Pat McAfee gets applause for touchbacks

Touchbacks don’t draw ovations, but Jim Caldwell gave a strong round of applause to Pat McAfee for his work in that department Sunday night in a rout of the Giants.

New York’s Darius Reynaud had one kick return for three yards while McAfee put the other five Colts kickoffs deep into the end zone, forcing the Giants to settle for a drive start at the 20-yard line.

“He did an outstanding job on the kickoffs,” Caldwell said at the start of his news conference Monday. “Those five kickoffs for touchbacks that he had were, as I understand, a (franchise) record. Since 1970, there are only two people that have ever had five touchbacks in a game, and ironically they are both on our team. Adam Vinatieri did it in 2006 at Denver.

“Congratulations to Pat. He did a nice job. That makes a huge difference for our defense, trying to convert consistently 80-yard drives is difficult on an offense. He did a nice job for us.”

He Giants had just one long scoring drive, an 87-yard touchdown march that trimmed the Colts’ third-quarter lead to 24-7.

McAfee punted well too, with a 40.4-yard net average on five punts, and three pinned inside the 20.