intro: The Colts moved to 2-2 on the year thanks to a second straight convincing win on Sunday afternoon. Here’s a notebook look at the Colts 41-17 victory over the Titans.


INDIANAPOLIS – In closing out the Colts first quarter of the season, it was yet another dominant effort for Chuck Pagano's team.

The Colts evened their record to 2-2 thanks to a key special teams play early on and a third quarter that ended any hope for the Titans.

Here's a notebook run down of the Colts defeating the Titans, 41-17.

No Let Up Out Of Halftime

It wasn't just the roof being open that had the feel of some air leaving Lucas Oil just prior to halftime on Sunday afternoon.

The Titans cut the Colts lead to 20-10 after a pass Andrew Luck labeled as "terrible" on two occasions during his postgame press conference.

Chuck Pagano's halftime message was more just a reminder of this team's mantra.

"We didn't finish the half the way we wanted to, so let's go out, let's get a three-and-out, let's get a scoring drive, get those points back and then just go from there, and they responded that way," Pagano said of his halftime talk.

The Colts defense started things off by forcing a punt, yet the Titans had flipped field position inside the Colts 10-yard line.

Any momentum that was lost was about to return to the Colts home sideline.

Behind three catches for 66 yards from Reggie Wayne, Luck was 4-of-5 on the 91-yard touchdown drive.

The 28-yard touchdown catch by Wayne, a highlight in itself, started three straight touchdown drives for the Colts where Luck was 12-of-13 for 195 yards.

"I thought the way the defense came out, big stop," Luck said of re-creating the momentum.

"Offensively we put a big drive, I think a 91-yard drive together, some run and pass, Reggie a bunch of third down conversions, so I thought we responded very well and that seemed to set the tone for that second half."

Onside Kick Executed Flawlessly

Coming into Sunday, the Colts had the only recovered onside kick attempt (out of nine tries) in the NFL this season.

So why not try another?

That's exactly what the Colts did, and did successfully against the Titans.

"We were going to line a certain way and if we got the look that we wanted..," Pagano said describing the thought process of attempting an onside kick.

"You see video evidence of it all week long (and) the way Pat can make those kicks. We got the look that we wanted and we figured we weren't going to do it to start the game, but if we held them, we got the ball, go down, score a touchdown then if the look was there, we were going to be aggressive and go after it.

The Colts got that look following their first touchdown on Sunday and executed the onside kick to perfection.

Pat McAfee hung the ball up with plenty of airtime for Griff Whalen to run underneath it, thanks to a block from utility man Jack Doyle.

"My job was to basically follow right behind Jack and look for the ball," Whalen said of the recovery.

"Pat put it right on the spot. It was awesome."

McAfee said the Colts have been practicing the potential onside kick for about the past three weeks.

The Colts punt coverage unit is the leagues best early in 2014 and on Sunday, it was the kick cover group that made a game-changing play.

"I'm happy (special teams coach Tom McMahon) called it and most importantly it's good for our team to steal a possession against anybody," McAfee said.

Veteran Defenders Lead Unit

Cory Redding and Mike Adams are the two longest tenured Colts defenders, both playing in the league for more than decade.

Both of them played with the energy of an undrafted free agent on Sunday afternoon.

It's not often you find a defensive lineman with the second most tackles on the team but that was Redding against the Titans.

Redding had five tackles, one sack and two quarterback hurries to continue his strong start in his 12th NFL season.

"You don't fly by in this league with 12 years of experience and not doing what you're supposed to do, not going above and beyond," D'Qwell Jackson said of Redding.

"He's the epitome of what this locker room is all about."

Across the locker room, it was Mike Adams who welcomed a good size media contingent around him.

The Colts safety position had numerous questions all offseason/preseason long and Adams has quieted many of those through the first month of the season.

"He came in and did what we expected him to do," Darius Butler said of his fellow secondary member.

"He's played a long time in his league. He's a good veteran presence back there and he came right in and learned the playbook on the run."

On Sunday, Adams had a pair of interceptions and a key second quarter pass breakup that held the Titans to a field goal.

It was another solid defensive effort from the Colts with the unit starting to create some more chances for the offense.

"We have to play with an edge," Adams says of the defense. "We got to match number 12. If 12 is playing well, we got to play well, too.

"We're getting the chemistry together and we're starting to roll. We got to keep this going, that's the main thing."


Photos from the week 4 contest against the Tennessee Titans.

Colts One Game Behind AFC South Leading Texans**

With the win on Sunday, the Colts registered their ninth straight win over the AFC South.

That divisional dominance is even more impressive when you consider no other NFL team has a current division win streak of more than four games.

The Colts will now take a trip to Houston a week from Thursday before not playing another AFC South game until November 23.

After the first quarter of the season, Houston leads the division at 3-1 with the Colts in second place at 2-2.

These back-to-back wins for the Colts are key in a division they've dominated for the last dozen years.

"It was an opportunity for us to go out there and kind of put our foot down in the division, let everybody know that the Colts are pretty solid," Reggie Wayne said after the game.

"It was two big statements for us. We really feel like we let a couple of games get from us a bit. We had to bounce back a little bit."A Look At The Colts Snap Counts Against Tennessee

-Reggie Wayne played 67 offensive snaps on Sunday (77% of the offensive snaps), which was 10 more than any other skill player.

-The tight end snaps were divided up with Dwayne Allen playing 53 snaps, Coby Fleener 45 and Jack Doyle 33.

-At running back, Trent Richardson played 48 snaps and Ahmad Bradshaw logged 31.

-Reggie Wayne paced the receivers with 66 snaps. T.Y. Hilton had 57, Hakeem Nicks played 53 and rookie Donte Moncrief logged a career-high 26 snaps.

-Defensively, Mike Adams and Greg Toler were the only defenders to play all 48 snaps.

-Nickel back Darius Butler played 30 snaps (62%).

-With Art Jones not playing on Sunday, the defensive line snaps were as followed: Cory Redding (33), Ricky Jean Francois (33), Zach Kerr (15), Josh Chapman (14), Montori Hughes (8) and Kelcy Quarles (6).

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