INDIANAPOLIS – The theme around the Colts locker room on Tuesday afternoon centered around one six-letter word that can mean so much to success in the NFL---finish.
Having the chance to close out games and ultimately accomplishing that are two totally different things and the Colts have witnessed that first hand the past two weeks.
Defensive end Cory Redding is a 10-year veteran of the NFL and he knows how crucial chances are in the second half to possibly put teams away.
"Teams are good in this league," Redding said. "There are a lot of great backs in this league. There are good quarterbacks, and awesome receivers. When you have an opponent down, keep them down and finish. That's one of the things that we need to realize that we got to do. We know that and it will happen."
The Colts were back on the practice field Tuesday morning and will practice again on Wednesday before taking off the NFL-mandated four days during a team's bye week.
With only two chances to hit the practice field over the next week, the players know how valuable the on the field time is over the next two days.
"We went out there today and had a good practice," safety Antoine Bethea said. "That loss was tough. That was one we let get away. But as coach Pagano said, that's one we can learn from. We have to learn to close teams out when we have the upper hand."
Defensively, the Colts forced a pair of three-and-outs in the last five minutes of the Jaguars game allowing the offense to get a crack at regaining the lead.
Even with stopping Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew at two separate critical junctures, it was the 80-yard game-winning touchdown pass that made those drives virtually non-existent in looking back at the final outcome.
In Week 2 against the Vikings, the Colts were able to make the plays late in the fourth quarter to secure the victory and will look for that again in the coming weeks.
"Just have that killer instinct," Bethea said of what it needed to close out games. "The third quarter we've been coming out a little slow. We just have to find a way to put teams away when we can."
Both the offense and defense took their respective blame for not capitalizing on second half chances to put away Sunday's game against the Jaguars.
Quarterback Andrew Luck feels as though he made strides from Week 2 to Week 3 but knows that he must make a few more plays to keep drives moving.
"In looking back recently at this game, there is a third-and-three where Donnie Avery runs a nice slant route against man-to-man and I throw the ball behind him," Luck said. "I know there were a couple of those in the Minnesota game."
"You just have to learn from them, get better in my mind. Those opportunities will present itself in future games and hopefully we can take advantage of those when they come."
The next opportunity for the Colts will come in two weeks when the Green Bay Packers return to Indianapolis for their first meeting in the Circle City since 2004.
Tuesday morning the team sat down and reviewed the film from the Jaguars game and with the return to the practice field came putting last week in the rearview mirror.
"Once we got off the field a few minutes ago (the Jaguars game) is behind us," Redding said. "Now, our main focus is to get healthy, get strong, iron out all the things we need to iron out on all three phases of the ball and start getting our mindset focused on Green Bay."