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could exploit the Indianapolis Colts‘ tight end advantage.Defenses still haven’t solved it.Less than a year after helping the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl Jabaal Sheard Jersey , Reich brought the philosophy to his first head coaching job and is getting similar results.“I did expect we were going to spread it around, that’s just kind of how we roll,” Reich said Monday, a day after beating Oakland. “Now it’s probably exceeded expectations, but the expectations were pretty high to start.”There’s been little to quibble with through the first half of the season.Only three tight ends in the league have more receptions than Eric Ebron (36), a free-agent signee who finally appears to be meeting the hype of a first-round draft pick. Only Antonio Brown (eight) has more touchdown catches than Ebron (seven).Pro Bowler Jack Doyle has 15 receptions in three games and caught his first scoring pass Sunday, giving Indy a league-high 12 TD catches among four tight ends.The group played so well Sunday, they pulled off a rarer feat than Adam Vinatieri becoming the NFL’s career scoring leader, Marlon Mack becoming the first Colts’ runner with back-to-back 100-yard games since 2007 and Andrew Luck avoiding a sack in a third straight game for the first time in his pro career.Ebron, Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox became the first tight end trio to each catch a TD pass in the same game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.And they did it in style.Cox’s first career score came on an acrobatic, one-handed grab that Reich quickly dubbed one of the best catches he’s ever seen. It’s the first time fans really witnessed what the former college basketball star and undrafted free agent really could do on the football field.Ebron’s score came as he tap-danced along the sideline for the tying score in the third quarter.Doyle gave Indy the final lead change of the game with a 10-yard catch-and-run that ended with Doyle diving just inside the pylon.“What an awesome job our tight end group does to complement this offense, to complement the wide outs, to complement each other in the way we play,” Luck said.“I think there’s a lot of different personnel groups that run out on that field. It basically allows us to be successful in all those personnel groups, and I think that puts a lot of pressure on a defense.”It’s all by design.Reich saw how effective the tight ends could be during previous stints with the Colts, Chargers and the past two seasons in Philadelphia.So when he returned to Indy and found the reliable Doyle and Erik Swoope, another college basketball convert, on the roster, Reich figured why not start building around tight ends. The Colts lured Ebron from Detroit, where he fell out of favor because of his reputation for drops, and they signed Ryan Hewitt in early September after he was cut by Cincinnati.Alie-Cox has proved a pleasant surprise after spending last season on the Colts’ practice squad, reacquainting himself with a sport he hadn’t played since transferring to a non-football playing high school in Virginia.“I bet in the last month there’s probably been three, four Pierre Desir Color Rush Jersey , maybe even five wow moments on the practice field involving Mo, although the one in the game might have been better than all those we saw on the practice field,” Reich said. “I remember when we got here and Chris is telling me about Mo and saying he really thought Mo had something to him.”Now it’s translating to success on the field.Indy (3-5) heads into its bye week on a two-game winning streak, in large part because its tight ends have been able to stretch the field and continue to play their part in protecting Luck and creating holes for Mack.If they keep it up, the Colts could play their way back into the AFC South race. They’re just two games out of the division lead with home games looming against Jacksonville (3-5), Tennessee (3-4) and Miami (4-4) following the bye and the second-easiest schedule remaining.“As we’ve said all offseason, the tight ends are a point of strength for this team and this offensive roster,” Reich said. “They showed up big (Sunday).”Note: Indy signed offensive tackle Antonio Garcia to the practice squad Monday. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck has done some of his most memorable work rallying the Indianapolis Colts.He’d rather spend the time protecting leads.Lately, the Colts’ have allowed Luck to use his preferred strategy by scoring early and often before relying on a balanced attack and an increasingly stout defense to close out victories. It’s happened each of the past two weeks in crucial games, putting Indy on the cusp of a historic milestone.“I think it’s discipline, sound fundamentals, sound technique, it’s converting third downs. It’s all of those things,” Luck said Tuesday as the Colts try to become the first team to reach a conference championship game after starting 1-5. “It’s nice to be playing with a lead, especially on the road.”In previous seasons, slow starts forced Luck & Co. to climb out of some huge holes.Sure, Luck thrived in those situations, engineering 21 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime during his first five pro seasons, including a league-record seven in 2012 and the second-largest playoff comeback in January 2014 against the Kanas City Chiefs. He added three more comeback wins this season, all since late October, with the most recent coming Dec. 23 against the New York Giants.But as the playoff picture came into focus, Luck didn’t need a series of fantastic finishes.Instead, during their current five-game winning streak https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Kemoko-Turay-Jersey , the Colts (11-6) have trailed in only two games and have not faced a deficit larger than 10. Indy led wire-to-wire in three of its last four victories and hasn’t trailed since scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of the Giants’ game in Week 16.The formula could prove particularly useful at Kansas City in Saturday’s divisional round game.“When you get the lead, you can dictate how the game goes,” said kicker Adam Vinatieri, who owns four Super Bowl rings and is expected to appear in his 32nd postseason game. “By taking the lead, you get to manage the game and that’s one of the things I’m really impressed with is how well the defense has played the last couple of weeks.”This will be a different kind of test.The AFC West champion Chiefs (12-4) return from a bye week as the conference’s top seed, with the league’s highest scoring offense (35.3 points) and a lot to prove in a lopsided postseason series.Kansas City is 0-4 all-time against Indy in the playoffs, having lost at home following the 1995 season after securing he No. 1 seed and again in 2003, in a game that featured no punts. The Chiefs also lost in Indy following the 2006 season when Larry Johnson, the league’s No. 2 rusher, gained just 32 yards, and again in January 2014 when Luck rallied the Colts from a 38-10 deficit in the third quarter for a 45-44 victory falling just short of the record 32-point comeback orchestrated by Colts coach Frank Reich in January 1993.This time, Kansas City is back on its home turf and trying to create some new memories.“I’ll tell you that we are going through the process and getting ready to play a great football team,” coach Andy Reid said. “So we know that and that’s where absolutely all my energy is going.”But what the Chiefs have seen on film is the hottest team in football.Running back Marlon Mack has five 100-yard games this season, including each of the past two weeks, receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron continue to make big plays down the field, the offensive line hasn’t given up a sack in two weeks and Luck appears to be in perfect sync.The combination has led Indy to wins in 10 of its last 11 games, with the last two coming in elimination games on the road.But after taking a 14-0 lead in a Week 17 playoff-clinching victory at Tennessee and a 21-0 lead at Houston in last week’s wild-card victory, the Titans and Texans never had a chance — and the Colts would like to keep it that way one more week.“We’re trying to score every time we touch the ball. We’re going to call the game in a way that we can score points,” Reich said. “We want to run it, that’s no secret, that keeps them off the field, but the bottom line is we’ve got to score points.”
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