Too Many Penalties Lead to Too Many Green Bay Opunities, Dungy Says
GREEN BAY, Wis. – They were a major area of concern through the first five games of the season.
Sunday did little to change that, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said.
The Colts, historically one of the NFL's least-penalized teams during Dungy's seven-year tenure, entered the game on pace to surpass last year's penalty totals. The trend continued on Sunday afternoon, with the Colts committing 12 penalties for 110 yards.
The Colts a week ago had committed eleven penalties for 84 yards in a 31-3 victory over Baltimore in Indianapolis.
"Way too many," Dungy said following a 34-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday. "We had the same thing last week. We happened to be way ahead in the game, so they didn't hurt us.
"We've got to get that straightened out. We have to play fundamentally sound, not have those mistakes and not have the things that keep drives going and kill drives.
"You're not going to win that way."
The Colts this season have committed 46 penalties for 337 yards compared to 67 for 515 in 16 games last season.
"We had too many. We're getting penalized too much. That's not getting it done. Our goal is to be in the top five in penalties, turnovers and special teams.
"It comes down to discipline, and we certainly have to find a way to improve that."
On Sunday, the Colts were penalized five times for 65 yards in the first quarter. They had 55 total yards in the quarter.
More concerning to Dungy was that 55 yards of defensive penalties contributed significantly to three Packers scoring drives in the first half. Indianapolis was penalized two times for 20 yards on the Packers' first drive and twice for 30 yards on their second.
"The thing that kept them on the field was penalties," Dungy said. "We get a second and long, get a penalty . . . a third-down penalty. You can't give good teams that many chances."
Said Colts safety Melvin Bullitt, "With a team like that, you can't keep giving them chances, because they'll take advantage of it.
SHUT DOWN: Colts wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison, who have made a combined 10 Pro Bowls, caught a combined four passes for 35 yards on Sunday.
The Packers had entered the game without Pro Bowl cornerback Al Harris.
"There was certainly a lot of double coverage," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. "When a team plays double coverage on first, second and third downs, it makes them susceptible to the run, which we did on the first series. . . .
"The second half, we got behind and were playing uphill. That plays to their strength and it's hard to run the ball as much in the second half because you're playing against the clock as well. . . .
"We have to find a way to beat double coverage and put those guys in the best position. Marvin had two catches and Reggie had two catches. That's not what we want, so we need to do a better job getting the ball in their hands and giving it to them where they can make some plays.
"That's probably my fault."
Said Wayne, "They're on scholarship, too. They're good football players. They're going to win some and we're going to win some. That's just the way the game goes."
TROUBLING TREND: When Packers safety Nick Collins returned an interception off the hands of Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne 62 yards for a third-quarter touchdown, it was the third time this season a Colts opponent had scored a defensive touchdown.
The Colts also allowed opponents defensive touchdowns against Chicago and Jacksonville.
They have lost all three games in which opponents' defenses have scored.
With 4:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, Packers safety Aaron Rouse returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown.
HAGLER ACTIVATED: Tyjuan Hagler, the Colts' veteran linebacker who spent the first six weeks of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, was activated for Sunday's game against Green Bay, the club announced on Sunday afternoon.
Hagler started seven of 12 games last season.
JENNINGS, RHODES START: Cornerback Tim Jennings started a second consecutive game in place of injured starter Kelvin Hayden, and Melvin Bullitt started a fourth consecutive game at safety in place of starter Bob Sanders.
Running back Dominic Rhodes made his first start at running back in place of Joseph Addai, and rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Hayden, Addai and Sanders were along seven Colts players made inactive shortly before kickoff Sunday. The Colts' inactives were:
Sanders, Hayden, Addai, tight end Gijon Robinson, linebacker Buster Davis, offensive lineman Dan Federkeil, wide receiver Roy Hall and defensive end Curtis Johnson.
HOW THEY SCORED
COLTS 07 00 00 07 – 14
PACKERS 03 14 10 07 – 34
PACKERS 3, COLTS 0
Mason Crosby 31 FG, 8:06 remaining first quarter. Drive: 13 plays, 67 yards, 6:54. Key play: Unnecessary roughness penalty against Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson and 11 pass from Aaron Rodgers to Donald Lee on 3rd-and-11 from Packers 38 gives Packers 1st-and-10 at Colts 36.
COLTS 7, PACKERS 3
Dominic Rhodes 3 run (Adam Vinatieri kick), 4:06 remaining first quarter. Drive: 10 plays, 70 yards, 4:00. Key play: Reggie Wayne 15 pass from Peyton Manning on 3rd-and-4 from Packers 31.
PACKERS 10, COLTS 7
Donald Lee 12 pass from Aaron Rodgers (Crosby kick), 14:15 remaining second quarter. Drive: Eight plays, 80 yards, 4:51. Key play: Greg Jennings 7 pass from Aaron Rodgers on 3rd-and-6 from Colts 30.
PACKERS 17, COLTS 7
Ryan Grant 11 run (Crosby kick), 2:49 remaining second quarter. Drive: 11 plays, 89 yards, 6:51. Key play: Grant 7 run on 4th-and-1 from Packers 44.
PACKERS 24, COLTS 7
Nick Collins 62 interception return (Crosby kick), 12:28 remaining third quarter.
PACKERS 27, COLTS 7
Crosby 29 FG, 2:37 remaining third quarter. Drive: 12 plays, 53 yards, 6:24. Key play: Five-yard delay-of-game penalty on Colts cornerback Tim Jennings on 4th-and-3 gives Packers 1st-and-10 at Colts 41.
PACKERS 34, COLTS 7
Aaron Rouse 99 interception return (Crosby kick), 4:27 remaining fourth quarter.
PACKERS 34, COLTS 14
Dominic Rhodes 1 run (Vinatieri kick), 1:41 remaining fourth quarter. Drive: 11 plays, 86 yards, . Key play: Anthony Gonzalez 34 pass from Manning on 4th-and-3 from Colts 33.