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Henry Anderson's Surge Continues With Strong Performance Against Bengals

Intro: Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Henry Anderson had a strong all-around performance Sunday against the Bengals, making impact plays on defense and on special teams.


INDIANAPOLIS — Henry Anderson wasn't interested in discussing his impactful performance on defense and special teams during Sunday's 24-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

"I feel like it would have been a lot better if we had won that game, but I thought I did decent," Anderson said on Monday.

Indianapolis Colts players and coaches alike have experienced this scenario play out multiple times this season — needing one more big play to pluck victory from yet another tight contest.

Accordingly, Anderson was more eager to reflect on a play he should have made rather than the big ones he did make — and there were many.

"I missed a lay-up sack that I should have definitely made that could have changed the momentum of the game," Anderson said.

But what can't be lost is yet another recent strong outing for the defensive tackle who has continued to work to get back to the same strong level he displayed prior to suffering a season-ending knee injury in early November of his rookie year in 2015.

After a 2016 season in which he returned to the field but never felt fully comfortable, the Georgia native is hitting his stride and starting to provide a consistent inside anchor for the defensive line, evidenced by his sack and forced fumble of quarterback Blake Bortles in the Colts' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars two weeks ago.

He continued that upward trend on Sunday against the Bengals, as Anderson's impressive stat line included seven tackles (five solo), a sack of Andy Dalton that forced a fourth quarter punt, three tackles for loss and a quarterback hit. Yet his biggest play of the game isn't included in that bundle of eye-popping interior lineman numbers because it occurred on special teams.

In the first quarter Anderson broke through the right side of the Bengals' field goal protection and blocked Randy Bullock's 34-yard attempt to keep the Colts within three points. It was the first blocked field goal by the Colts since Sergio Brown accomplished that feat against the Arizona Cardinals Nov. 24, 2013.

Anderson gave credit for the block to special teams coordinator Tom McMahon for scheming the play, as well as his teammates, especially defensive end Margus Hunt, who is known for his kick-blocking prowess, for doing their jobs to free him up.

"We knew that a lot of teams focus on Margus for the right reasons … he's freaking 6'8" so you've got to take him into account," Anderson said about his teammate from SMU.

Moving forward, Anderson hopes to continue making progress individually, so that his impact plays can eventually help his teammates bring more victories to Indianapolis during the second half of the season.

"Win or loss, I'm still just trying to go out and do what I can to help this defense and try to help this team win," Anderson said.

"We're all mad but [we] can't hang our heads. Just have to get back to work and try to get the job done this week."

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