Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/4/11
Falcons vs. Colts Game Snapshot KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET GAMEDATE: 11611 SURFACE: FieldTurf TV: FOX, Ron Pitts, Jim Mora, Drea Avent PREDICTION: Falcons 28-7 KEYS TO THE GAME: The Colts' young offensive line has been under constant duress trying to protect QB Curtis Painter while attempting to play from behind. With Falcons DE Ray Edwards closer to full strength and providing a book end to John Abraham, Painter must get help from his ground game - although Atlanta is seventh in defending the run. Falcons rookie WR Julio Jones is expected back from his hamstring injury to help attack Indianapolis' beleaguered secondary, which will be severely overmatched unless RB Michael Turner is stuffed and DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis assert themselves. FAST FACTS: Turner's teams are 25-1 when he has 21-plus carries. ... The Colts are 6-0 against Atlanta at home. INSIDE THE CAMPSFalcons Falcons rookie punter Matt Bosher has had an up and down start to his NFL career. He is averaging 36.9 yards on 32 punts, which ranks him 35th in the league. He has placed 11 punts inside the 20 and has forced 15 fair catches with his hang-time. The 15 fair catches is tops in the league. "When you look at him over the last four weeks, three of the four weeks have been pretty good," special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong said. "He's done a pretty good job for us. He's done a really good job of placing the ball." Bosher, who's attempting to replace Michael Koenen, who signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent, also has been inconsistent on his kickoffs. He has 10 touchbacks on 36 kickoffs (27.8 percent), which is 29th in the league for players with more than 20 kickoffs. Denver's Matt Prater leads the league with 26 touchbacks on 30 kickoffs (86.7 percent). Koenen has 15 touchbacks on 31 kickoffs (48.4 percent). "Kickoff wise, we still need to work on some things in terms of corner kicking and that type of stuff," Armstrong said. "I think, all in all, he's making progress. That's the biggest thing. Is he where he really wants to be, I would say, not right now. But he is making progress. He is becoming more and more consistent." Colts It's become something of a monthly ritual now. Quarterback Peyton Manning, sidelined after undergoing neck fusion surgery on Sept. 8, meets with the Indianapolis Colts' media corps once each month to discuss his ongoing rehabilitation process. Manning spoke Thursday on a wide range of subjects, including the possibility of returning to the practice field before the end of the current season. "Not a whole lot to report. Still waiting for the fusion to take place. That takes place, (surgeons) thought, between two and three months. Still going slow with that," he said. "I still have some of the same issues I had before the fusion as far as the nerves and the regeneration. Still dealing with that, the idea being that this surgery gave me the most stability for the nerves to regenerate. That's still a process there." Albeit a slow, gradual process, Manning readily admitted. "I kind of go a week at a time, try to get a little better each week. Still have some restrictions on what I'm allowed to do. I'm still positive about things improving. I still have some work to do," he said. "There's really not a schedule and there's really not a timeline. It's sort of how I am at different check points. I really think I would say the first of December is probably the next check point. That will be three months from the surgery. See where I am from the strength standpoint at that time, from a conditioning standpoint. I just can't give a prediction of where I'm going to be. I don't think anybody really can because as I've said all along, this injury is one that is a little bit unpredictable." Manning still holds out hope of being able to return to practice at some point this year. "If I was cleared and able to do that, it would be nice to be able to do that, to go out and participate in a team practice where everything is right there with you, even though you probably couldn't do everything. So, that's a hope and a wish," he said. "If I were to get cleared to play and felt good enough to play, the doctor said it was OK, yeah, I would absolutely love to because that's how I'm wired. That's my job and I miss not being able to do my job. Once again, that's another prediction type of question. I just can't really give you that answer as to where I am. In December, I can probably give you a more realistic answer with four games left. But, sure, would I like to? Absolutely, whether it was one game, two games or a couple plays. I miss playing." PERSONNEL NEWSFalcons LT Sam Baker, who is out for three to four weeks with a lower back injury, has given up three sacks for 26 yards in losses. He's also been called for two holding penalties. WR Julio Jones has 25 catches for 358 yards and appears set to make his return to the lineup against the Colts. RB Michael Turner has rushed 138 times for 621 yards and six touchdowns. He's on pace for 315 carries, 1,419 yards and 14 touchdowns. SLB Stephen Nicholas has 21 total tackles this season, including 16 solo. Colts OT Anthony Castonzo (ankle) went through Monday's walkthrough session and had limited participation Wednesday and Thursday. Castonzo has been sidelined for the past four games with a high ankle sprain. OT Ryan Diem (ankle) practiced on Wednesday and Thursday. Diem has missed the last two games. He incurred a high ankle sprain earlier in the season and sat out some games at that time. RB Joseph Addai (hamstring) fully took part during practice Wednesday and Thursday. Addai dressed for the Tennessee game last week but did not play. He saw limited playing time against New Orleans two weeks ago. OT Quinn Ojinnaka (shoulder) had limited practice time on Wednesday and returned for full work on Thursday. Ojinnaka hurt his knee in the fourth quarter of last week's game with Tennessee and did not return. OG Mike Pollak (hamstring) was able to get limited work in Wednesday and Thursday. Pollak did not play against the Titans last week. His status for the Atlanta game won't be determined until the end of the week. DT Drake Nevis (back) saw limited work Wednesday and Thursday. Nevis has been sidelined with a lower back injury since the Colts' Sept. 25 game with Pittsburgh. WR Blair White (knee) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. White was hurt against the Titans last week. His status for the Atlanta game remains undetermined. CB Terrence Johnson (hamstring) did not take part in workouts Wednesday and Thursday. Johnson was dinged up against Tennessee last Sunday, suffering knee and ankle injuries as well. His availability for the Atlanta game won't be known until the end of the week. C Jeff Saturday (knee) did not practice Monday or Wednesday but was able to go through a full workout on Thursday. Saturday, though, is expected to start against the Falcons this week. TE Dallas Clark (knee) was held out of Wednesday's workout but fully participated on Thursday. Clark should be available to play Sunday against Atlanta. LB Pat Angerer (knee) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Angerer is expected to start at middle linebacker against the Falcons this week.
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