This Sunday the Indianapolis Colts will face the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 49ers will be seeking their first win against the Colts since 2001. That game, Jeff Garcia out dueled Peyton Manning by a score of 40-21 in the RCA Dome. However today, we are looking at the most recent match-up between these two teams.
In week three of the 2013 season, the Colts traveled to Candlestick Park to face the Jim Harbaugh lead 49ers. The Colts had a record of 1-1, after just losing to the Miami Dolphins. Things in Indianapolis did appear to be looking up, as quarterback Andrew Luck was entering his second season in the league, and the team had just made a blockbuster trade for running back Trent Richardson. While the Colts weren’t a Super Bowl contender yet, the general consensus was that they would be soon.
Meanwhile in San Francisco the narrative was much different, the 49ers who were also 1-1 at the time, had just made a Super Bowl appearance in the season prior. Jim Harbaugh had built the team around good defense, and a power running game, he also appeared to be grooming Colin Kaepernick into a great dual threat quarterback.
Although the Colts were underdogs, they started off the game with a balanced, physical approach. A fast start - which wasn’t very common early in Luck’s career, was capped off with a touchdown run by Trent Richardson on his first carry as a Colt.
Following punts by both teams, the 49ers answered the Colts score with a touchdown of their own. Frank Gore gashed the Colts defense on a 21 yard run. This run set up the 49ers in the red zone. Kendall Hunter rushed 14 yards for a touchdown to tie the game late in the first quarter.
Surprisingly the 49ers didn’t score for the rest of the game following this drive. The read option which had helped get them to the Super Bowl the year prior was stifled by the Colts defense. The secondary did a great job in holding the passing game in check as well, as Kaepernick’s final stat line was: 13/27, 150 yards, and 1 interception.
Offensively, the Colts didn’t have their best game. Andrew Luck threw for 159 yards on 17/26 passing with no touchdowns or interceptions. Ahmad Bradshaw helped carry the offense with 95 yards and 1 touchdown on 19 carries.
The efficient running game allowed the Colts offense to open up the playbook, which effectively sealed the game on this fake hand off play that Andrew Luck took in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Colts ended up winning this game 27-7. Reflecting back on both teams, it appeared that they were both heading towards a bright future. Obviously a lot has transpired in the past 4 seasons, and both teams have fallen out of grace.
Indianapolis (1-3) and San Francisco (0-4) will seek to get back on the winning track at Lucas Oil Stadium after losing last week.