The Colts faced a fourth and one late in the fourth quarter near the goal line, trailing by five points. The game was on the line. A conversion likely meant a touchdown, whether it be on that play or shortly after it. A failure to convert meant game over and a Browns' victory.
On third down, it had appeared that running back Boom Herron had gotten the first down, though a bad spot by the referee and then a lack of conclusive evidence prevented them from overturning the initial call. So it was fourth down, with the Colts facing a do-or-die situation. Many thought the Colts would put the ball in the hands of quarterback Andrew Luck, perhaps on a quarterback sneak up the middle. Instead, the team placed the ball in the hands of Boom Herron, seeing just his third game of extensive action.
He took the handoff and immediately it looked as if he was going to be stuffed. A second effort also appeared as if it was going to be stuffed. But on a third effort, Boom spun away from a defender and lunged forward, clearly getting the first down. It was only a two-yard gain, but it was easily the most important run of the game and perhaps the most important play of the game period.
"That was all Boom Herron right there," Andrew Luck said after the game. "Great run, probably one of the best half-yard runs I've ever seen in my life. What a heck of a job he's done, running the ball and playing good football."
"Pretty special run," head coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday. "Phenomenal effort. Phenomenal effort because obviously it was stopped at the point of attack, and sheer will and determination to get us that first down. A great play."
After Herron's fourth down run for the first down, Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton on the very next offensive play for a one-yard game-winning score with 32 seconds remaining. While that play capped it off, it was Herron's run that proved to be the pivotal play. And though it was only a two yard gain, it was one of the most impressive two yard runs you'll see and a play that proved to be the biggest of the game in the Colts' win.