There are two types of Colts fans: those who thought the Colts would get curb-stomped by the Green Bay Packers, and liars.
Calling Indy’s 31-26 victory over Green Bay a surprise is an understatement. Even more surprising than the win, however, is how they won. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Colts played like a good football team.
The Colts stealing a game they have no business winning isn’t a new phenomenon. They do it about once a season. When this occurs it’s often despite one or more parts of the team playing like garbage. This was not the case on Sunday. No, for once (and maybe only this once) the Colts played well in all three phases of the game.
It started on the first play with Jordan Todman’s 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the teams first kickoff return for a touchdown since
1986 2012. Todman’s return was awesome, but it would’ve meant nothing if the Colts’ much maligned defense allowed Aaron Rodgers to march the Packers offense down the field and into the endzone. That didn’t happen. The defense bent, but it didn’t break, and forced the Green Bay to attempt a field goal. Aaron Rodgers specializes in embarrassing even the best defenses the NFL, so any time a bad Indianapolis defense doesn’t give up a touchdown should be considered an unmitigated success. The most amazing part? They did it more than once. The Colts defense played by far and away their best game of the season, even without starting safety Mike Adams. The defensive backs in particular played out of their skin with Darius Butler playing out of position at safety and Clayton Geathers moving to inside linebacker. The Colts caught a huge break with Vontae Davis being able to play, but it was his fellow cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and Rashaan Melvin who really impressed with their level of play. Their tight coverage forced Rodgers to hold onto the ball which allowed the Colts to pressure the quarterback.
I mentioned earlier that the Colts played well in all three phases of the game, but if you only watched their first two offensive possessions you’d think I was crazy. True, Andrew Luck threw two interceptions in the first quarter. It’s also true that the offense looked completely lost for much of the third quarter. When it really mattered, however, Andrew Luck and the offense came out firing on all cylinders. They closed out the first half with one of the best looking drives you’ll see anywhere in football that was capped off by Luck’s beautiful over the shoulder touchdown pass to Donte Moncreif. Then in the fourth quarter, when it appeared the defense was finally falling apart, Andrew Luck repeatedly shook off tacklers and moved the ball down field before finally sealing the game with a deep pass to T.Y. Hilton.
It wasn’t always pretty; in addition to the offense’s inconsistency, the Colts still haven’t found anyone capable of competently fielding punts, but it was good enough. Hell, it was pretty damn good at times. In a 2016 season that’s been defined by ineptitude and embarrassment, I’ll take “pretty damn good “every day of the week.
Special Teams: A