The Indianapolis Colts (1-2) and their fans can exhale. The franchise earned its first victory of the 2016 season with a 26-22 win over the San Diego Chargers (1-2).
The Colts came into tonight’s conference desperate for a victory. For the third season in a row, they started the season 0-2 and needed to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2011. It was not pretty, but they managed to get the job done.
The Colts jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter. However, an Andrew Luck interception and fumble, which was returned for a touchdown, helped the Chargers tie game at 13 at halftime.
In the second half, the Chargers pushed the Colts into a corner. They constantly pressured Luck with blitzes from their linebackers and built a 19-13. They held a 22-20 lead with less than 2 minutes left to go.
However, the Chargers could not prevent the Colts from taking the lead. It took one pinpoint pass by Luck and an unbelievable individual effort by receiver T.Y. Hilton to make the comeback happen.
Hilton’s 63-yard touchdown catch capped his night with eight receptions for 174 receiving yards and that one touchdown. Luck finished the game with 331 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.
While the Colts won in glorious fashion, it was far from a perfect game for them. Their offensive line once again struggled to adequately protect Luck. The Chargers sacked Luck only two times, but they were constantly hit him while he was throwing or a split-second after.
The Colts’ defense did surrender 330 passing yards to Phillip Rivers, but the unit only let the Chargers run for 37 rushing yards. It also came up with huge stops to help tits team win.
The defense stopped the Chargers on third down with 2 minutes and 40 second left, which step up the Colts game-winning touchdown drive. Also, safety Clayton Geathers forced a fumble to end an any sort of comeback by the Chargers following Hilton’s long touchdown.
This victory was not very convincing, but a win is a win. The Colts will take a win in any way, shape or form right now.
Next, the team needs to focus on their Week 4 challenge: a road game outside of the United States. That’s right, the Colts’ next game will take place out of the country. They are traveling to London, England to take on their division rival, the 0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars.
It will be interesting to see if the Colts can ride the momentum of this Week 3 win. The Jaguars will be desperate for a win, and it is not easy adjusting to playing in a different country.