NFL Wire News

Colts aim to shake off season-opening struggles

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The Sports Xchange

INDIANAPOLIS — Which Indianapolis Colts team will take the field for Monday night’s nationally televised meeting with the New York Jets?

Will it be the team that posted 11 wins in each of the past three seasons and advanced to the AFC title game last season? Or will it be the team that stumbled its way to a season-opening loss at Buffalo last week?

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck firmly believes that Indianapolis will be ready for the Jets. Luck wants to put last week’s game with the Bills in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible.

“Losing is not acceptable,” Luck said. “It’s not a part of this locker room. We don’t like it. We don’t want to do it. A concern (losing to the Buffalo)? Shoot, we want to go out there and improve.

“If we’re not improving, then that’s a reason to worry. But we’ll work our butts off to make sure we go out and, again, try to get a win against what we know will be a very tough Jets team. A tough defense. Todd Bowles is a great coach. They’ve got a bunch of studs over there. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Luck hopes that Lucas Oil Stadium will be a noisy place come Monday night.

“We’re playing on Monday night in Lucas Oil that’s rocking,” the Colts quarterback said. “That’s a big atmosphere.”

Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano understands the nature of the NFL, and he knows how important it is to go from playing poorly one week to rebounding in the next game. That is the goal this week.

“That’s why we talk about the process all the time,” Pagano said. “You know what it is for a game, and it’s the same for a long, long season. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. One game does not define your team. It doesn’t define you as a player, as a coach or anything else.

“It won’t define our season and where we’re going and where we’re headed unless you allow it. You’ve got to keep your blinders on, you’ve got to keep your earmuffs on and you’ve got to just keep working. That’s the only way. To think you’re going to go 16-0 every year, it’s not going to happen. Adversity is going to come. But it’s our job and our responsibility to learn from it and grow.”

SERIES HISTORY: 68th regular-season meeting. Colts lead regular-season series 40-27. The Jets, however, posted wins in three of the four postseason matchups, including Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 12, 1969. Indianapolis won seven of the past 12 regular-season meetings, though the Jets won the last three games, including a 35-9 decision at Met Life Stadium on Oct. 14, 2012. New York also won the last regular-season meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium, registering a 29-15 victory on Dec. 27, 2009. The Colts and Jets met twice in the postseason since the 2009 regular season, with Indianapolis winning 30-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 24, 2010, and losing 17-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 8, 2011. The Colts are 19-14 against the Jets in home games and 21-13 in away meetings. The Colts and Jets were both in the AFC East from 1970 to 2001. Indianapolis moved to the AFC South for the start of the 2002 NFL season. The Colts swept the AFC East series with the Jets 13 times, while New York swept the division series six times. There were 12 splits in the AFC East series.

INJURY NOTES

–WR T.Y. Hilton (knee) is not expected to play against the Jets. Hilton may be sidelined for a couple of games. Hilton was hurt in last Sunday’s season-opening loss at Buffalo, but X-rays on his knee were negative. “He’s going to be OK,” coach Chuck Pagano said.

–RB Frank Gore (leg cramps) should be able to start against the Jets on Monday night. He was bothered by leg cramps during the Buffalo game last week. Gore was able to finish out the game against the Bills, although he did see limited carries.

–CB Greg Toler (sprained neck) remains listed as week-to-week with an injury he sustained in a preseason game. Toler’s rehab is coming along well enough, but he is not quite ready to return to practice. Toler probably won’t play against the Jets on Monday night.

–OLB Robert Mathis (Achilles) was held out of the Buffalo game and is not expected to play against the Jets on Monday night.

“(He) will continue to practice, will continue to ramp up his reps, listen to the docs, listen to the trainers,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “(The goal is to) keep him moving in the same direction that he’s been going. The arrow is up. Then we’ll see where we’re at come game time.”

–Rookie CB D’Joun Smith remains questionable for the Jets game on Monday night. Smith has been nursing a sore knee since late in the preseason. His status most likely will be an end-of-the-week decision by the Colts’ coaching staff.


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