The Indianapolis Colts played their best overall game of the season on the road against a quality opponent on Sunday, defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-26 at Lambeau Field.
It was an all-around good performance by the Colts, as their offense, defense, and special teams all showed up. The offense put up 24 points and had touchdown drives of 62, 96, and 71 yards, as well as a few huge plays to seal the win. The defense limited the damage that the Packers offense could do, as they bended but didn’t break (at least until the fourth quarter). And the special teams added a spark right from the beginning, as Jordan Todman took the opening kickoff back 99 yards for a score.
After Todman’s return touchdown the Packers added a field goal, after which the Colts added a seven-yard touchdown run by Frnak Gore to make it 14-3. Aaron Rodgers then answered with a 26-yard scoring toss to Jordy Nelson to cut into Indy’s lead. The Colts closed the first half strong, though, as Adam Vinatieri hit a 28-yard field goal and then the Colts went on a 15 play, 96 yard drive to finish off the first half with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Donte Moncrief on a great back-shoulder adjustment, taking a 24-10 lead into halftime. The third quarter was all Packers, but they managed just a field goal. Frank Gore added another touchdown rush in the fourth quarter to make it 31-10 Colts, but as we’ve learned from this Colts defense, no lead is safe. The Packers moved down the field with ease on the next two drives, both of which were capped off by Rodgers touchdown passes, and all of the sudden it was 31-26 Colts with just a few minutes left to go.
But then Andrew Luck and the offense stepped up in a huge way. Facing a 3rd and 10 and with the momentum firmly on Green Bay’s side, Luck somehow shook off a sack and found Jack Doyle for a first down - an absolutely amazing play by Luck to stay alive and find an open receiver. Then a little bit later, Luck again converted on third down with a great play call on a completion to T.Y. Hilton. Those plays iced the game, giving the Colts the victory.
The win improves the Colts’ record to 4-5 on the season and gives them their most impressive victory of the year. They were touchdown underdogs against the Packers at Lambeau Field, a place they hadn’t won at since 1988, but they performed well for the most part in all three phases of the game to get the victory. It feels like the type of win that will either spark a second half turnaround this year or that will buy Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano another year running the Colts. Which of those options it is remains to be seen. For now, however, the Colts enter their bye week at 4-5 after a big win, which keeps them in pursuit in the AFC South.