Colts Searching For Answers As They Hit Bye

The Indianapolis Colts find themselves in some pretty unfamiliar territory right about now in the wake of Sunday's 23-21 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Indianapolis is left standing at 1-2 overall but 0-1 in the AFC South behind the streaking (3-0, 2-0) Tennessee Titans after Josh Scobee's 51-yard field goal, his third of the game, came with four seconds remaining in the game. It proved to be the game-winner for Jacksonville (1-2, 1-1).

One bright spot for the Colts is that they have some time to try and fix what ails them. Indianapolis has a bye this weekend before heading to Houston on Oct. 5. This week's practices will afford Tony Dungy's squad an opportunity to try and get healthy.

Indianapolis has had an inordinate amount of injuries to key players since the start of training camp and the preseason. Some of those players have come back, but they haven't been at 100 percent.

"We were complaining about (the bye) when the schedule came out, but maybe it's the Lord's way of looking out for us and taking care of us," the Colts coach said.

The bye week should allow the Indianapolis offense to regain its rhythm, which has been inconsistent in the first three games of the year. The Colts defense, meanwhile, needs to find out what's gone wrong in the run defense, which allowed big yards in consecutive games with Minnesota and the Jaguars.

"I think we'll be better as our young guys get experience as they play. And some of those guys have played well for us," Dungy said. "What we have to do is use our bye and get back and start playing better fundamental football."

Peyton Manning, though, says that getting people back won't necessarily guarantee an improved performance on the field.

"That does not necessarily guarantee anything. Obviously, you would like to have all your players healthy, give them a chance to play. We had a chance to win (the Jacksonville) game and didn't with a number of guys injured. That may be the case for the rest of the season," Manning said.

"We have to find a way to get it done. There may be a lot closer games. Maybe our ability to grab big leads on teams might not be as good a chance of that. But we still have to find a way to win close games."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We didn't have the ball very much in the second half. (We) had one good drive at the end (of the game), but we didn't play well enough to win. We have to play better. We've got to defend the run much better." — Colts coach Tony Dungy, talking about his team's 23-21 loss to Jacksonville. Indianapolis allowed the Jaguars to control the football for 41:35 as opposed to 18:25 for the Colts. Jacksonville also ran the ball for 236 yards, allowing both Fred Taylor (26-121) and Maurice Jones-Drew (19-107, TD) to break loose.

LINEUP WATCH: S Melvin Bullitt made his first NFL start at strong safety for the Colts. Bullitt, who was filling in for injured starter Bob Sanders, was unofficially credited with seven total tackles (six solo) and one quarterback hurry. Sanders is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a high right ankle sprain that he suffered in the fourth quarter of Indianapolis' Sept. 14 game at Minnesota. He is also expected to undergo arthroscopic cleanup surgery on one of his knees during his time out.


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