The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t help but end the season with some drama, needing a late drive to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-20.
Andrew Luck led a perfect game-winning drive with no timeouts and just over a minute and a half to play. Luck was 6-for-6 (excluding spikes to stop the clock) for 75 yards and the game winning touchdown to Jack Doyle.
Luck finished the afternoon 24-for-40 for 321 yards two touchdowns, an interception, and a lost fumble. As per usual, T.Y. Hilton was his favorite target with six receptions for 95 yards. Tight end Dwayne Allen was the other recipient of Luck’s touchdown passes.
While the final result was exciting, the game didn’t favor the Colts for much of the afternoon. With nothing to play for, they came out completely lifeless in the first half. It was just another game where coach Chuck Pagano didn’t have his team ready to play and the Colts needed a dramatic rally to come away with a win.
The Colts offense was the most inept it had been all season long. They were just 1-for-7 on third down, totaled just 105 yards, and only had five first downs. The defense wasn’t much better giving up 305 yards of offense. The fact they only surrendered 17 points was nothing short of a miracle.
They looked like a completely different team in the second half, shutting down the Jaguars offense and tying up the game by the end of the third quarter.
Tied at 17 all, the Jaguars and Colts struggled to find their respective offenses in the fourth quarter. But just inside two-minutes to play, the Jaguars blocked a punt and took over at the 30 yard line.
Then came Luck’s game winning drive.
The Colts did have a few other bright points this afternoon. Gore passed 1,000 yards rushing, becoming the fourth player to do so in NFL history after the age of 33. He was also the Colts first 1,000 yard rusher since 2007, when Joseph Addai did it.
Robert Mathis recorded a strip-sack in his final game in the NFL. Mathis is the Colts all-time leader in sacks and holds an unofficial NFL record with 47 strip-sacks.
With the season over and the Colts finishing 8-8 for the second straight season, owner Jim Irsay has some looming decisions regarding the direction he wants to take this franchise in. With another season of mediocrity, will he keep Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson or fire both and start over in 2017?