Colts' Wayne, Clark at Their Best During the Postseason
INDIANAPOLIS – Like so many great players, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark seem to be at their best during the postseason.
The two Colts did their share of damage during the regular season, each totaling 100 catches and being named to the AFC's Pro Bowl team. But over their careers, the duo has made a habit of saving their best performances for the playoffs.
During last Saturday's 20-3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Wayne and Clark combined to reel in 15 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, pacing the offense and helping the Colts move on to this Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets at 3 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium.
When prompted, Clark said there is no secret to the two's success.
"I just think it's one of those things where you try to play your best this time of the year," Clark said. "We've been able to have some good games for whatever reason, certain coverages, certain breakdowns. I think it's been our team philosophy of just really trying to be a little sharper (during the playoffs)."
Over 10 career postseason games, Clark has totaled 53 catches for 726 yards and three touchdowns. His receiving yards are the fourth-most in postseason history by a tight end, while his reception total also ranks fourth in league history.
Wayne, who attracts plenty of attention himself, said it helps to have a playmaker like Clark extend the field to spread opposing defenses.
"He helps big time," Wayne said. "He's definitely a threat. He tied (me) for the most receptions on this team (during the regular season), so you definitely better know where he is. If not, he'll hurt you."
The same goes for Wayne, who like Clark, statistically ranks amongst the best in postseason history.
In 14 career playoff games, Wayne has caught 74 passes, the sixth-most in history. With three more catches, Wayne would take over sole possession of fourth place on the list, ranking just behind the likes of Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin and Andre Reed.
In addition, Wayne has totaled the sixth-most touchdowns in playoff history with nine, and he became the 11th NFL receiver with 1,000 or more post-season receiving yards in last Saturday's game against Baltimore.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection finished with eight catches for 63 yards against the Ravens, including a crucial three-yard touchdown with :03 remaining before halftime to give the Colts a 17-3 lead.
"I knew eventually No. 18 would look my way," Wayne said jokingly of quarterback Peyton Manning. "I just wanted to come through for him and make some plays."
Having been in the league nine years, and Clark seven, Wayne said the two have no trouble finding motivation in the postseason.
After winning the Super Bowl in 2006, the two desperately want to get back. And whatever it takes to stay alive this postseason, Wayne and Clark are more than willing.
"I think it's just that we're not ready to go home," Wayne said. "We've been here long enough. We've had a lot of close games, a lot of playoff games. We just understand what a playoff game really is and what it really means, as do a lot of other guys on this team."
As a veteran, Wayne said he and Clark try to relay the message to their younger teammates, like Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, and said he hopes it catches on.
"It just goes with the territory," he said. "We're the old heads around here."