Former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher Announces Retirement

Retires

Shortly after 10 AM this morning, former Chicago Bears legend and middle linebacker announced his retirement on his Twitter account.

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Indianapolis Colts could make push for division title with win at Houston

The Indianapolis Colts have exceeded even the wildest of expectations this season.

The departure of Peyton Manning? A rookie quarterback and a young roster overall, working against a salary cap strapped with dead money? The Colts’ task was daunting entering the season.

And then, three weeks in, the team’s new head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with leukemia and would miss most of the season while undergoing treatment (Pagano is in remission and could return to the sideline Dec. 30).

Anyone would have understood if this young squad had won just four games, and five or six wins would have been considered good given the circumstances.

But no. These “ChuckStrong” Colts (9-4) remarkably have showed grit and determination late in games, led by their sensational signal-caller, Andrew Luck; they amazingly stand one win away from clinching a playoff spot and control their own destiny for the AFC South title, the first of two crucial matchups with the Houston Texans (11-2) occurring at 1 p.m. today at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

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Andrew Luck gets first taste of Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots rivalry

The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots have shared what arguably has been the best rivalry in American professional sports for much of the previous decade.

Who can forget New England’s triumphs against Peyton Manning in the snow in Foxborough, Mass. during both the 2003 and 2004 playoffs? Or the epic Colts comeback in the 2006 AFC Championship game en route to Super Bowl glory?

In truth, the NFL largely has become what it is today because of these two teams (all-time great quarterbacks, as well as Bill Polian’s successful lobbying for rules changes after the 2003 AFC Championship game).

Now, though, the rivalry welcomes a new significant face: Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.

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Indianapolis Colts are surprise playoff threats, as are opposing Miami Dolphins

If the NFL playoffs were to start next week, today’s 1 p.m. matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins, both 4-3, would decide a wild-card spot.

The two franchises were a combined 8-24 in 2011.

But their surprising presences in the postseason conversation — albeit in a weakened AFC — go to show that the nature of the NFL game (and impressive rookie quarterbacks) allow for such turnarounds if a team has underrated talent elsewhere on its roster.

That is the case with these two clubs, who according to NFL.com will participate in the first-ever meeting between two top-10 draft-pick quarterbacks with winning records at this point in their rookie seasons.

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Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts: Brutally Honest Preview

The Green Bay Packers have had one of the tougher schedules to start the year. They started with the stout 49ers, a division rival in the Bears, a Seattle game marred by the replacement refs and a Saints team desperate for a win. To come out of that with a 2-2 record could be looked at as a success or an utter disappointment.

And just when you thought the road gets a little easier, it doesn’t.

The Packers travel to Indianapolis to take on a Colts team who will be playing with heavy hearts after learning about their Head Coach Chuck Pagano and his diagnosis with leukemia.

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Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck showing promise entering third game against Jacksonville Jaguars

Andrew Luck was billed as the most NFL-ready quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning — some even said John Elway.

It seems fitting, then, that the 23-year-old rookie was drafted first overall by the Indianapolis Colts, the franchise that drafted both Manning and Elway (the latter forced a trade from the franchise when it was in Baltimore) with the top pick.

While the expectations of Luck have been enormous, he has shown promise in his first two starts as the Colts’ quarterback. He’ll look to build on that promise at 1 p.m. today as the Colts (1-1) play host to their division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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Indianapolis Colts look for first win in home opener against Minnesota Vikings

The Indianapolis Colts weren’t so fortunate in the scheduling department for Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, drawing a matchup against a strong Chicago Bears team at Soldier Field and losing 41-21.

The Colts (0-1) might fare better there this week.

Indianapolis, on the heels of a rough opening to the Andrew Luck era — the No. 1 pick in April’s draft turned the ball over four times in his first career start — will look to grab its first win of the season at 1 p.m. today in its home opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

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The Great Unknown: 2012 Indianapolis Colts preview

The Indianapolis Colts have endured quite the eventful — and often turbulent — offseason in 2012.

The firings of Vice Chairman Bill Polian, GM Chris Polian and coach Jim Caldwell. The hires of GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano.

The release of quarterback Peyton Manning, the greatest and most iconic Indianapolis Colt of all time, and the subsequent cuts of long-time fan favorites Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt and Dallas Clark.

The selection of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck — the franchise’s cornerstone for the future — with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

And on the not-so-bright side, the fan backlash at owner Jim Irsay and the club, particularly for parting with Manning and for announcing just weeks ago the Colts would black out home games that weren’t 100-percent sold out despite a new league rule that allows a minimum 85-percent attendance to air games.

After all this uber-whirlwind of change and drama surrounding the Colts, it’s finally, thankfully, time to play some football.

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Indianapolis Colts’ New GM Faces Decision on Jim Caldwell

We’re nearly five days into the Ryan Grigson era in Indianapolis, and the Colts’ new general manager should be about ready to make the call on the first of many crucial decisions this offseason.

Grigson, the former director of player personnel with the Philadelphia Eagles and an Indiana native (Purdue alum), is expected to decide either today or in the next couple of days whether to retain incumbent head coach Jim Caldwell or to complete the housecleaning and move forward with his own guy.

With huge decisions looming later in the offseason, particularly whether to keep or release quarterback Peyton Manning and whether to do the same (or re-sign) so many high-profile Colts players, the Caldwell decision might seem simple. It’s not, though, and it could have an effect on some of those decisions down the road.

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Eventful Two Days Lead to Clean House for Indianapolis Colts

Wow. Never mind suggesting what an emotionally draining season 2011 has been for the Indianapolis Colts.

The last two days have been taxing enough.

Entering Sunday’s season finale at Jacksonville, the Colts were a once-proud franchise fallen from grace, a putrid roster bereft of its four-time MVP quarterback to mask its deficiencies and a trainwreck of an organization at the hands of Bill and Chris Polian.

By sundown Monday, the franchise was swept clean of Polian reign, had entered the market for a new general manager and now appears set to move forward with a new vision, very possibly with a promising young signal-caller.

The Colts’ loss to the Jaguars netted Indy the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft, and Colts owner Jim Irsay made it official the next day that Bill Polian, who has had quite the run as an executive in Indianapolis and elsewhere, and his son Chris, the team’s general manager, would be relieved of their duties with the organization.

What a couple of days.

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Indianapolis Colts Shine in Defeat, Fall to Pittsburgh Steelers

The Indianapolis Colts indeed fell to 0-3 Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium as many predicted they would.

I’m sure few people, however, predicted that a loss that dropped the Colts to 0-3 would feel so good.

The Colts put forth a stellar effort on the field and pushed the Pittsburgh Steelers to the brink in a 23-20 loss. Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham kicked a 38-yard field goal after a late drive by Ben Roethlisberger to seal the deal with four seconds to play.

But what an encouraging and much-needed display by the Colts, even with the end result.

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Indianapolis Colts Enter Great Unknown Against Houston Texans

Reality has set in for the Indianapolis Colts and their fans.

Peyton Manning will not be behind center after starting a total of 227 consecutive games for the franchise.

Sixteen-year veteran Kerry Collins will take the snaps for the Colts for the foreseeable future, starting with today’s season-opening bout against the Houston Texans in Reliant Stadium.

The Great Unknown.

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