Indianapolis Colts: Benjarvus Green-Ellis

INDIANAPOLIS -- The fifth round hasn't been too kind to the Indianapolis Colts when it comes to selecting a productive player in the draft. What the Colts can say, though, is that they did select a player likely headed to the Hall of Fame in the fifth round when they picked Robert Mathis in 2003.

2012 DT Josh Chapman

Chapman was injured his rookie season. His best play happened to be one that was called wrong by the officials. Chapman tripped Cincinnati running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis on fourth-and-goal at the Colts' 1-yard line in game last December. The play was reviewed and referee Jeff Triplette reversed the call, giving the Bengals a touchdown.

2012 RB Vick Ballard

Ballard rushed for 814 yards as a rookie, but then had his second season cut short because of a torn ACL suffered during practice in Week 2 of the season. He'll compete with Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson for carries.

2003 LB Robert Mathis

Mathis was considered undersized when he came out of tiny Alabama A&M. He's gone to six straight Pro Bowls, is first in team history with 111 career sacks and he became the 3oth player in NFL history with at least 100 sacks. He's also forced a league-high 47 fumbles since 2003.
INDIANAPOLIS -- To no one's surprise, the Indianapolis Colts weren't interested in hearing that the NFL admitted it made a mistake late in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“No, no,” coach Chuck Pagano said when asked if he had a reaction to it. "We're still 8-5. And we've got the [Houston] Texans coming to town. And we won the division. So we got a lot of good things going on. Now we've got to catch the momentum, now we've got to catch fire. As Robert [Mathis] just said, we've got to 'strike the match' and catch fire and get the mojo going.”

[+] EnlargeBenJarvus Green-Ellis
AP Photo/David KohlAfter review, officials ruled that BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored right before the half against the Colts.
It was fourth-and-goal for the Bengals at the Colts' 1-yard line, when Indianapolis defensive tackle Josh Chapman tripped running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis stumbled to the ground and the officials ruled that he was down short of the goal line.

The play was reviewed and referee Jeff Triplette reversed the call, giving the Bengals a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 74 seconds left in the first half.

"It wasn't a correct call," Dean Blandino, the NFL's head of officiating, said on the NFL Network's "Total Access" on Tuesday night. "We made a mistake here."

An apology now doesn't do anything for the Colts. It's still a touchdown and more importantly, it's still a loss for them.

“Awesome,” Mathis said. “Too little too late, but we're not crying over spilled milk. We lost the game. Move on. It's Houston.”

Colts: No word from NFL on reversed call

December, 9, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Not that it'll do anything to change the outcome of the game, but Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano still had yet to hear from the NFL on Monday afternoon about the reversed call late in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Colts thought they had stuffed Bengals running BenJarvus Green-Ellis when defensive tackle Josh Chapman tripped him up on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line.

That's what the officials originally ruled at least.

But after reviewing the play, referee Jeff Triplette reversed the call and said Green-Ellis wasn't touched before crossing the goal line. The touchdown gave the Bengals a 14-0 lead at halftime, and they scored on their first possession of the third quarter to take a 21-0 lead.

"I just trust our guys and (Chapman's) reaction to the play was the runner fell down," Pagano said. "And we saw video, saw the jumbotron just like everybody else and his reaction. During the time (he was) saying, 'I made the play, I made the play.' I trust our guys and it is what is."

Chapman knows he tripped Green-Ellis up, but he also acknowledged that they wouldn't have been in that position if they played better defense.

"I look at it this way: the guy should have never been down there," Chapman said. "We should've handled our business from the beginning. But when they get in the red zone, our job is to keep them out of the red zone."

Triplette gave a vague explanation on the reversal of the call to a pool reporter after the game that said they "reviewed the video at the goal line, there was nobody touching him there, and then he bounced into the end zone."

An NFL spokesman told USA TODAY in an email that the reversal was a "judgment call."

"Jeff determined in the review that the runner was not down by contact," league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote the newspaper.

Rapid Reaction: Indianapolis Colts

December, 8, 2013

CINCINNATI -- A few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 42-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

What it means: The game started to change for the Colts when Adam Vinatieri missed a 44-yard field goal following their best drive of the first half. It really changed for them in the final 74 seconds of the first half. Indianapolis thought it stopped the Bengals on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line when defensive tackle Josh Chapman appeared to trip running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The officials originally ruled that it was the Colts' ball. But they went to the review booth and Jeff Triplette reversed the call to put the Bengals up 14-0. Cincinnati received the ball at the start of the third quarter and drove down the field with ease to score again and go up 21-0. The Colts got to as close as 21-14 before the Bengals pulled away. The loss dropped the Colts to the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoff standings.

Still no ground game: I know it's surprising, but quarterback Andrew Luck was the Colts' best rusher. He led Indianapolis with 32 yards on only two carries. Donald Brown and Trent Richardson combined to rush for 31 yards on 10 carries. The Colts finished with 63 yards, marking the fifth time in the past eight games that they failed to gain at least 100 yards in a game.

Play at receiver: Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who has been a disappointment this season, finally had his snaps reduced. Da'Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill were happy to step up for him. Rogers caught his first touchdown pass of the season when he bounced off two Cincinnati defenders and scored on a 69-yard catch and run. Brazill topped Rogers on their next possession when he shook off six -- yes, six -- Bengals defenders on a 19-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Brazill and Rogers both added a second touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Rogers had a drop on third down that would have been a first down when the Colts were trying to get back in the game in the fourth quarter. Rogers had six catches for 107 yards. Brazill added three catches for 53 yards. And for those wondering about Heyward-Bey, he had two catches for 23 yards and a dropped pass that would have given the Colts a first down.

What's next: The Colts return to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Houston Texans, who fired coach Gary Kubiak last week, on Dec. 15.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts put on extra layers, shook off the frigid air and spent the week practicing outside to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

There’s a chance Mother Nature won’t be too kind to either team at Paul Brown Stadium. The forecast calls for temperatures to be in the 30’s with a chance of snow on Sunday. The Colts haven’t played a game in the snow since the 2009 season.

[+] EnlargeTrent Richardson
AP Photo/AJ MastTrent Richardson and the Colts' running backs might get a lot of work on Sunday in Cincinnati.
“You know what, the elements, it is what it is,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano. “From a ball-security standpoint, that’s what we stressed all week long. That’s why we got outside all week long. If it’s sleeting sideways and 30 degrees, 20 degrees, it really comes down to ball security, taking care of it. Makes throwing the ball a little bit difficult, too, so better pack a good run game.”

Limiting quarterback Andrew Luck's throwing ability and relying on the run game could cause some uneasiness since Luck is the Colts’ best offensive weapon, and the running game has been inconsistent this season.

But that’s what it might take for the Colts to have a chance to beat the Bengals, who are 5-0 at home, and get a game lead on them for the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff standings.

“I probably haven’t played in snow since I was throwing a football around as a kid, so very excited about it,” Luck said. “I love playing outside. I think there’s something about it that’s fun, so we’re looking forward to it.”

The Colts rushed for 104 yards -- only the second time in the past five games that they rushed for at least 100 yards -- against the Tennessee Titans last weekend.

“I can play in snow, as a kid,” running back Trent Richardson said laughing. “But it’s just something, you just got to go out there and fight it. You got to man up. This is what the big playmakers have done their whole life. You look at the Jim Browns, the Emmitt Smiths, the Fred Taylors, the Ricky Williams' and the Edgerrin James'. Look at those type of guys. Those guys fought through it, and they stuck it through the whole time in the snow. It didn’t matter to them.”

Indianapolis has to hope it can get something out of its running game, and with some Luck-being-Luck sprinkled in there, too, because the Bengals have the offensive weapons to put points on the board.

Cincinnati averages more than 363 yards a game and has won six of its past eight. Bengals receiver A.J. Green has 72 catches for 1,103 yards, which is only 71 yards less than what T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, LaVon Brazill and Da’Rick Rogers gave combined for this season.

Indianapolis' defense forced four turnovers against Tennessee last weekend, and the unit might get cornerback Greg Toler (groin) back in the lineup for the first time in five games.

“It’s a talented team,” Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. “They got good receivers, a good quarterback ... they got some players in the backfield with (Benjarvus Green-Ellis) and (Giovani Bernard). Talented guys that can see the hole and break long runs. We got to make sure we bottle them up as best we can.”