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Colts continue to hurt themselves with penalties

The Colts have been called for 49 penalties, and coach Chuck Pagano wants to reverse that trend. AP Photo/John Minchillo

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts have a saying they like to use: avoid friendly fire.

That message isn’t sinking in because the Colts to hurt themselves with penalties. They were called for 11 penalties for 103 yards against the New England Patriots last weekend.

“The penalties, we have to get it corrected,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “It’s hard to overcome first-and-15. We had false starts, first-and-20. Have a nice run play, a positive play called back because of a hold. What happens is guys strain and you got difficult matchups at times. You have to stick with your fundamentals and technique. Don’t ever get away from your fundamentals and technique.”

The Colts have been called for 49 penalties, which is tied for third in the NFL, totaling 417 yards. The offense is accountable for 27 of those penalties that have taken 225 yards away from the Colts. And to take it a step further, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, the backbone of the Colts offensive line, leads the team in penalties with six (four holdings and two false starts). The penalties continue to take away significant positive plays for the Colts.

“We’re just out there battling,” Castonzo said. Sometimes a hand gets caught. There are calls that could be called, calls that couldn’t be called. It’s just kind of what gets thrown. We’re just going to continue battling. That’s what we do.”