Behind a very impressive second half, the Indianapolis Colts notched a resounding double-digit victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday 25-12 to improve to 6-5 on the year. It was a complete performance by this Colts team that keeps them atop the AFC South.
The first half was rather rough for the offense, as the offense managed just two field goals and 148 total yards. In the second half, however, they really picked it up and put the ball in the end zone. And after a shaky start, Matt Hasselbeck really heated up and played a very good football game overall. It wasn't perfect, but considering the fact that he's a 40-year old backup quarterback with no run game and two new starters at the tackle spots, he did everything you could have expected and more. The Colts couldn't run the ball whatsoever and struggled to get anything going there, but Matt Hasselbeck had his first 300-yard passing game since 2011 and helped lead the Colts to a victory. He completed 26 of 42 passes (61.9%) for 315 yards (7.5 yards per attempt), two touchdowns and no interceptions. All things considered, he played a great football game.
This game should make Colts fans excited about what the T.Y. Hilton/Donte Moncrief duo can for this Colts' offense moving forward, as they were absolutely tremendous today. Hilton caught 6 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while Moncrief caught 8 passes for 114 yards. They combined for 14 receptions for 209 yards and two scores, averaging 14.9 yards per catch, with several of the catches coming on third down too.
Also, give credit to this coaching staff and the defense. The first half was not great for the Colts' defense after the Buccaneers scored on all three possessions and were heating up, but Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky made some fantastic halftime adjustments and figured out what Tampa Bay was doing offensively. The pass rush started showing up (thanks in part due to scheme) and the Colts had much more success against the Buccaneers. Considering how well Tampa Bay's offense had been playing coming into this game, it was a very impressive second half effort by this team, and the Colts' coaching staff drastically out-coached the Buccaneers' staff in the second half, making the necessary adjustments. Give them a lot of credit for that.
Let's give Adam Vinatieri credit, too. Since missing his first two field goals of the season, he has been absolutely automatic. He has hit 16 in a row since then, including four today (a fifth was called back due to a Tampa Bay penalty giving the Colts a first down). Ten of his kicks have been from 40+ yards (including two of them today) and two of them have been game-winners. He was automatic again today (besides for a missed extra point after a bad snap) and was a large part of the reason the Colts won today.
All in all, this was a very impressive performance by the Colts all-around. Matt Hasselbeck played very well, T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief were fantastic, the offensive line was solid, the defense really stepped up in the second half, the coaching staff was actually a positive today, and the special teams were again very good. This was a complete performance against a good Buccaneers team that keeps the Colts atop the AFC South with a 6-5 record, the Colts' third win in a row.