Matt Hasselbeck made his third start of the season at quarterback and threw a pair of touchdowns, while D'Qwell Jackson provided the game-tying pick-six in the fourth quarter. Adam Vinatieri capped it off with a 43-yard game-winning kick in the final minute of the game to pull out the road win in Atlanta 24-21.
It wasn't the most impressive performance that you'll see, but the Colts hung in there and withstood another early deficit on the road with their backup quarterback to even their record up at 5-5. The real question is what the win does to their perception, as even though it was a win, it wasn't the most convincing win. That's not saying it was a bad win, though - anytime you can pull out a road win against a team with a winning record while starting your backup quarterback is a huge deal. But are people taking that into consideration?
To get a better idea of the perception of the Colts this week, let's take a look at the power rankings.
NFL.com's Elliot Harrison ranks the Colts 16th, up five spots from last week:
Matt Hasselbeck and Adam Vinatieri are old enough to have made mixtapes for their girlfriends in high school and probably owned GoBots (Transformers for us poor kids) -- and they're apparently still quality enough, in their 40s, to beat the Falcons on the road. Even D'Qwell Jackson (32), who produced the most important interception of Week 11, is long in the tooth. The old farts stay even with the Texans in the suddenly exciting AFC South.
ESPN has the Colts at number ten, a jump of seven spots from a week ago:
The Colts are now 3-0 this season when Matt Hasselbeck starts and 2-5 when Andrew Luck starts. Hasselbeck has a better completion percentage, TD-INT ratio and Total QBR than Luck.
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco ranks the Colts number ten as well, up three spots from last week:
Matt Hasselbeck is now 3-0 and the Colts got a nice comeback victory at Atlanta. Suddenly this week's game with the Bucs is an interesting one.
CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan has the Colts at number 11, up four spots:
I've asked before, and I'll ask it again. Is this team better with Matt Hasselbeck? Right now, the Colts might be.
Shutdown Corner's Frank Schwab has the Colts ranked number 13, up seven spots:
The Matt Hasselbeck story is really fun.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio ranks the Colts at number 14, up four spots:
The MMQB's Peter King ranks the Colts number 12 in his Fine Fifteen, up three spots from a week ago:
Chuck Pagano needs to go on the post-game speaking tour this off-season. Seriously. That man can speak for a very long time at a high decibel level, and you could swear you're listening to a cross between Billy Graham and Lou Holtz.
FOX Sports ranks the Colts at number 16, up three spots from last week:
The Colts have found a nice one-two punch in the backfield since Ahmad Bradshaw was signed. Bradshaw and Frank Gore combined for 132 total yards and two touchdowns in Indy's comeback win at Atlanta.
Last but not least, SB Nation's Danny Kelly has the Colts at number 14, up four spots (but one behind the Houston Texans).
|Colts in Power Rankings - Week 12|
|CBS - Prisco||10||+ 3|
|CBS - Kirwan||11||+ 4|
|Shutdown Corner||13||+ 7|
|SB Nation||14||+ 4|