All the Indianapolis Colts really needed today was to get rid of their home-sickness as they returned to Lucas Oil Stadium, all fired up. The Colts win was larger than it showed on the scoreboard. It more felt like 27-9 or something close to that. In their second home game out of the last five, the Colts were able to receive a warm and standing ovation from the fans to help pump them up against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
This season, the Colts’ defense has been a huge disappointment, especially on the road. Their only good performance on the defensive side of the ball was the 38-10 victory over the New York Giants in Week Two of the NFL. At 2-2, Indy had to stop the on ly undefeated team left in the league.
They needed to gain their momentum back. Their confidence. They needed to bring back the good old ways of Colts’ football. And today, they weren’t like that. But they still brought in a win. I bet if Indy were traveling to Kansas City to face the Chiefs, the game would have been a lot closer. Or worse, a loss.
But it was being at home that helped at, too. And that helped made the defense get their clutch performances on.
Peyton Manning was not like he usually was, going 26-of-44 for 244 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception. This brought him towards a 65 quarterbacking rating, the worse performance so far for him this season. Manning has had the best four-game performance for any quarterback in NFL history. Let’s hope this performance doesn’t slow him down from beating Dan Marino’s passing record.
The rushing game really helped the Colts. Joseph Addai was on a roll. He would end the game with 17 carries for 50 yards. But his powerhouse running came to a halt when he got injured on his shoulder. It was now up to former Michigan Wolverines’ legendary running back, Mike Hart, to step it up.
The Colts were up by only a little bit, clinging on to a 12-9 lead. Peyton Manning was frustrated. More than I have ever seen this season. I don’t blame him. The Colts needed a touchdown. Thanks to Hart, they got one. Hart ran well on the twelve-play, 71-yard drive as the Colts scored with Hart’s huge run. The small back reached his arms to the end zone, and it was a score.
After that, the Colts’ defense stepped it up. With about a minute to go, Matt Cassel helped the Chiefs drive down the field. On a fourth down, the Chiefs would go for a field goal with a little over a minute to go. The plan was for Ryan Succop to make the kick. Kansas City would then go for an onside kick, recover it, and go for a touchdown. The plan ended quickly, as Succop missed the field goal as it went way to the right.
Cassel had a lot of errors today. He would fumble twice on one play, along with a long streak on incompletions. He would finish the game going 16-0f-29 for 156 yards with a 70.5 rating.
The Chiefs running game was great today, but it wasn’t enough for a win. Jamaal Charles had 87 yards on 16 carries while Thomas Jones had 19 yards on eight carries. Hart had eleven carries for 50 yards with a touchdown, his second of his NFL career.
Reggie Wayne had six catches for 75 yards while Pierre Garcon had six for 57. Tony Moeaki had four catches for 50 yards. Dwayne Bowe had two for 33 yards.
Although the Colts could have played a lot better, it was a win. And that was all that really mattered. This season is the first season the NFL hasn’t had a team become 4-0 since 1970.
The Colts are now 3-2, and they will face the Washington Redskins as they head on to the road again. Oh boy. Indy is currently 1-2 on the road, and they need to improve on that starting against Donovan McNabb and the Redskins.
Colts are improving. It’s getting better for them. Let’s see if they can take advantage now for the rest of the season after this important victory.