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Colts 2016 season in review: Week nine win over the Packers

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As part of our look back at the 2016 season for the Indianapolis Colts, we’re taking a look at each game the team played this season. We know that won’t be the most fun experience for Colts fans, but we’re taking a look back at each game within the context of the entire season. Today we continue the series with the week nine win over the Packers:

What Happened:

Fresh off of a rough loss to the Chiefs, the Colts (3-5) headed to Lambeau Field to take on a struggling Packers team. Even though Green Bay wasn’t playing as well at the time, it was a game that few thought the Colts would actually win, especially on the road. But then they got things started very quickly, as Jordan Todman took the opening kickoff back 99 yards to give the Colts a quick 7-0 lead. The rest of the first quarter also featured a lot of scoring, as the Packers scored a field goal, Frank Gore scored a touchdown to put the Colts up 14-3, and then the Packers found the end zone to make it 14-10. The Colts owned the second quarter, however, and after an Adam Vinatieri field goal and an Andrew Luck touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief, the Colts entered halftime up 24-10. In the third quarter the Packers scored a field goal, but the Colts answered with a fourth quarter touchdown rush from Frank Gore to go up 31-13. The Packers scored two straight touchdowns to make it 31-26, but that wound up being the final as the Colts improved to 4-5 with their win at Lambeau Field over the Packers.

What We Said at the Time:

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.

What We’re Saying Now:

If ever there was a game in the 2016 season that proved we had no idea what to make of the Colts from week-to-week, it was this week nine win over the Packers at Lambeau Field. Granted, the Packers had a mid-season slump before they Aaron Rodgers caught fire, but it was still an impressive win by the Colts - and even more so now that we’ve seen what the Packers were capable of. But it’s crazy that the same Colts team that looked so bad against the Chiefs could one week later turn it around and look that good against the Packers. It was the clearest example of them all that in 2016, the Colts were maddeningly inconsistent, and you never knew what you were going to see from them from week-to-week. It remains perhaps their best and most impressive victory of the season, even when reflecting back on the year. Looking back at what I wrote at the time, this wasn’t the win that sparked the second half turnaround, but it also wasn’t a win that wound up saving Ryan Grigson. Chuck Pagano is still around, but this win didn’t wind up being as influential as we thought at the time. But again, maybe that’s just a summary of the Colts’ season: you never knew what to expect.