The Herald Bulletin

October 21, 2013

Colts report card: Week 7

By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin

INDIANAPOLIS — COLTS 39, BRONCOS 33

 

Player of the Game

Robert Mathis, OLB, Colts

The 11th-year veteran’s blindside sack of Peyton Manning in the second quarter turned the game around. Manning fumbled on the play, and it resulted in a safety. On the ensuing drive, Andrew Luck threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to fullback Stanley Havili for a 19-14 lead Indianapolis never relinquished. With two sacks overall, Mathis now has 11.5 for the season – tying his career high after just seven games.

 

GRADES

Offense: A –

It wasn’t perfect, but it was more than good enough. Playing against the legend he replaced, Luck completed 21 of 38 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown and did not turn the ball over. A Trent Richardson fumble early in the fourth quarter was the lone blemish on a performance that included its share of creativity. Luck threw one touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey after a fake end around, and DHB later ran for 30 yards on a real end around. It was just the kind of balanced performance this team was built to accomplish.

 

Defense: A

Sure, the Broncos racked up 429 yards of total offense. But the Colts forced two turnovers – including a late fumble at Indianapolis’ 2-yard line. The Colts held Denver to 5 of 16 on third-down conversions and sacked Manning four times – just one less than his season total entering the game. Darius Butler was the game’s unsung hero, blanketing Wes Welker throughout the night and keeping the wide receiver without a touchdown for the first time as a member of the Broncos.

 

Special Teams: A

Adam Vinatieri made field goals of 27, 42 and 52 yards. Pat McAfee averaged 48.9 yards per punt and pinned the Broncos inside their own 20-yard line on six of his nine attempts. But Havili might have made the biggest play, stripping Denver punt returner Trindon Holliday at his own 11-yard line, leading to a touchdown that gave the Colts their first lead. McAfee later prevented a touchdown with a bone-rattling hit on Holliday down the sideline.