Colts deal Denver first loss of season, 39-33
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was given the game ball after the Colts win in the post game locker room speech by Coach Chuck Pagano.
Irsay later tweeted: "Prayers and much love for #87 Reggie...let's pray his right knee gets miracle news!!!!!! Love that man and pray for good news!!!!!!"
Coach Pagano commented on Reggie Wayne in his post game news conference, as well as other player injuries:
"I'll give you guys an injury update to start. Reggie (Wayne), as you know, went out with a knee sprain. He'll get an MRI probably tomorrow and figure out where he's at with that. Samson (Satele) went out with a bone contusion. Came back and gutted it up and played. Josh Gordy went out with a groin. D-Buts (Darius Butler) had a groin. Came back and played. (Mario) Harvey had a hamstring. We'll know more tomorrow on him. Cam Johnson went out with an ankle and did not return. We had a ton of guys suck it up, find a way. We knew what type of game it was going to be and credit to Denver. They got an outstanding football team, as we know. Credit our guys for sucking it up and finding a way to pull that thing out in the end and hold on. Lot of ebbs and flows in that game. A lot of big plays made on both sides. We made just enough plays to get out with the win."
Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis was a roller coaster ride of a game, but in the end he could not overcome Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
Indianapolis dealt the Broncos their first loss of the season, 39-33, in a game where the teams traded leads numerous times. The game also saw an emotional tribute to Peyton Manning's years in Indianapolis - along with a standing ovation from Colts fans.
"Timely turnovers by our defense. What a great atmosphere here," said quarterback Andrew Luck after the game. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri later described the atmosphere as "rocking and rolling" and joked, "I didn't have any gray hairs before the game!"
A pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter put the game within reach for the Denver Broncos. Indianapolis led 36-17 at the top of the fourth, but saw Peyton Manning chip away at that lead throughout the quarter.
The Colts led Denver 36-23 after Manning found Demaryius Thomas for a 31-yard pass. Manning's pass to Thomas for a two-point conversion failed.
Knowshon Moreno had a one-yard run to make it a six-point game with about nine minutes to go.
Adam Vinatieri's field goal widened the Colts' lead to 39-30 with less than six minutes left in the game, but Reggie Wayne left the field limping with a knee injury - no doubt a big worry for the Colts.
Denver's fourth-quarter drives marked the latest thrills in a roller-coaster ride of a game. Colts fans no doubt remember Peyton Manning's late-game magic - only this time, it's for the opposing team.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck made a ten-yard touchdown run with five minutes to go in the third quarter to put Indianapolis ahead 33-14.
Indianapolis held Denver to a field goal late in the third quarter to make it 33-17, and Adam Vinatieri kicked another field goal for the Colts to bring the score to 36-17 at the top of the fourth quarter.
The Colts hosted the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium for Sunday Night Football on NBC. It marked the first time Peyton Manning returned to the city to play against the Colts since leaving Indianapolis. Manning told reporters he was "very grateful" for a tribute that was played for him before the game, and said he'd spoken to Colts owner Jim Irsay since Irsay made comments last week implying that Manning's tenure in Indianapolis hadn't resulted in enough Super Bowl championships.
The first half saw several lead changes which kept the rowdy crowd in Indianapolis on their toes.
Manning got the Broncos on the scoreboard first, with a 17-yard pass to Eric Decker about eight minutes into the first quarter. Adam Vinatieri had a field goal for the Colts to make it 7-3 Denver, but Luck connected with Darrius Heyward-Bey to make it 10-7 Indianapolis heading into the second quarter.
Manning found Julius Thomas to put Denver ahead 14-10 in the second quarter, but a few minutes later Robert Mathis sacked Manning. Mathis would go on to sack Manning again in the second quarter. When asked about the two sacks, he said, "It felt good!"
The Colts got two points on a safety, then Stanley Havili caught a 20-yard pass from Luck to make it 19-14 Colts. With just seconds to go in the second quarter, Luck did it again, connecting with Coby Fleener for an eight-yard pass to bring it to 26-14 at halftime.
It was the Colts' second consecutive primetime game against the unbeaten Broncos.
Indianapolis was looking to bounce back from a 19-9 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football last week. The Colts have not lost back-to-back games under Head Coach Chuck Pagano.
In last week's game, kicker Adam Vinatieri handled all the scoring for the Colts, converting three field goals for nine points. For the first time in his career, Vinatieri hit two 50-plus-yard field goals in one game. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne caught five passes, pushing him past Hines Ward for eighth all-time and making him the ninth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.
The Broncos boast the NFL's top-ranked offense, averaging 476.0 yards and 44.2 points per game. Manning has thrown for 2,179 yards and 22 touchdowns, which is tied for the most in NFL history through the first six games of a season. Denver has four receivers with over 300 receiving yards this season, with Demaryius Thomas leading the group (528).