Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

October 11, 2013

NFL: Error-free football the key to Colts' early success

INDIANAPOLIS —

Play smart. Protect the football.
 
If anybody is wondering how the Indianapolis Colts have gotten off to a 4-1 start this season, keeping penalties to an absolute minimum and not turning the football over to the opposition would be a good place to start.
 
Through the Colts' five games this season, the team has been penalized 17 times an average of 3.4 times per outing. Indianapolis has also fumbled four times, losing two while having two passes intercepted.
 
The 17 penalties ties the Colts with Minnesota and Pittsburgh for the fewest in the National Football League. Indianapolis' 147 penalty yards are the lowest in the league so far this season.
 
The team's four turnovers ranks second in the NFL behind the Tennessee Titans' three and is tied for the second-fewest committed by the franchise through five games (1964 and 2006). Interestingly, in both previous seasons, the Colts played for the league title.
 
An omen perhaps? It's probably a little early to make such grandoise prognostications. Still, Colts coach Chuck Pagano likes how his team has handled its business -- from a penalty and turnover viewpoint -- so far.  
“Again, it goes back to what we always talk about is the enemy is always in your own camp. It’s hard enough to win football games without shooting yourself in the foot, without committing foolish penalties. Again, I think we had three [last Sunday against Seattle] and had one foolish penalty, [which] didn’t need to happen," Pagano voiced.
 
"Some of the other ones are going to happen from time to time. Again, our staff does a great job of educating these guys. We try to show them as many clips [of penalties and turnovers] as we possibly can. We talk about it a lot. We emphasize it a lot, no friendly fire, be disciplined with your fundamentals and techniques. Again, it’s too hard to win without shooting yourself in the foot and things like that. If we can avoid the friendly fire, obviously we’re going to keep emphasizing it because something’s working in our favor.”

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