ARE YOU READY? Colts open home schedule on Monday night
INDIANAPOLIS – While it may not have the same zest and anticipation as it might have had in the days of Frank, Don and Howard, there is something about football under the lights early in the work week.
It’s even better when that Monday Night Football contest is your first game at home.
“Yeah, it’s always a nice buzz for a Monday night game, especially because it’s the home opener,” said quarterback Andrew Luck, who will lead the Colts against the Eagles in their home opener on Monday night. “To get in front of the fans at Lucas Oil is what’s important. We know we’ve got to go out there after a great week of work and give our fans something to be proud of.”
This will be the first time the Colts will be able to do that on Monday night since November 1, 2010 when the Colts beat the Texans 30-17. Since then the team appeared on Monday night in 2011 at Tampa Bay and in 2013 at San Diego.
Both of those games were losses as was the Colts’ opener last Sunday on primetime in Denver so the chance to open at home against the Eagles gives the team a shot at redemption along with an extra push of excitement.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to right the wrong,” said receiver Reggie Wayne of the chance to play on Monday night after the 31-24 loss to the Broncos last week. “We had an opportunity to go out last week on national TV and show America what we were capable of doing and we kind of laid an egg a little bit.
“Thankfully we’ve got another opportunity the following week to do that. A pretty good week of preparation, everybody’s been excited. Everybody’s eager to go out there and turn it around. Hopefully we can go out there and change it up, and show America what we really can do.”
As much as Wayne’s offense will have to do that the Colts defense will have even more of a challenge against a Philadelphia offense that is not only productive but freaky fast. Last season Chip Kelly’s offense averaged running a play every 25 seconds and had that average that stayed pretty much the same in a 34-17 win over the Jaguars in week one.
Against a high-powered Denver offense the Colts were burned for 24 points in the first half which was too much for the Colts to overcome despite just allowing 7 points and 60 passing yards in the second half.
“It’s important every week whether it’s a win or a loss. Even if you win, you have mistakes and you have to fix them,” said linebacker Bjoern Werner. “We fixed them. It’s done, and now we’re looking forward to the Eagles. Studied a lot already, and we’re excited to play on Monday night.”
But is that excitement real or just pregame rhetoric? Chuck Pagano leans towards the latter.
“Like the players, they’re going to be jacked up and excited for Monday Night Football when you run out. But as soon as they kick the ball off and you start playing football, it’s football,” said Pagano. “You seem to forget all that stuff. We talk more about it during the week about Monday Night football, playing on primetime, millions and millions of people watching, all those type of things.
“Again, once it’s kicked off, you’re just in the flow of the game.”