Final: New Orleans 27, Indianapolis 21
The Indianapolis Colts suffer a back-breaking loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints at home, 27-21. Sean Payton’s team dominated in the first half forcing three turnovers and two Andrew Luck interceptions. Luke McCown also connected with Benjamin Watson on a 25 yard pass off of a fake field goal in the first quarter that lead to the first score of the game. Overall, the Saints took a 20-0 lead into the half, which was their biggest in four years (since the last time they played the Colts, as a matter of a fact).
Andrew Luck started off very slow and had to dig his team out of a hole early. He started the game off 0/5 passing with a pick, and didn’t get his first completion until the 9:11 mark in the second quarter, the slowest start in his career. The New Orleans cornerbacks did an outstanding job covering throughout the game. Delvin Breaux was victimized twice in the third quarter by T.Y. Hilton as he was tripped up trying to cover Indy’s number one receiver. Both times he fell down, Hilton was able to prance into the end zone. #13 finished the day with four catches for 150 yards; 131 of those coming on his two touchdown receptions.
The Indianapolis cornerbacks were actually very good in their own right in this game. They did a fine job blanketing
Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston, for the most part, however the two of them were able to make a couple of game-changing plays. On a 3rd and 8 at its own 3 yard line, Drew Brees hooked up with Cooks for a 47 yard gainer (with 8:54 to go in the game). The other big play was the 20 yard completion to Colston with 2:09 to go in the fourth on a third and three. Clearly the Colts corners were unable to make the plays when they absolutely needed to, but otherwise they were fine (which does not say much). With that being said, the main downfall for Indy was its rushing defense. Mark Ingram carved them up for 143 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown while Khiry Robinson slammed it in the end zone twice with his 14 carries. The Saints rushed for a season-high 183 yards and three touchdowns. That was a big factor in this game.
Andrew Luck still looked a bit rusty, and if it had not been for two major plays to T.Y. Hilton in the third quarter, his numbers would have been atrocious and this game would have been a blowout. As it was, the Saints had their way with Indy, but the Colts did fight back in the end to make it look respectable. Nevertheless, they fell to 3-4 while New Orleans moved up to the same record. Luckily for the Colts, everybody else in the AFC South looks feeble and they should be able to wrap the division up in spite of their sloppy play early on. For the Saints, they have looked good since getting romped by the Eagles a couple of weeks back, but since their division is strong (with 6-0 Carolina and 6-1 Atlanta), they are going to have to put together an impressive run going forward here. They get a chance to do so next week at home against the Giants while the Colts travel to Charlotte next Monday night and attempt to be the first team to clip the unbeaten Panthers.
- The Saints rushed for a season-high 183 yards and three touchdowns in the game
- T.Y. Hilton had 131 yards receiving in the third quarter on two catches (both touchdowns). One was an 87 yard score which is the longest reception in his career and the longest completion of Andrew Luck’s career
- Luck’s slow start doomed the Colts in this one. He began the game 0/5 with a pick and Indy trailed 20-0 at the half
- A nicely executed 25-yard fake field goal pass from Luke McCown to Benjamin Watson got this game started off in exciting fashion, leading to a 1 yard Khiry Robinson touchdown plunge
- Cameron Jordan looked solid yet again with a couple of quarterback pressures and two sacks in the game
- Colts’ rookie Phillip Dorsett left the game with, what appeared to be, a greusome leg injury
- Each punter kicked it away a season’s high ten times in this game