September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) runs the ball against San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco, CA – The Indianapolis Colts went into Candlestick Park and got a huge statement win over the 49ers. Andrew Luck was helped out a lot on the ground by both Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson, but Luck was able to throw for 164 yards.
Reggie Wayne led the way once again for the Colts, catching five passes for 63 yards. He shredded through the 49ers’ secondary with great route-running ability, and was able to make plays after the catch as well. Wayne came up big in the second half with two clutch big gains that helped the Colts move down the field for scores. It’s been obvious throughout the first three weeks that Andrew Luck’s favorite target is Wayne, and that will not change. You can expect to see him put up consistent numbers each and every game.
Darrius Heyward-Bey had a big game as well, catching five passes for 59 yards himself. He was able to make plays in the mid-range game, and showed excellent route-running and hands as well. The biggest issue throughout DHB’s career to this point has been his propensity to drop passes, but he hasn’t shown any of that so far this year for the Colts. Many believe that playing alongside a legitimate quarterback is the different between Oakland and Indianapolis, and there’s no surprise there. Heyward-Bey has struggled with consistency, but you have to like seeing this kind of performance from him in a big game.
Unfortunately for the Colts, T.Y. Hilton had yet another disappointing game. He caught just two passes for a total of 13 yards and was held in check the entire game. Hilton was only targeted four times all game, but he was unable to shake coverage and was an absolute non-factor for the Colts’ offense. The Colts will need Hilton to step up and be a legitimate #3 option in the passing game as the season progresses to help take pressure off of both Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey. So far this year, we’ve only seen one true play that Hilton showed his blazing speed deep and made a play. Whether that is his fault or the coaching staff not getting him the football, we don’t know.
Overall, the Colts’ offense was a balanced attack against the 49ers. The passing game was not too terribly effective, but it did just enough to get the job done. Andrew Luck was able to stay turnover free against one of the best defenses in the NFL, which is a very good sign for the Colts. This wide receiving corps has a lot of talent, and it’s obvious that there is still more work to be done to reach their full potential. With time, this offense will get even more potent, which is truly a scary though for their upcoming opponents. You can expect a much bigger game through the air next week in Jacksonville when the Colts face the Jaguars.