INDIANAPOLIS — It was the most incredible play of the most amazing game in Andrew Luck’s brief professional football career.
With the Indianapolis Colts trailing by 10 points and lining up for a second-and-goal at the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2-yard line, Luck turned to hand the ball off to running back Donald Brown. Shortly after the exchange, Brown lost his grip, and the ball wiggled free.
It first bounced off center Samson Satele, then fell to the ground. Second-year wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was watching the play unfold from the perimeter and couldn’t believe his eyes.
Then he saw Luck come up with the football.
“That play was crazy,” Hilton said. “When the ball was fumbled, I said, ‘OK, man, somebody get it.’ Once I saw Andrew got it, I said, ‘Ain’t nobody gonna tackle him.’”
Luck barreled forward 5 yards into the end zone, extending the football to nearly the full length of his arm into the end zone, and the Colts’ comeback felt real.
More than six minutes of game time later, Hilton made an even bigger play to give Indianapolis its first — and only — lead, and the Colts completed the biggest come-from-behind playoff victory in franchise history, erasing a 28-point deficit and beating the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“They can measure a lot of things at the NFL (Scouting) Combine,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. “But the one thing they can’t measure is a man’s heart. These guys have more heart and grit than anybody I’ve ever been around.”
The remarkable rally brought back memories of former Indianapolis assistant coach Frank Reich leading the Buffalo Bills to a 35-point comeback against the Houston Oilers in a 1993 AFC Wild Card playoff game.