Playing in his 300th career NFL game, the oldest player in the NFL came through in a big way as Adam Vinatieri hit a 43-yard field goal with less than a minute left to give the Colts the 24-21 lead in Atlanta against the Falcons.
It was Vinatieri's 26th career game-winning kick, and it evened the Colts' record on the season up at .500, as the Colts are now 5-5. It's their second-straight win (both against non-AFC South opponents) and will keep Indy atop their division as they fight for a playoff game down the stretch. The Colts entered the fourth quarter trailing 21-14, but a D'Qwell Jackson pick-six and the Vinatieri field goal with less than a minute remaining were the difference as the Colts came back and scored the final ten points of the game to win it.
The Colts' offense struggled to move the football today at times, aside from a few drives. On one drive, they went 80-yards in 13 plays, and then later in the game they went 90-yards on 10 plays - those were their two touchdown drives, while they also went 56 yards on their field goal drive. Some of that was helped by the Falcons and penalties, but either way the Colts' offense did a solid job on those drives. Otherwise, though, it was a struggle, with two Matt Hasselbeck interceptions, a Frank Gore fumble, and five punts. One person to point out on the offensive side of the ball is Ahmad Bradsahw, who had a nice day in catching two touchdown passes to continue his reputation as a touchdown machine. He now has nine touchdown receptions in the last two seasons.
The Colts' defense came up big against the Falcons' potent offense. Certainly, we must note that Devonta Freeman left the game early with a concussion, but the Colts' defense did indeed play well overall today and came up with some stops when they needed them. It wasn't perfect (Julio Jones had a big day against the unit), but when the Colts needed stops, the defense (with some help from the Falcons offense) came through. The offense turned the football over three times and that the defense allowed zero points combined off of those turnovers. That's impressive.
Speaking of the defense, we must note that D'Qwell Jackson played a great game today and came up huge down the stretch. He made a great adjustment and picked off Matt Ryan, taking it back for a touchdown to tie the game up in the fourth quarter, and then a little later made a sack on Ryan that forced a Falcons punt. Jackson had a big-time game, and he deserves credit for that.
It wasn't the most well-played game on either side, but the Colts needed a win however they could get it. That's what they got, and even though it wasn't pretty, that keeps them on top of the AFC South. A win is a win (especially at this point of the season) and the team evened their record up at 5-5 on the season. Without a doubt, this was a huge win for the Colts.