ANDERSON — Sunday’s game was long since determined by the time defensive end Cory Redding leapt and batted San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s final pass attempt into the air late in the fourth quarter.
The ball seemed to hang in suspended animation for a few moments before it finally found its way into the arms of Indianapolis cornerback Cassius Vaughn.
It was a fitting ending to a 27-7 victory that was dominated by the Colts’ often-maligned defense.
A week after being shredded for 319 passing yards by Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill — and two weeks after allowing a franchise-record 112 rushing yards to Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor — Indianapolis held one of the league’s most explosive young signal callers in check.
Kaepernick completed just 13 of 27 passes for 150 yards and the late interception. He was limited to just 20 yards on seven rushes, and he was sacked three times.
Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis accounted for 1.5 of those sacks, making Kaepernick the 50th different quarterback he has sacked in his 11-year career.
“It was assignment football, point blank, period,” Mathis said during the postgame radio broadcast of the defense’s effort . “Coaches drew up the grand scheme, and we were able to do that. Our coaches put us in the right positions. We just pulled it off. It was an overall Colts organization win.”
The game followed the formula head coach Chuck Pagano set forth when he was named the franchise’s head coach in January 2012. Indianapolis used a power rushing attack to post 179 yards and control the ball for 36 minutes, 25 seconds.
The defense, missing starting safety LaRon Landry and inside linebacker Pat Angerer, got a tremendous effort from a secondary that kept the 49ers receivers blanketed all afternoon.
That created indecision in Kaepernick’s mind and caused him to hold onto the football longer than usual.