It was an ugly football game. One that won't go down on any lists for being a "good game." But it was a close, exciting game down the stretch and one in which the Colts pulled out a win. Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for the touchdown pass with 32 seconds left to give the Colts their first lead of the game, one that won the game for them.
The league's number one offense struggled for much of the first half and for parts of the second half, but they made just enough plays in the second half to pull out the win. The Browns, meanwhile, looked even worse on offense behind Brian Hoyer at quarterback, and in fact Hoyer was one of the biggest reasons why the Colts remained in the game.
The Colts' defense played well overall, as they only allowed ten points - the Browns scored two defensive touchdowns off of a fumble and an interception.
Ultimately, Indy's number one ranked offense looked terrible for much of this game, but they pulled out a win to improve to 9-4. Let's get to the game notes:
- The Colts got it done when it mattered. 11-play, 91-yard drive to score the game-winning touchdown with 32 seconds left. Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton. And another reminder that Luck and T.Y. are awesome.
- Boom Herron! After the refs had a bad spot on third down, it all came down to fourth and inches. Boom Herron on the third effort spun in the backfield and got the first down. That play saved the game for the Colts.
- The offensive line was terrible early on in the game. It actually all changed when Jonotthan Harrison went out with a "burner." While I never like to see a player get hurt, in terms of purely on-the-field discussions the move to A.Q. Shipley at center was one of the biggest keys to the Colts' looking better as the game went on. To start off this game, it was as bad as Harrison has looked, and that's saying something. He was BAD. With Shipley in, the line looked better. Also something of note is that Khaled Holmes came into the game at right guard after Joe Reitz was injured. The injury to Reitz didn't look good, as he was carted off the field and being examined for an ankle injury, per the Colts.
- We all know Trent Richardson can't run the football. But I thought he still provided value as a pass protector. But maybe not. He whiffed on at least two blocks that I can remember, and on one third down play midway through the fourth quarter he completely missed an assignment, leading to a sack.
- Boom Herron wasn't any better in pass protection. He stunk too.
- So did Gosder Cherilus.
- This was the worst game I ever remember seeing Reggie Wayne play. And it's really sad to see. He had three or four drops today, and they were bad drops. He seems to not be catching as much with his hands but rather with his body. I think that elbow injury still is affecting him, but regardless, he was bad today.
- Reggie Wayne's streak of consecutive games with 3+ catches is officially over. The veteran caught just 1 pass for 5 yards, though he was targeted 8 times and had a number of drops.
- Speaking of which, the receivers didn't help Andrew Luck out AT ALL today.
- T.Y. Hilton accounted for over half of the Colts' receiving yardage today, showing up big (but even he had a couple of drops). His best play of the day came on a great adjustment to catch a pass and score a 42-yard touchdown. I'm not sure why, but the Browns moved Joe Haden off of him in the second half. And T.Y. then dominated the Browns' secondary. He caught 10 passes for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. He's a stud.
- Josh Cribbs, for all that talking he did this week, had a terrible game today.
- The defense was impressive today, allowing just ten points (three of which were off of a turnover). They showed up, even without Vontae Davis. Of course, it helped playing Brian Hoyer, who was absolutely terrible today.
- Adam Vinatieri is absolutely money. I feel like I say this every week, and that's because I do. Two more field goals today, including a 51-yarder for Vinatieri, and he remains perfect on the season.
- The Colts improve to 9-4 entering next week's game against Houston (who also won today).