The Herald Bulletin

September 8, 2013

Gassed defense makes plays when it counts

By Tom James
CNHI News Service

---- — INDIANAPOLIS — Outside linebacker Robert Mathis was a tired man Sunday night.

Mathis was one of several Indianapolis Colts defenders who tried to corral Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

More often than not, Pryor came out ahead in several individual matchups over the course of the game. Fortunately for Mathis, the Colts — thanks to the usual late-game heroics of quarterback Andrew Lick and a game-ending interception by safety Antoine Bethea — came away with what counted the most — a victory.

"It was a hard-fought game. (I'm) very, very tired. We got the win, so it was all worth it," the veteran defensive standout said, joking that he probably registered about 5.3 miles of running over the course of the game. "That guy (Pryor) is fast. He definitely showed up to play. We just had to make one more play. We are still growing as a defense. Bend but don't break. But we'd rather not bend either. We are still working towards our goal."

Bethea tried to play down his part in sealing the win.

"We said he's going to make some plays. We just had to continue to play hard, mark plays. We hung in there and was able to make a play," he voiced.

What happened to the offense?: Two possessions, two touchdowns. Then nothing until early in the fourth quarter. What happened?

"You have two drives, the touchdown drives, and then you kind of stall. It's self-inflicted wounds. We talked about it. You have negative plays. Credit (Oakland) for making those plays. But it's awful hard to stay ahead of the chains and stay on track," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano explained. "Again, we didn't go into a shell. It was more either a penalty, a negative play or a sack that took us out because we still drove the ball. We were still on their side of the 50, but then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot."

Non-call?: The Colts and their fans weren't too pleased about a non-penalty call on an incomplete pass from Luck to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

There was contact on the long pass attempt, but game officials ruled that it was insignificant.

"The guy told me that (the Raiders cornerback) was turned and making a play on the ball. You guys (the media) saw the Jumbotron. You guys can make your own judgements on it," Pagano explained. "It is what it is. We ended up getting a call late that worked out for us. That's how the ball bounces sometimes."

Accident after game: Two fans were injured after the game when a rail collapsed near the tunnel where the Raiders entered and left the field.

According to an Associated Press report, fans were leaning against the railing before the incident occurred.

One fan was taken on a stretcher and another left the scene in a wheelchair according to the report.

Barney Livengood, executive director of the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, released a statement on the incident:

"Shortly after the Colts' 21-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders, and as member of the Raiders were exiting the field, two fans fell from Section 148 onto the Raiders field tunnel. The two fans received immediate attention from the IU Health medical team. One fan was evaluated at Lucas Oil Stadium medical facilities and released while the other fan, as a precaution, was transported to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation, but did not appear to be seriously injured. At this time the cause of the accident is still under investigation," the statement read.