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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What the offseason might have in store for the Indiana Pacers

With the highly anticipated NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder now under way, a thought randomly popped into my head: It wasn’t very long ago that I was thinking the Pacers could conceivably be playing in this series.

That, of course, was when the Pacers had taken a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after trouncing the Heat 94-75 in Game 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami then won the next three games, thanks in large part to superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade going off, and brought my expectations back down to Earth.

The Pacers boast a talented young roster, but it’s evident they don’t have that one player that can do what James and Wade can do — not yet, anyway. If that player isn’t already on the team, can Indiana find him this offseason? If so, who might he be?

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Indiana Pacers all out of sorts in wild Game 5

Wow, where to start with Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat?

The lackluster play from the get-go for the Pacers? The three flagrant fouls called? The injuries to Danny Granger and David West? Team president Larry Bird calling out his players for going soft?

The Heat pretty much controlled the entire game Tuesday en route to a 115-83 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena and a 3-2 series lead, but the real story of this game might have been the juicy story lines it has produced for the next 48 hours leading up to Thursday’s pivotal Game 6 in Indianapolis.

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Indianapolis Colts make heartbreaking but necessary decision to release Peyton Manning

Nobody — nobody — wanted it to end this way.

Not you or me. Not Indianapolis Colts fans, who are sure to be divided — many of them irate — about the franchise’s decision to part ways with Peyton Manning. Not Manning himself. Not owner Jim Irsay, who undoubtedly will be the recipient of the aforementioned fan ire. Not Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, who was among the first (if not the first) to opine that parting ways with Manning was the only decision that made sense for the franchise and subsequently became an easy target for angry Colts fans as someone who was running the four-time MVP out of town.

Nobody wanted it to end this way.

But it must.

With the official announcement — a joint one — that the Colts will release Manning after 14 seasons with the club coming at noon today, the news we’ve been expecting really hits home. And it hits home hard — for many reasons. But as heartbreaking as it might be to see the departure of someone who essentially put football on the map in Indiana, there was just no way around it.

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The only story with the Indianapolis Colts is Peyton Manning

Just so you know, the Colts have made a few major changes this offseason.

Bill and Chris Polian are gone. In their place is new general manager Ryan Grigson, formerly a member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office.

Oh, and former coach Jim Caldwell also is out of town. The new guy? Chuck Pagano, who spent the 2011 season as the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator. Word is he plans to do away with the Colts’ familiar Tampa 2 defense and install a hybrid 3-4 scheme.

The Colts have some new coordinators too, you know. Bruce Arians, who was the team’s quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000 and previously served as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is back in Indy to conduct the offense (Clyde Christensen isn’t gone, though. He’s quarterbacks coach now). Greg Manusky, who in 2011 was the San Diego Chargers’ defensive coordinator, now has that position here.

Any other offseason, these would be HUGE stories that would command their own blog posts. But this offseason? We hardly have heard a peep from or about any of these guys. There’s only one story surrounding the Indianapolis Colts right now: the very public dilemma between Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay that eventually will lead to the four-time MVP’s exit from town.

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Indianapolis Colts Get Banged Up, Fall to 0-4

This one hurt. In more ways than one.

Not only did the Indianapolis Colts fall to 0-4 with their 24-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, the team also incurred injuries to several difference-making players — one such injury among the ugliest the sport has seen.

The Colts were competitive, but they still have a long way to go in terms of closing the deal, especially if some of the injured players are out for any extended time.

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Hey Colts, What’s Pestering Peyton Manning?

MANNING FACE

The Indianapolis Colts’ 38-35 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys at Lucas Oil Stadium only brightened the spotlight on the struggles of quarterback Peyton Manning.

The only four-time MVP in NFL history threw four interceptions for the second straight week, and (like the week before in a 36-14 home loss to San Diego) two of his picks were returned for touchdowns. And dating back to the loss at New England two weeks ago, Manning has thrown at least three interceptions in three straight contests.

ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky confirmed that Manning is the first quarterback to “accomplish” such a feat since Aaron Brooks did so in 2001. When one considers that there’s been no shortage of poor quarterbacking in the NFL since then, it’s pretty eye-popping to see Manning’s name attached to such an ugly statistic.

The question as to what’s pestering Peyton these days tops off an array of thoughts on Indy’s sixth loss of 2010, which clinched the franchise’s worst record since 2002 and will all but surely force the Colts to win out the last four weeks if they are to reach the postseason for the ninth consecutive year.

By Drew Allen

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