Horseshoe Hero: #CHUCKSTRONG Colts Win Thriller Over Green Bay
Colts 30 – Packers 27
It was one for the history books. We may see the highlights played back in an ESPN 30-for-30 film someday. The Colts were simply magical Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium, winning a huge game in comeback fashion for their ailing and absent coach. The rookie bested the reigning MVP. The underdogs were the victors. The Colts beat the Green Bay Packers.
The Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia during the bye week, and the team will be without him for at least 4-6 weeks while he receives aggressive treatment at an Indianapolis hospital. In response to the saddening news, the Colts launched the “#CHUCKSTRONG” campaign to support their coach and to raise money for leukemia research, selling T-shirts, posters, and wristbands on game day and on the team’s website. The players hoped to do pay homage to their leader by earning another “W” for their win column. While at first the objective didn’t seem likely, the Colts battled back in remarkable fashion to defeat their toughest opponents of the season. There were Horseshoe Heroes all around.
In just his fourth career start, Andrew Luck defeated the reigning league MVP in the Packer’s Aaron Rodgers. The rookie wasn’t perfect, but he displayed unwavering poise and confidence throughout Sunday’s game. Despite not being able to find the end zone at all in the first half, Luck led the Colts to three touchdowns and five total scoring drives in the second half, outscoring the Packers 27-7 after being down 21-3 at halftime. Luck even diversified his scoring techniques, throwing touchdowns through the air and even running one in on his own (He was the team’s second-leading rusher for the third week in a row). His most remarkable drive was the winning one, in which the team traveled 80 yards in 14 plays, culminating in a successful 2-point conversion after a 4-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne.
Speaking of Wayne, the veteran receiver, proving that he is far from done in this league, caught a whopping 13 receptions for 212 yards and that special winning touchdown. In the process, he moved up to 18th on the NFL all time receiving yards list. Once again, chants of “Reggie!” could be heard in the stands, deservingly so.
The Colts even had a pretty balanced run game. Donald Brown rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries, his highest totals of the season. He even ran in the team’s two-point conversion to seal the win.
The Colts defense had a sack party with Aaron Rodgers. Dwight Freeney, who had been out since Week 1 with a high ankle sprain, Moise Fokou, and Robert Mathis each brought Rodgers to the ground before he could get rid of the ball. Cory Redding even accomplished the feat twice.
It was cornerback Jerraud Powers who stole the show, however, intercepting a pass from Aaron Rodgers to give the Colts the ball back at Green Bay’s 39-yard line. This led to the team’s first touchdown and would ultimately begin their remarkable comeback.
Adam Vinatieri was a busy man on Sunday, attempting 4 field goals and 1 PAT. Four of his five kicks were good, including a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Colts players and fans alike will remember this win for a long time, but for now the team must shift their focus to their next game and the next task at hand: tackling the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium a week from today. Can the Colts keep the magic going for their coach? Horseshoe Hero will have all the details for you. Until then, you can follow me on Twitter at @catierae08 for more frequent Colts news, updates, and commentary.
Stay #CHUCKSTRONG, Colts fans! Get well soon, Coach Pagano!