Pagano, Colts focused on ‘December football’

colts pg head 2

After Monday night’s 41-10 road win over the struggling New York
Jets, the Indianapolis Colts find themselves smack dab in the
middle of a three-team tie for the AFC South lead.

Indianapolis, the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans are all
6-6 on the season. The Colts already have swept their divisional
series with Tennessee and lost in overtime to Houston after
allowing a double-digit lead slip away in the fourth quarter.

Coach Chuck Pagano’s team has won three of its last four games
while this week’s opponent, Houston, has lost its last three
contests. While earning a wild-card spot for the playoffs is pretty
much off the table for Indianapolis, the only road left is winning
the division title.

The Colts have four games remaining in the regular season, starting
with Sunday afternoon’s home matchup with the Texans.

“It was an overall great team win (on Monday). And we had one goal
and one goal only and that was to be 1-0,” Pagano said.

“We talked about this time of year, December football, playoff
football time … to stay in the hunt you’ve got to win football
games. Again, I’m proud of our guys for pulling (the New York game)
out.”

After having a day off on Tuesday, the focus turns to this week’s
game with the Texans.

“I think coming in (to the Jets’ game) we said that we do control
our own destiny. Everything is right there in front of us. And it’s
out there for us and our guys understood that and regardless of
what’s happened from the start of this season, you can go all the
way back to the first preseason game and what transpired there, and
everything that’s happened in between,” Pagano said.

“It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride, if you will. But
our guys have stayed steady. They’ve stayed the course. We’ve got
great leadership in that locker room and they’ve got great resolve
and determination and they’re driven. And so the opportunity was
sitting there. But you’ve got to win, you’ve got to play well and
they did that.”

Now, it’s on to Houston.

“So we are tied atop the division, but nothing matters unless we
respond the same way we responded to a poor loss, a bad loss on
Thanksgiving night to the Steelers,” Pagano said.

“And so you’ve got to do the same thing when you win a football
game. So we’ll prepare accordingly, like we always do, and stay
focused on the task at hand. Again, we control our own destiny.”

— Monday night’s 31-point win over the New York Jets was
Indianapolis’ second biggest margin of victory in a game since 2010.

–The Colts are 6-6 overall, including a 3-3 mark at home, 3-3 on
the road and 2-2 in the division. They have scored 311 points and
surrendered the same total.

–Indianapolis came into Monday’s game with the Jets with only
three intercepted passes by the defense. The Colts equaled that
total against New York, intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick once and
backup Bryce Petty twice.

“We finally got off the schneid,” Pagano said. “We’d been in a
little bit of a slump as far as that goes. Mike Adams comes up with
one and Darius Butler and then at the end, (Darryl Morris) got the
last one. So that was good to see.”

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