Colts' Andrew Luck is hit by Green Bay Packers' Mike Daniels as
he throws during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday,
Nov. 6, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. The pass was intercepted.
Frank Gore rushed for two touchdowns,
Jordan Todman had a tone-setting 99-yard return on the opening
kickoff and the Indianapolis Colts held on late for a 31-26 win on
Sunday over the Green Bay Packers.
Andrew Luck shook off two interceptions in the first quarter to
finish with 281 yards passing and a touchdown. The Colts, who had
allowed an NFL-worst 31 sacks coming into the game, gave their
quarterback decent protection.
Indianapolis (4-5) heads into a bye week with a confidence-building
victory after surviving a vintage Aaron Rodgers comeback.
His 3-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb with 3:29 left got Green
Bay (4-4) within five, capping a 14-point spurt in 4-plus minutes.
Rodgers finished 26 of 43 for 297 yards with three scores and an
The Colts held on after a clutch throw from Luck, who dodged a
potential sack by blitzing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to throw a
20-yard pass on third-and-10 with 3:07 left to tight end Jack Doyle.
Packers' Jordy Nelson catches a touchdown pass in front of
Indianapolis Colts' Darius Butler during the first half.
"Guys fought ... all day long," Luck
said. "We knew we had to make a play, and we did."
Luck also found T.Y. Hilton for a 27-yard completion on third-and-2
with 2 minutes left to put the game away.
Luck finished 23 of 36, throwing both interceptions to safety
"It wasn't the best start with my game offensively, with my game,
two interceptions. Like anything you've got to move on," Luck said.
"Then made enough plays at the end."
The shifty Luck maneuvered out of other tight spots including a
7-yard scramble on a bootleg on third-and-1 with 37 seconds left in
the second quarter. He deftly engineered a 15-play, 96-yard drive
that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief with 11
seconds left to give Indianapolis a 21-10 halftime lead.
The score drew a smattering of boos from Packers fans.
Colts' Frank Gore runs past Green Bay Packers' Mike Daniels for
a touchdown during the first half.
Familiar problems surfaced early for
the Packers, who lost their second straight game. The offense had
trouble getting going until the frantic fourth quarter.
But the defense gave up at least 30 points for a second straight
game, and special teams also hurt them.
"We're 4-4, played a lot of good football ... but you are what your
record is," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I think our quality of play
is not where (we want) it to be."
A persistent squirrel also livened up the crowd at Lambeau Field.
runs in the end zone at Lambeau Field during the first half.
The squirrel first made its appearance
in the first half, then returned late in the third quarter. With the
Packers driving at about the Colts 12, the squirrel dashed along the
goal line, forcing the officials to call timeout. The squirrel
finally went out of bounds, but not before causing a stir on social
The Packers had to settle for a 27-yard field goal with 1:46 left to
get within 24-13. No word on if the squirrel made the traditional
Lambeau Leap to celebrate.
The Packers scored 10 points off Clinton Dix's two turnovers,
including Jordy Nelson's highlight-reel touchdown catch on a 26-yard
pass from Rodgers on the last play of the first quarter. Defensive
back Darius Butler tried to cut in front of Nelson but the Packers'
veteran receiver was able to pull the ball in at the last second.
Butler did have an interception in the third quarter.
KICKING IT OFF
Todman set the tone for the Colts' fast start after returning the
opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown . Josh Ferguson had the
block on Clinton-Dix at around the Colts 25 to spring Todman. It was
the first kickoff return for a touchdown against Green Bay since
Nov. 9, 2014, when the Chicago Bears' Chris Williams returned one
for a score.
Todman added a 61-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.
Indianapolis has a bye week before returning home to face Tennessee
on Nov. 20
Green Bay begins a stretch of three straight road games with a trip
to Tennessee on Nov. 13.