The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

September 8, 2013

Mike Lopresti: Colts come through in clutch again

INDIANAPOLIS — One day, the Indianapolis Colts are going to pay if they insist on spending every Sunday on the brink. Absolutely, positively. Not yet, though.

This might sound familiar. It was a tight squeeze at Lucas Oil Stadium, but somehow the Colts slipped through. That 21-17 escape of the un-renowned Oakland Raiders — was it 2013 or was it Memorex?

Yes, the Colts still know how to survive the close, one-possession game. Which they did nine times last season, matching your cat in lives.

Yes, Andrew Luck still understands how to stand icily in a fourth-quarter blast furnace, and quarterback the winning drive. His Stanford degree must have been in comeback engineering.

And, yes, 1-0 is light years better than 0-1, in an NFL which loves its parity like an ant loves a picnic. You might have noticed that Cincinnati, Atlanta, Minnesota and Pittsburgh were among the weekend casualties, and New England was lucky to get past Buffalo.

"A win's a win a win," Luck noted after putting his team ahead to stay with a 19-yard scramble with 5:20 left. "We know it's tough to get wins in the National Football League. Obviously, you don't want to have go down to the wire every game."

No, this was not the opening day stroll in White River Park many expected, against a team that won only four times last season. Not when the game was still in jeopardy until Antoine Bethea's interception at the Indianapolis 6 in the final 30 seconds.

Well, it was a start, anyway. But many questions were left begging.

How, for example, will the Indianapolis defense fare with these confounded quarterbacks who like to run, after Terrelle Pryor turned into such a problem? The Raiders converted a healthy seven of 13 third downs, and Bethea had a quick answer why.

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