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Colts Fire Defensive Coordinator, To Start QB Orlovsky Against Patriots

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Dan Orlovsky, left, will start for Curtis Painter, right, on Sunday in Foxboro. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Dan Orlovsky, left, will start for Curtis Painter, right, on Sunday in Foxboro. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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FOXBORO (CBS) – The Colts fired defensive coordinator Larry Coyer and also announced a change at starting quarterback on Tuesday.

At 0-11 without the injured Peyton Manning, the Colts have allowed a league-high 29.7 points per game and are 29th in the NFL in yards allowed on defense.

The team promoted linebackers coach Mike Murphy to take over the defense.

“The move was made to improve communication and production,” said Head Coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday, according to the Colts team website. “We feel this is the most effective and realistic way to move forward and win games this season. We appreciate all of the effort and hard work Larry Coyer put forth in his three years with the Colts.”

Murphy’s first task is to try and solve the 8-3 Patriots, who are No. 2 in the NFL in total offense and No. 3 in points scored (30.7 points per game).

COLTS TURN TO ORLOVSKY

In an effort to jump-start the league’s 31st-ranked offense, the Colts will turn to backup QB Dan Orlovsky on Sunday. Orlovsky started several games during the Lions’ 0-16 season in 2008, but has been a backup QB for most of his career.

Orlovsky replaces Curtis Painter, who started and lost eight games this season. He was relatively ineffective, throwing for just six touchdowns and nine interceptions and a 66.6 quarterback rating.

Kerry Collins started the first three games of the season before being knocked out for the season with a concussion.

Between 2002 and 2010 with Manning at the helm, the Colts never lost more than six games in a season.

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