With their season on the line and facing an 0-3 start, the Indianapolis Colts responded with a fourth-quarter comeback in magnificent fashion. Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for a 63-yard touchdown with 1:17 left to play to put the Colts ahead 26-22, securing the first victory of the season for Indianapolis as they improve to 1-2.
Hilton stepped up in a big way today, catching eight passes for for 174 yards and the touchdown. He also recorded 48 of 80 yards on an earlier Colts scoring drive, and on the crucial drive in the fourth quarter he also converted a 4th and 7 to keep the drive alive. He guaranteed a big game, and he responded. As for Luck, he completed 24 of 37 passes for 331 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He had two bad turnovers in the first half (a pick and a fumble), but other than those two plays he actually had a good day overall - especially with his game-winning touchdown pass.
Here was that game-winning score from Luck to Hilton:
The defense didn’t lose the lead this time like they did in week one, finally holding on for a much-needed victory. Clayton Geathers notched the game-clinching forced fumble that ended up sealing the victory for the Colts. The defense actually did a good job overall today in limiting the effectiveness of Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense, especially against running back Melvin Gordon (who averaged just 2.2 yards per carry). The defense gave up just 15 points on the day, and another three of those points came after the offense put the Chargers in scoring position already with a pick. So you have to give the defense quite a bit of credit, as they had much better coverage, much improved run defense, and some opportunistic pass rush - with Erik Walden notching two huge sacks.
The offense had a good day overall too, particularly in the run game. Frank Gore rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries (3.9 yards per carry) and Robert Turbin also added a touchdown rushing too. And then, of course, Luck also had a 331 day, completing 64.9% of his passes and averaging 8.9 yards per attempt.
The Colts improved to 1-2 on the season heading to London next week to face the Jaguars and were the only AFC South team to win this weekend, putting them right back in the mix in the division race. The Texans have the AFC South lead at 2-1, but the Colts and the Titans are then right there in the mix at 1-2 followed by the Jaguars at 0-3. It’s hard to overstate how crucial this win was for Indianapolis, and in the end, the Colts delivered.