Sorgi, First-Team Offense Turn in Extended Drive for Third Consecutive Game
ATLANTA, Ga. – Once again, the start didn't thrill Jim Sorgi.
But for a second consecutive week, what came later was better. A lot better.
Sorgi, making his third consecutive preseason start for quarterback Peyton Manning, entered the team's game against the Atlanta Falcons Saturday with the same goal as the entire Colts first-team offense. What was wanted was consistency.
By the Colts' second series, they got some.
Sorgi, who played into the early part of the second quarter, on the Colts' second possession directed a 17-play, 85-yard drive that ended in a field goal but also included several drive-extending plays that had Sorgi and Colts Head Coach Dungy talking progress afterward.
"I'm happy with the way we're moving the ball," Sorgi said. "Besides those first four plays last week, we've sustained drives and we haven't really faltered that much. We haven't scored a touchdown yet – the ones haven't – but what are you going to do.
"You want to get points. You don't want to turn the ball over in the red zone and we haven't done that."
Sorgi, with Manning out recovering from surgery to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee, has started three preseason games, completing 20 of 31 passes for 198 yards and an interception with no touchdowns.
Sorgi finished the Atlanta game completing seven of 12 passes for 67 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions.
"We've just to punch it in the seven," Sorgi said. "We got some critical third downs, some good checks. We moved the ball nicely. We just have to punch it in for seven. We'll figure it out.
"We'll game-plan next week and put some points on the board."
On the Colts' second series, Sorgi for the third time in as many games led the first-team offense on an extended, field goal-producing drive.
"We're moving the ball and we're making first downs," Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said. "We haven't had a lot of big plays and then what has happened is we haven't really executed in the red zone. We're having 16-play, 12-play, 14-play drives and moving the ball and not turning it over.
"We've got to be a little sharper when we get in that scoring zone."
The Colts drove from their nine to the Falcons 6 on the drive, which consumed 8:30. Running back Joseph Addai twice gave the Colts first downs with short runs, and Sorgi twice converted third-down situations into first downs.
First, on 3rd-and-6 from the Colts 13, Sorgi – given time by the offensive line – drifted to his left and found second-year wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez for a 19-yard gain to the Colts 32.
Ten plays later, on 3rd-and-4 from the Falcons 41, Sorgi threw a high pass down the left sideline to two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who turned the play into a 30-yard gain to the Atlanta 11.
Four plays later, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri's 24-yard field goal made it 6-3, Atlanta. Sorgi left the game before the next offensive series.
Sorgi and the first-team offense weren't unproductive on the Colts' first series, either.
Starting from the Colts 20, the Colts produced two first downs, with Sorgi scrambling for a nine-yard gain from the Colts 31 to extend the drive.
The possession ended when Sorgi threw incomplete to Colts tight end Dallas Clark.
Overall, Sorgi said he saw progress from last week, when the first-team offense committed two early turnovers that led to touchdowns and a 14-point first-quarter deficit.
"Last week was a little bit of a storm at the beginning of the game," Sorgi said. "We got through it and we had a nice drive, but we gave them 14 points. You never want to turn the ball over.
"This week, we had a good 11-play drive on the first drive. That resulted in a punt, but the next drive resulted in a field goal and that was a 16-, 17-play drive that started deep in our territory. We took it into their territory and took some time off the clock.
"We just need to score touchdowns instead of field goals."