In the Colts' first game without Andrew Luck since the quarterback was still in college at Stanford, the game lived up to expectations. The Luck-less Colts and the Jaguars went at it in a game that required overtime to determine who was slightly less worse than the other. And, as has often been the case this year in the NFL, it came down to the team with the better kicker. That was an advantage for the Colts, as Adam Vinatieri hit a game-winning field goal in overtime to win it for the Colts. It wasn't pretty, but the Colts - behind the leg of a 42-year old kicker and the arm of a 40-year old quarterback - won it 16-13.
It felt like we were watching two of the worst teams in the NFL play this afternoon - because, really, that's what it was. Without Andrew Luck, the Colts just aren't that good, and even though the Jaguars did some good things, they still weren't that good either. It felt a lot like a preseason game, in all honesty.
And, to the surprise of some, the Colts got good play from their quarterback position despite the fact that Luck didn't play. Matt Hasselbeck, making his first start since 2012, did a very good job at managing the game. He didn't make mistakes and made some really nice plays, keeping some drives alive. The problem today was everything else. The Colts couldn't get any semblance of a running game going, which was what they desperately needed to do when playing without Luck. When your backup quarterback who hasn't started in three years throws 40+ times, that's probably not what you were wanting to do. But the Colts needed to do that because they couldn't run the football.
Defensively, the Colts did a decent job stopping the run but really struggled against the pass. Darius Butler in particular was bad today. He's playing out of position as the outside corner (he's good in the slot but bad outside), but still - you'd think that he would be better than he has been in that role.
The player of the game for the Colts was definitely Adam Vinatieri, who hit field goals of 54, 32, and 27 yards, including the game-winner, and also hit an extra point attempt. In a league that has seen a lot of awful kicker play both today and this season, Vinatieri is still very reliable. He also became the Colts' all-time leading scorer today (passing Mike Vanderjagt) and became the first player in NFL history to score 1,000+ points with two different franchises. Furthermore, Pat McAfee did his part, especially his 57-yard punt to flip the field position at the end of regulation.
The bottom line is this: the Colts just aren't a great team overall, and that's why the game was an ugly one between two below-average teams. But Adam Vinatieri is still very good, and that's why the Colts got the win. They are now 2-2 on the season heading into a short week for a Thursday night game on the road against the Texans and then a home Sunday Night Football game against the Patriots.