INDIANAPOLIS – When the Colts landed in Indianapolis around 4 a.m. on Monday morning, players knew they would be reporting to work later that day.
Upon arriving to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center the players got some news they weren't expecting.
Here's a rundown of some Monday headlines via Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck and Dwayne Allen.
Chuck Pagano on the Colts pass rush without Robert Mathis:
"We've had moments and showed signs that we can get after the quarterback.
"We've just got to do it more consistently and it will depend on the type of style of offense and the type of quarterback that you're playing. But I think we've shown signs without Robert that we can pressure the quarterback."
Bowen's Analysis:* *While Pagano wouldn't get into specifics on the amount of time Mathis might miss with his Achilles' injury, the questions were abundant on the head coach's confidence in the pass rush sans No. 98.
Searching for any silver lining in the Mathis news is a bit extreme but this offseason we did see virtually all first-team reps taken by Erik Walden and Bjoern Werner in preparation for this first month of the season.
Andrew Luck on the fourth-and-one play early in the third quarter:
"I feel the same about it (Monday) as I did last night after the game. Bad, bad decision and it cost us seven points or three points or whatever would have happened. If I take a timeout, change the play, whatever it is. Stupid decision, won't make it again.
"Learn from it and keep trucking along and have a good week of practice coming up."
Bowen's Analysis: Luck is never one to take blame away from anyone but himself. It's an attribute coaches and players love to see their quarterbacks emulate.
With the way Luck approached the line of scrimmage on that fourth-and-one play, it did appear he felt like a quick sneak was the best chance for the Colts to catch the Broncos off guard. Red zone efficiency was drilled all offseason long and you know drives like this one, to open up the second half on Sunday night, really eat at the Pro Bowl quarterback.Dwayne Allen on the Colts getting off to better starts:
"The whole 'cardiac kid' thing that we had going on for the first two years was fun, but we're a seasoned group of guys now and it's time for us to start playing like one---going into games, getting a lead and holding on to a lead throughout the extent of a game."
Bowen's Analysis: Allen might be one of the youngest contributors on the Colts but this message is spoken like a true veteran. He's spot on with his analysis and this notion is carried throughout the Colts locker room.
Yes, these comebacks are great theatre and the Colts aren't out of hardly any contests thanks to their explosive offensive personnel. Yet, this team knows if they could channel that into the early parts of games, they could quickly rise to the top of the AFC. Especially when you are playing in playoff-type atmospheres away from home, a quick start can do wonders in sticking with your weeklong game plan.