It was an emotional day in Indianapolis with the return of coach Chuck Pagano, and the Colts gave him one of their best efforts of the season.
Andrew Luck played turnover-free football, and hit the biggest pass play of his career, which just so happened to come on a critical 3rd and 23 in the fourth quarter. That’s the story of the season for the Colts. Big plays in crunch time.
Despite all of Houston’s success and J.J. Watt’s dominance in Week 15, the Colts overcame the most aggressive opposing defense of the season to have one of their best offensive performances. In addition to scoring 21 points on nine drives (2.33 points per drive), the Colts held the ball for the final 9:46 to end the game, and closed out their 11th victory of the season.
Bring on the playoffs, but first let’s review how the Colts and Luck pulled this latest win off.
Drive No. 1
Drive Stats: 15:00 left (1st quarter), tied 0-0. 13 plays, 75 yards (1-yard TD pass to Coby Fleener).
Breaking the recent trend of starting with a three and out, the Colts may have had their best opening drive of the season. It had an ominous beginning though, as J.J. Watt was there in the backfield to tackle Vick Ballard for a loss of a yard.
Houston brought the blitz, but Luck stepped up and pitched to Reggie Wayne for 17 yards after a good run. Ballard picked up nine on a rare swing pass to the flat. Luck was off on a pass to Donnie Avery, then completed a bubble screen to T.Y. Hilton for 12 yards. Two plays later Luck used the hard count to draw Houston offsides.
On 3rd and 3, Luck found Dwayne Allen, who bobbled but caught the ball, and it was first and goal at the HOU 4. Ballard ran for three yards to the HOU 1. Luck went to Wayne in the right corner of the end zone twice, and the second play drew the flag for pass interference.
After Ballard carried for no gain, the Colts used play action and Coby Fleener was wide open for the 1-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone. The Colts had a lead, which they never had in Houston two weeks ago.no comments