All they needed Scott Tolzien to do was give them a chance, and he did that. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the Colts didn’t rise to the occasion.
Tolzien missed several throws, was erratic early, and wasn’t great, but when a backup quarterback steps in on a short week to make his first start in three years and completes 22 of 36 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown to go with two fourth quarter interceptions (with the team trailing by double-digits), that’s all you can really expect from him. He laid it all on the line too, taking a couple of big shots on runs near the goal line and taking several other hits in the pocket as he stood in until the last minute to deliver a pass.
Tolzien most certainly wasn’t Andrew Luck, but the biggest problem on Thursday night was that the Colts were still the Colts. Dropped passes, several hits allowed on their quarterback, injured players, a suspect defense - it all added up to the same old story, just with a different quarterback. It’s been happening all year, but on Thursday the Colts desperately needed others to step up since Luck was out. Instead, it was Tolzien stepping up and the others not.
“I thought Scott gave us a chance, I thought he played his ass off,” head coach Chuck Pagano said after the game. “He is one tough son of a gun. He hung in there and hung in there and made some really tough throws and took some shots along the way. I am very proud of that kid.”
It’s unclear when Andrew Luck will be back, but the Colts have ten days in-between games. That should hopefully give him enough time to pass the concussion protocol, but if not it would be Scott Tolzien getting the start once again. That doesn’t seem nearly as frightening a proposition as it did a week ago, and for that he deserves credit.