Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Colts stop Broncos, Manning

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck runs against the Broncos. Luck ran six times for 34 yards in addition to passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns against a Denver team that came into the game leading the league in total defense at 261.1 yards allowed per game.

Getty Images

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck runs against the Broncos. Luck ran six times for 34 yards in addition to passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns against a Denver team that came into the game leading the league in total defense at 261.1 yards allowed per game.

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck finally reverted to his old form Sunday — and the Colts finally looked like the team everyone expected.

Luck threw for two touchdowns and set up Adam Vinatieri for the winning 55-yard field goal with 6:13 left, giving Indianapolis a 27-24 victory over previously unbeaten Denver to ruin Peyton Manning's homecoming.

"That's who we need to be, consistently," Luck said. "Probably a little bit of soul searching, trying to figure out what we want to be. The truth of the matter is we have the pieces, which is pretty darn obvious."

The Colts ended a three-game skid, won for the first time in six tries outside the horrible AFC South, and retained their division lead.

Manning fell 3 yards short of becoming the NFL's career passing leader — after his second interception and two late defensive penalties let Indy run the final six minutes off the clock.

Denver's quarterback heads into next week's game against Kansas City with 71,836 career yards; Brett Favre had 71,838.

But that was not the record Manning really wanted to break in a venue many credit him with helping build. He'll also have to wait to break Favre's career record for most career regular-season wins (186) by a quarterback after going 21 of 36 with 281 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.

"I've been in enough situations like that in my career where I've been able to focus on the task at hand — trying to win the football game," Manning said after perhaps his final game at Indy, where he played his first 14 seasons. "I kind of dealt with them (the emotions) a few years ago. I felt like this time coming back was just playing against a good football team."

The Colts were also a team that had been mired in turmoil.

Five days after Indy fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and gave playcalling duties to Rob Chudzinski, Manning's successor played like the best young quarterback in football.

"We really feel we've competed with the best football teams in the league — Denver, New England, Carolina," team owner Jim Irsay said. "We still feel we can go the places we dream of going."

Luck was 21-of-36 for 252 yards and led the Colts on two tie-breaking drives in the fourth quarter.

The first ended with an 8-yard touchdown to running back Ahmad Bradshaw that gave Indy a 24-17 lead. Then after Manning tied the score again a 1-yard TD pass to tight end Owen Daniels, Luck took the Colts back down the field and set up Vinatieri for his longest field goal since coming to Indy in 2006.

Luck could have made it three straight scoring series had he not taken a knee on the final play at Denver's 1-yard line.


Colts stop Broncos, Manning 11/08/15 [Last modified: Sunday, November 8, 2015 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  2. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  3. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills


    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  4. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville


    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
  5. Goodell: NFL not changing its national anthem policy


    NEW YORK — In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday in New York. [AP Photo/Julie Jacobson]