INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts string of three straight AFC South games will begin on Sunday with a trip to Tennessee (1-1).
Despite an 0-2 start, the Colts can find themselves atop the division with a win on Sunday and a loss from Jacksonville (1-1), who plays in New England (2-0).
Here are a few sound bites from Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck meeting the media on Wednesday:
Chuck Pagano on what the Colts recent dominance in the AFC South means:
Bowen's Analysis:* *The Colts come into Sunday winners of 13 straight in the AFC South. That's the longest current divisional-win streak in the NFL (Denver has the second longest at 8). The Colts have also won seven straight against the Titans and 12 of 13.
Don't tell those numbers to Pagano. The Colts head coach is obviously spot on in what those figures mean to this game on Sunday. Every team in the AFC South will be gunning for the two-time defending division champs this season. Plus, now the rest of the AFC South sees a window for opportunity at the top of the South, based off Indy's 0-2 start.
*Chuck Pagano on the play of the Colts defense in 2015 *
"I think our defensive line is doing a really good job. The play of those young defensive linemen, (Kendall) Langford...(they are) controlling the line of scrimmage."
Bowen's Analysis: Rookies Henry Anderson and David Parry have been very effective up front for the Colts through two games. No defensive linemen in the NFL has more tackles than Anderson after two games. The Colts run defense really has controlled things in the trenches and that's been needed with all the injuries in the secondary.
Pagano said on Wednesday that it was the defense who kept the Colts in the game on Monday night. The secondary does appear to be getting healthier with Vontae Davis and Greg Toler returning to practice in a limited basis on Wednesday.Andrew Luck on what the offense needs to do differently this week against another attacking style:
"It is important to have a sense of urgency. I don't think anybody is taking a laissez-faire approach and sitting back and waiting for something to happen. I think we realize we have to create something. You've got to make it happen."
Bowen's Analysis: Luck said on Wednesday that he takes full control for the Colts leading the league with eight turnovers after two games. While the entire blame is obviously not on Luck, the quarterback knows his play must be "cleaner, sharper" for the Colts to create some offense, particularly early on in games.
Field position has to be an area for improvement heading into Week Three, too. The Colts average drive start of the 19-yard line ranks last in the NFL. This is a stat the Colts dominated in 2014. Both Luck and Chuck Pagano also continue to harp on the need to get the Colts tight ends more involved after they weren't targeted on Monday night.
Here is the injury report for Wednesday:
- DNP: TE-Dwayne Allen (ankle), CB-Darius Butler (hip), WR-Andre Johnson (rest), OG-Lance Louis (shoulder)
-The ankle injury for Allen isn't on the same leg that he battled last year. On Wednesday, Pagano listed everyone but Johnson (rest) as day-to-day. If Louis' injury lingers, that could definitely shuffle how the Colts look up front on Sunday.
- LIMITED: CB-Vontae Davis (concussion), OLB-Robert Mathis (Achilles), CB-Greg Toler (neck)
-Definitely great sign to see Davis at practice on a Wednesday as he progresses through the concussion protocol. Toler was also a non-contact participant at practice. Pagano said he expects Mathis to have his role increased on Sunday. Mathis played 13 snaps in his return on Monday.
- FULL: OLB-Jonathan Newsome (hamstring)
-Newsome returned to practice on Wednesday after missing last Saturday's practice and Monday's game.