The Indianapolis Colts finally got a commanding win, annihilating the Baltimore Ravens 31-3 last weekend.
Colts tight end Dallas Clark was quick to point out: “That was only one week. We’ve got to keep doing it.”
Beginning today, with a road game against the Green Bay Packers, the Colts hope to prove they can continue do what they did against the Ravens.
“We need consistency,” Clark said. “We need to just keep doing it every week, keep moving the ball and getting first downs and being patient. When the big play’s there, take advantage of it and execute. We haven’t been able to do that (all season).”
And the need for consistency doesn’t relate to only the offense, which put up season highs in points and yards (334) against the Ravens. The defense also turned in its first dominating effort, allowing season lows in points and yards (260), while forcing a season-best five turnovers.
“Earlier in the year, coach (Tony Dungy) kept talking about ‘Colts ball,’ but the young guys didn’t really know what that was,” linebacker Gary Brackett said. “Playing how we did last week really emphasizes what it means to stay in your gap, stop the run and force a team to be one-dimensional. When we do that, we’re a tough team.”
The Colts are 3-2, but the Packers (3-3) are coming off a 27-17 victory over Seattle that ended a three-game losing streak.
“Last week was a big win for us. We needed to right the ship. We had lost three in a row and hadn’t played a complete game yet,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We did a nice job moving the ball on offense, finished some drives off, long drives. We had three drives over 12 plays with points. Our defense did a great job of getting us the ball back and special teams put us in situations with a short field. That all added up to a win in a tough environment.”
With Pro Bowl running back Joseph Addai out because of a hamstring injury, Dominic Rhodes will likely get the start. Rhodes is a former 1,000-yard rusher, who helped the Colts win Super Bowl championship after the 2006 season, before playing a year with the Oakland Raiders.
The Colts are less concerned with the individual matchups today than with the entire team realizing it’s going to take more efforts like last week’s to keep winning, especially at tough venues like Lambeau Field.
“As we all know, (the season) is 16 games, so the idea is to try to find some consistency.” quarterback Peyton Manning said. “Every game presents its own challenge. Green Bay is a team that may not give you the chances to throw deep. You may have to throw a lot of short passes or run the ball a lot more. You never know what kind of identity the game is going to take on. Ultimately, it’s about winning the game whether it’s a high-scoring affair or low scoring. … We have a whole new challenge this week.”