December 17, 2009 |
Sure, Indianapolis has to decide whether to stick with its starters and try for an undefeated season or rest some players so the Colts will be healthy for the playoffs. But No. 1 St. Louis and No. 2 Grampa Bay have choices to make too. They have to decide whether to bench their starters in an effort to post the NFL's worst record and thereby gain the first draft choice. But here's the problem: If they do sit their starters, how do they know the strategy won't backfire and they'll actually win?
January 22, 2010 |
What the New York Jets need to do to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game Sunday (noon, Channel 2): Make Peyton pause Jets Coach Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind, and he's sure to draw up some new looks that alter the coverages and bring pressure from unexpected places. The goal is to get Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to either throw early, or have a hiccup of hesitation before he lets go of the ball. "He's going to figure it out," said former Baltimore coach Brian Billick , now an NFL Network analyst.
January 3, 2010 |
Instant replay could be a big factor in this NFL postseason -- and not the kind that requires taking another look at the video. With the playoff seedings still in flux, there's a chance that one or more Week 17 matchups could be replayed in first-round games. The Eagles and Cowboys, Packers and Cardinals, and Bengals and Jets might wind up getting another crack at each other. Of those teams, all but the Jets are already in the playoffs. New York needs to beat Cincinnati tonight to secure a spot and would have to hit the road in the playoffs.
December 10, 2009 |
Dallas Clark stands in the middle of an otherwise empty locker room and shakes his head at the memory. The Indianapolis Colts tight end had never played a down in the NFL for a coach other than Tony Dungy. So when Dungy stepped down in January, Clark remembers bracing for the worst. "A new guy wants to come in and [say], 'This is how I do it. This is how we did it back then,' " Clark said. "And they want to do that ." But 11 months into the Jim Caldwell era in Indianapolis, Clark admits nothing has changed -- especially not the winning.
November 14, 2009
At various times tonight, Indianapolis rookie cornerback Jerraud Powers will find himself covering New England star Randy Moss. But a decade ago, it was more like Moss covered Powers. "I was 10 years old and I got his jersey for Christmas, his Vikings jersey . . . " said Powers, 22, who starts on the right side. "When he first came in the league he was making all those big-time catches over four and five defenders and all of that. I was a big fan of his growing up." Powers has no concerns he'll be able to focus on the task at hand when the Colts play the Patriots in the latest chapter of the NFL's rivalry of the decade.
January 6, 2010 |
Second of four breakdowns on the first round of the NFL playoffs: Big pressure on big men The Eagles have a robust assortment of speedy playmakers, but the guys who absolutely have to make plays on every snap are the big men up front. Stopping the Cowboys in the trenches has been a problem, as evidenced by the four sacks of Donovan McNabb in each of the last two meetings. Former USC standout Winston Justice , Philadelphia's right tackle, was overwhelmed Sunday by outside linebacker Anthony Spencer , who had two sacks, a hurry and forced a fumble.
February 1, 2010 |
Thanks to the Pro Bowl, the scoreboard in Miami Gardens, Fla., is all warmed up for the Super Bowl. Long gains were the rule and hard hitting was the exception Sunday night as the AFC beat the NFC, 41-34. Light showers fell for much of the game, stirring memories of a rainy Super Bowl in the same stadium three years ago, but the weather failed to slow either offense. The AFC's Matt Schaub and the NFC's Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes each, and DeSean Jackson caught two scoring passes for the NFC. From the standpoint of ticket sales, this year's new venue and slot on the NFL calendar was a success.
November 23, 2009 |
The Houston Texans know Chris Johnson. The Tennessee Titans running back trampled them to the tune of 197 yards earlier this season. The Texans are just hoping Johnson doesn't recognize them . That's because Houston figures its run defense is a lot better than it was in Week 2, when Johnson scored three touchdowns and racked up 284 yards from scrimmage. Over their last six games, the Texans have yielded an NFL-best average of 60.5 yards on the ground. "To me, they're getting better and better," Texans Coach Gary Kubiak said of his defense.