Reggie Wayne won't phone it in for Colts

Reggie Wayne's 72nd career touchdown catch was neither his most spectacular nor his most important. There's a chance it could even be his last for the Indianapolis Colts, depending on how the offseason shakes out.

But Wayne, the 11-year receiver out of the University of Miami, preferred to call his 18-yard reception of a Dan Orlovsky pass that gave the Colts the lead for keeps in their first win of the season "routine."

"Just ran what we call a corner route and I'm just glad Dan looked my way and gave me the opportunity to make a play," Wayne said. "He threw a pretty good ball and the rest was just catching it."

The third-quarter touchdown put the Colts on top 10-6 en route to a 27-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Indy (1-13) will be back at Lucas Oil Stadium again on Thursday night to host the Houston Texans (10-4). And while the Colts have been tabbed almost a touchdown-underdog, they at least won't carry the specter of a winless season on their shoulder pads.

"It was good for us to go out here and win," said Wayne, one of several veteran players in the final year of a contract as the Colts decide whether to reload with the possible return of Peyton Manning or rebuild through the draft. It was great to win at home.

"Hopefully, it's contagious. Hopefully, we can win these next two games which are divisional opponents and go out have some good thoughts at the end of the year and look back on this and hopefully be better next year."

Until Wayne's touchdown catch — and, for that matter, throughout a shaky fourth quarter — it looked like the Colts might be adding to a bank of bad memories. The offense was stagnant and a fumble gave the Titans the halftime lead and momentum.

But good defense and a penalty on a punt return gave the Colts field position, and they managed to drive 43 yards in seven plays, the last a pass to the left corner of the end zone that Wayne hauled in while tip-toeing the chalk.

"He ran a great route and I just threw it to a spot where he could make a play on it and he made a great play — which he continues to do," said Orlovsky. "Every time he walks by my locker during the week he says, 'throw left' and I'm finding it is pretty easy to do."

It hasn't been a great season for Wayne or the Colts. The only quarterback he ever had worked with in the NFL was Manning, and he's been through three this year — Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and now Orlovsky.

A string of seven 1,000-yard seasons is in jeopardy (he has 59 catches for 781 yards and three touchdowns with two games to go). Only Marvin Harrison (eight), Tim Brown (nine) and Jerry Rice (11) have more in NFL history.

That's why a man with 846 career receptions for 11,529 yards — all second in franchise history to Harrison — isn't that impressed by a single score.
"Snaps are down, passing opportunities are cut down," he said. "I faced reality a long time ago that individual goals are probably not going to be reached. But it's not about that. We have to have the mentality to win these last three games."

That would certainly change the offseason strategy, with both Minnesota and St. Louis sitting at two wins, ready to snatch the No. 1 pick from the Colts.

But as they've said for weeks now, the opportunity to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck never has been a goal.

Sunday's win proved that players like Wayne haven't packed it in, said coach Jim Caldwell.

"It certainly has a lot to do with the veteran players that hung in there together. It certainly has to do with the type of men that we also have in our organization, they are men of character and integrity. They are not a bunch of guys that complain a whole lot and things of that nature."

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