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     panxing18 
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    Thus far the Indianapolis Colts appear to have backed into the right choice in first-year head coach Frank Reich. Of course we don’t truly know how things would be right now if Josh McDaniels wouldn’t have reneged on the job Authentic Eric Ebron Jersey , but finding anyone who isn’t impressed with what Reich has done to this point is going to be difficult to say the least. Reich and his Colts currently stand at 4-5 as they prepare for their second AFC South game in as many weeks, and a realistic shot at landing in the postseason if they can take advantage of their remaining schedule.Combined, the Colts’ opponents record is 25-30 (.455) with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans being the only two squads who are currently holding winning records. Defensively, the Colts are a mixed bag. They’re in the bottom third of the league in yards allowed per game, but are in top half in yards per play allowed. They’re allowing a ton of first downs per game, and have fallen off from their impressive start to the season on third downs. On the other hand, they continue to make big plays when the team needs them, have been the driving force in a couple of the team’s wins this season, AND they are currently 6th in the NFL allowing only 3.9 rushing yards per attempt. We knew there would be some inconsistency — at a minimum — this season with a new scheme, but you can certainly see that the speed and energy they bring is something that will be fun see the continued construction of in the near future.Offensively, the Colts sit at sixth in the league in scoring per game (28.9 points per game), are the best third-down team in the NFL, are top-10 in yards per game, and in the top half of the league in yards per play. Andrew Luck is at the top of his game, the running game is showing legitimate improvement in comparison to years past, and the offensive line is considered to be one of the best in the league.Additionally, Reich’s play design and ability to stay level, and get this roster to completely buy in to what they’re building is already paying dividends. As stated, he’s gotten a very solid start to his career in Indianapolis despite having a very average record right now. But, the real challenge for him will be to see what he can put together in this pivotal second half to the season. Chuck Pagano obviously caught lightening in a bottle with the drafting of Luck and rode his coattails to three straight postseason berths. The last four seasons, though, one of his largest issues was struggling to get the team to lock anything up in the final eight games of the year. Between 2014-2017, Pagano went 18-14 in the second half of the season, went 8-5 within the division, and 6 of those 14 losses were by 20 points or more. This is something that Reich must avoid at all costs. I don’t think anyone realistically expects Reich to be 8-0 in his final eight games of the year, but a winning record SHOULD be expected with what they have left to battle. Earlier this season the Colts lost to the Texans in overtime after spotting them 14 points earlier in the game due to two miscues inside their own 10-yard line. They lost to an Eagles team — who is clearly not to be mistaken with the Super Bowl champion team from a year ago — by only 4 points in their worst offensive yardage output of the season, and lost to the Bengals after a Jack Doyle fumble was returned for a touchdown as the Colts were driving and in control of their own destiny.You can make several arguments for these losses being understandable in a coach’s first season at the helm. But Youth Matt Slauson Jersey , he’s no longer a rookie coach in the eyes of anyone in Indianapolis after seeing what he can put together, and these sort of missed opportunities cannot scar the second half of the season if Reich truly wants his first season to be a building block for the future. Would anyone freak out if they did? Probably not, and they really shouldn’t either. But, Reich will be held to very high standards before you know it, and we’ll be dissecting this season in the near future to see exactly what the Colts have on their hands. The Colts need to be good within the division, they need to beat the teams they should beat, and they can’t afford to give any wins away if they have any dreams of being a playoff team. I’m in the camp that says that all you have to do is get in. Especially with the high-powered offense that Luck leads, and the potential that we see in the defense from time to time.If the Colts defense could continue to hold down opponent’s rushing yardage per attempt, tighten up their zones as the season progresses, and can continue to make big plays, there is no reason that Luck and Reich can’t lead this team to the playoffs and beyond. Reich’s coaching ability will be put to the test, and I for one am excited to see him break expectations down the stretch. The Houston Texans waited 10 months to celebrate a victory.So when Sunday’s wild game ended, they let it all out.Players mobbed kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn after he made a 37-yard field goal in overtime, jumping up and down before leaving Indianapolis with a wild 37-34 victory to end the league’s longest losing streak at nine.”We’re all happy about it, no doubt,” linebacker Whitney Mercilus said. “We finally got a ‘W’ after being 0-3 for a while. So, I think things are starting to click. Starting to play some complementary football. And so, that’s where this momentum is.”It’s wasn’t just three games.Houston (1-3) hadn’t won since Nov. 19, hadn’t won on the road since Sept. 14, 2017, and couldn’t even beat the Colts last season without Andrew Luck.This season, the frustration grew as they lost at New England by seven, at Tennessee by three and at home to the New York Giants by five. Then Sunday, they blew a 28-7 lead to Luck’s Colts and two more chances to win — on Fairbairn’s 59-yard field goal on the second-to-last play and on their first possession of overtime when a strong drive stalled and Fairbairn made a 29-yard field goal to tie the score at 31 with 1:50 to play.And just when it appeared Houston’s winless streak might continue, the Colts went for the win on fourth-and-4 from their 43-yard line. The Texans got the stop they needed and three plays later, Fairbairn made the winning kick — after Indy called timeout just before he missed the kick wide right.”It took longer than it needed to,” defensive end J.J. Watt said after recording two more sacks to give him 80 in his career. “Very http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-andrew-luck-jersey , very tiring, but we found a way. It’s a wild game, there at the end and there was a whole lot going on. Man, I respect their decision to go for it there at the end, go for the win instead of the tie.”Indy (1-3) has lost two straight and all three losses came with the Colts having chances to take the lead in the final 2 minutes.They’ve just kept coming up short.”We’ve got to execute. I’ve got to play better,” Luck said. “I’ve got to throw a better ball. We all know where we have to improve.”IN SYNCDeshaun Watson and his receivers certainly were in sync Sunday.Watson was 29 of 42 with 375 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran six times for 41 yards and his first rushing TD of the season.Hopkins caught 10 passes for 169 yards and one score while Keke Coutee broke Andre Johnson’s franchise record for receptions in an NFL debut. Coutee caught 11 passes for 109 yards. Johnson caught six passes in his first game.SHORT-TERM PROBLEMThe Colts initially lined up for their fourth-down play to try and draw Houston offside. When they didn’t, Indy called timeout and coach Frank Reich made the decision to go for the first down and the win with a short, seemingly safe pass on fourth-and-4.But Luck was missing his favorite target, T.Y. Hilton, who was out with a hamstring injury, and his pass was too low for Chester Rogers.The bigger problem is that Indy now visits New England on Thursday, presumably without Hilton.”Probably not, probably not good, I mean with the hamstring on a short week,” Reich said.DEFNSIVE TURNAROUNDHouston’s trademark defense also appears to have been rejuvenated. The Texans finished with four sacks against Luck and forced him to fumble twice, recovering one. Jadeveon Clowney scored his second career touchdown by recovering a fumble in the end zone on a botched snap from center Ryan Kelly.Indy had only 107 yards in the first half, 40 coming on Hilton’s first catch.While Luck led the Colts back from a 28-7 deficit to force overtime and Indy took a 34-31 lead on Adam Vinatieri’s 44-yard field goal, the defense stiffened one last time when Houston needed it most.MILESTONE DAYVinatieri became the NFL’s career leader in field goals when he made a 42-yarder with 2 seconds left in the first half to make it 21-10. Hall of Famer Morten Andersen held the previous mark at 565.Vinatieri extended the record to 567 with his overtime field goal and now heads back to New England, where he started his career, needing one field-goal attempt to move past Gary Anderson for No. 2 all-time. He also needs 26 points to break Morten Andersen’s career scoring record (2,544).But he would have preferred extending his league record for victories (226).”It’s weird, you know, you come off a loss and it doesn’t feel quite the same way,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll look back at in years to come and it will be pretty special.”

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