Veteran Indianapolis Colts' wide receiver Reggie Wayne said it best after the latest improbable Colts win, a 35-33 come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Lions. Wayne simply said his teammates are "too young" and don't know that they're not supposed to be doing things like scoring two touchdowns in a little over two minutes on the road.
The Colts trailed by 12 when Andrew Luck threw his third interception of the game to Don Carey, the second time Luck found the Lions' safety in the game. That gave the Lions the ball on their own 45 with 6:40 remaining in the game. After Mikel Leshoure ran for a first down without much resistance from the Colts' defense, it appeared the Lions would add another score and put the game out of reach.
But Leshoure was stoned on the next carry and Matthew Stafford threw two incompletions that gave the Colts the ball back on their own 15 with 4:02 left. Still, with 85 yards to travel and having only two timeouts left after an unsuccessful challenge, there appeared to be no reasonable way the Colts could come back.
Andrew Luck is an unreasonable guy.
Luck converted a fourth and two with a scramble in which he muscled his way out of the clutches of would-be Lions tacklers. A 15 yard penalty for a horse-collar tackle gave the Colts some life, putting them out near midfield. Luck then converted a third down with a dump off pass to Vick Ballard. The following play saw Luck find LaVon Brazill in single coverage 42 yards away. T
he score there before the two-minute warning was crucial as it allowed the Colts to preserve their timeouts and still have the two-minute timeout to stop the clock. That gave Pat McAfee permission to kick it deep.
Still, the Colts couldn't get the Lions off the field. Cassius Vaughn was whistled for a questionable pass interference penalty which set the Lions up with a first down near midfield. Three runs from Detroit exhausted the rest of the Colts' timeouts but failed to get a first down. Punter Nick Harris didn't want to give TY Hilton an opportunity to return the punt, so he angled his kick out of bounds. In doing so, he gave the Colts good field position to start their final drive at their own 25.
Going 75 yards in just over a minute with no timeouts isn't something that is easily done in the NFL, not even if your name is Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. If your name is Andrew Luck and you're a rookie, it's supposed to be darn near impossible.
Luck started by scrambling for nine yards and then clocking the ball. He then completed the first of his crucial completions, finding Reggie Wayne for 26 yards which moved the ball into Lions territory. The Colts could now at least have room for a Hail Mary.
Luck scramble again, this time to the sideline. When the Lions didn't close on him, Luck kept himself in bounds and picked up 16 yards in all. With the ball now at the Lions 24, Luck could take shots at the end zone on any play.
He found Dwayne Allen on the sideline for 10 more yards to the 14 yard line. Luck nearly won the game with a post route to Reggie Wayne on first down, but Carey made a nice strip of Wayne in the back of the end zone. With nothing there on the next two plays, Luck didn't wait for the rush to get to him. He simply threw the ball away. That left a fourth down with only 8 seconds left on the clock.
Luck escaped the pocket and found Donnie Avery wandering uncovered on a crossing route. Luck had the option to run or pass to Avery. He dumped the ball to Avery and the diminutive speedster did the rest, splitting two Detroit defenders at the goal line.
Had the Colts lost, it would have come as no surprise. They've not played well on the road this year, and for 54 minutes, they weren't doing a great job in Detroit. They would have been 7-5, but still well in control of their playoff destiny.
Instead, the Colts return to Indianapolis at 8-4 with a virtual stranglehold on a wild card spot. They've got the Titans next week at home followed by trips to Houston and Kansas City. They'll be favored in two of those three before finishing the regular season at home against the Texans in a game that may not matter to Houston. Ten wins is a likely scenario.
This isn't where the Colts were supposed to be after finishing 2-14 a year ago and undergoing a roster purge of historic proportions. This isn't where the Colts were supposed to be with six minutes left at Ford Field on Sunday.
The Colts are just too young and dumb to know this isn't where they're supposed to be. Colts fans are hoping they never learn.
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