AFC South – it’s all about the quarterback

 

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

NFL teams are all too familiar with quarterback issues. Whether due to injury or working to find just the right guy, many teams across the league struggle with this every season.

This year, however, it seems that especially in the AFC South, QB play is going to be the big deciding factor.

With the shocking news this week of the retirement of Colts QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis is the perfect place to start looking at this divison…

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“I Will Feel Like A Colt Forever.”

 

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt // @JulieNoted_PFG

Andrew Luck has retired from football.

As I try to follow up after this sentence, the words that I truly want to say are just not coming out the way I would like. But at the age of 29, the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback called it a career due to so many setbacks from injuries throughout his career.

“I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab-injury, pain, rehab-and it’s been unceasing, unrelenting, both in-season and offseason. And I felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football.” Andrew Luck stated in an impromptu press conference initially set for Sunday afternoon. “I’ve been stuck in this process and haven’t been able to live the life I want to live.”

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The Colts have confidence in Jacoby Brissett (And maybe you should, too)

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt // @JulieNoted_PFG

Maybe it might feel like a repeat of the Indianapolis Colts 2017 Luck-less season, but believe it or not, the Colts have all the confidence needed in back up QB Jacoby Brissett.

And although those words are really hard to put together again, perhaps this might be a bit more encouraging… of course, that’s IF Brissett is needed past week one of the new season.

After the news from Colts’ GM Chris Ballard on Tuesday evening of yet another injury to 2018’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Andrew Luck will most likely miss the preseason due to a possible ankle injury. And of course as said before, flashbacks of the 2017 come to mind.

But in this case, this will not be a repeat of 2017.

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Fathers and Sons: an NFL legacy

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

 

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

This Sunday, June 16th, is Father’s Day, so I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite NFL players who followed in their father’s footsteps.

Frankly, I was surprised that – at least according to Wikipedia – there are only 53 father-son combos that have played in the League. I was also surprised to find three families whose NFL legacy has entered a third generation.

It doesn’t seem like the NFL has been around long enough to support three generatons, but here you go: Clay Matthews Sr., Clay Matthews Jr. and Clay Matthews III are my first set and the ones with whom we are most familiar. Then we have the Chickillo’s: Nick, Tony and Anthony, and the Pyne’s: George II, George III and Jim.  Amazing, but true!

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Pro Bowl Day 2: Let the Flag Football Championships begin

Dayna O’Gorman,
Senior Sports Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

What started out as a rainy, windy day in Orlando, ended with perfect temperatures, hot dance moves, and a whole lot of fun.

The NFC practice had to be moved indoors due to the weather. With that change, it allowed the NFC practice and the AFC practice to be held at different times, which allowed fans to be able to watch both conferences. Today I attended the AFC practice.

Quarterbacks Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), DeShaun Watson (Houston), and Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) took turns running plays with the team while head coach Anthony Lynn watched from a distance, letting coaches Gus Bradley and others take over.

The QBs ran a few running plays, but when they switched to passing plays, it seemed to turn into a game of keep away. The defense made their presence known by grabbing interceptions and blocking passes. Let’s just say, it was a good thing there weren’t any officials on the field. It was all in good fun and the players loved it.

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Colts vs Chiefs is anyone’s game

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt //@JulieNoted_PFG

It was the second largest comeback in NFL history. 

Back in January 2014, the Indianapolis Colts recorded a major AFC Divisional win in Indianapolis against the Chiefs. A team that was trailing by 28 points early in the third quarter,  with a little “Luck”, the Colts claimed victory by a final score of 45-44 and a ticket to the AFC Championship in New England.

This season, these two teams are completely different. Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes is leading the AFC’s number one seed to the divisional round after a well-deserved bye week.  This has been their first number one finish since 1995. Andy Reid’s team finished the season 12-4 and 7-1 at home. The Chiefs also have the best offense in the league. With that being said, they also have one of the worse defensive lines.

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Colts could become the perfect fairy tale this season

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt // @JulieNoted_PFG

As we all know and love, fairy tales start off with a “Once Upon A Time” and end up “…and they lived happily ever after.” And there is no doubt in my mind that the Indianapolis Colts are quickly becoming the perfect Cinderella story of the season.

During the preseason, Colts were ranked #32. News that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was back after a season ending shoulder injury, but was the team improving as well? Was Luck not going to be the same? Was Colts’ GM Chris Ballard making all the right moves?

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For the Colts, it will be a season defining game on Sunday

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt//  @JulieNoted_NFL

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints, and a Houston Texans loss to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts were the sixth seed. In order to secure a playoff spot, Indianapolis has one more task at hand on Sunday Night Football:  beat the Tennessee Titans or simply  go home.

This Sunday means everything to this 9-6 team. With a win over the Tennessee Titans, they will earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2014.  With a Titans loss, Colts will secure the sixth-seed and earn a wildcard spot.  Here is where it gets interesting, with a win over Tennessee, and if the Houston Texans lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts will be crowned as the AFC South Champs.

This situation is also mirrored for the Titans, who are also 9-6 and are behind the Colts.

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Darius Leonard: A Pro Bowler in Colts fan’s hearts

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt//  @JulieNoted_NFL

When you lead the league in tackles, 146 to be exact, as a rookie linebacker, have 7 sacks, are coming in second in tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and are seventh in pass breakups, fans would assume this individual is going places in the NFL.  This would include being selected to the NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando.

For Colts’ rookie linebacker, Darius Leonard, all of this is true, except the Pro Bowl. However, Leonard was selected as a Pro Bowl Alternate along with quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, center Ryan Kelly and defensive tackle Denico Autry.

According to Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated, “Three bodies vote on Pro Bowlers: Coaches, players, and fans.  Necessarily, primetime broadcasts have a big influence on all three groups. How many primetime games did the Colts get in 2018? One: Thursday Night Football on Oct. 4, vs. the Patriots. (And it was the lone game Leonard missed this season due to injury).”

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Houston is T.Y. Hilton’s second home

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt // @JulieNoted_NFL  

Colts 24 – Texans 21

“This is my second home.” Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton tells the media after a victory over the AFC South Division leading Houston Texans.  And course, what a game performance from Hilton!

For the seventh straight season, Hilton has at least 800 receiving yards, making this the longest active streak in the NFL.  Also, Hilton broke a tie with former Colts’ WR and Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison for the most 150 yard receiving games in the Colts’ franchise history.  

On Sunday vs the Texans, Hilton caught 9 of 12 targets for 199 yards.  “He’s a baller, man. He’s a baller. It’s always an honor to play with.” Colts QB Andrew Luck tells Colts.com reporter Jake Arthur. “We all know T.Y.’s a tough guy.  Sometimes the best packages come in small sizes.”

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