INDIANAPOLIS – It took longer than 60 minutes, but the Colts have put back-to-back wins together for the first time in 2015.
On Sunday, a 16-13 win over the Jaguars (1-3), gave the Colts the early lead atop the AFC South after the first quarter of the season.
The Colts (2-2) will now have an abbreviated 24-hour rule with a trip to Houston (1-3) coming this week for Thursday Night Football.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
A WIN IS A WIN – This one won’t end up on many franchise highlight tapes but the final score was all that mattered. The Colts grinded their way to a 16-13 win on Sunday afternoon against the Jaguars. After starting the season 0-2, the Colts knew they had to stack some wins together in the division, and they’ve done that the last two weeks.
HASSELBECK FILLS IN – For the first time in three years, Matt Hasselbeck was a starting quarterback in the NFL on Sunday. Hasselbeck got the nod on Sunday morning, in place of injured starter Andrew Luck. The 40-year old Hasselbeck was very sound in a 30-of-47, 282-yard, one-touchdown performance.
THE GOAT– The acronym stands for “greatest of all time” and it’s also how Colts players describe Adam Vinatieri. The 27-yard overtime field goal from Vinatieri marked the 25th time he’s knocked home a game-winner in his 20 NFL seasons. The field goal also gave Vinatieri 1,000 career points for his 10 seasons in Indianapolis, the most in franchise history.
TIMELY DEFENSE – On Sunday afternoon, the Jaguars had eight possessions after halftime and scored zero points. The Colts defense forced punts on six of those drives and kicker Jason Myers missed two game-winning field goals on the other two drives. It was exactly the performance the Colts needed to keep the offense within striking distance of a one-possession game.
AFC SOUTH LEAD – At the quarter pole of the 2015 NFL season, the Colts sit atop the AFC South at 2-2. They must re-shift their focus quickly though with a trip to Houston (1-3) coming on Thursday Night Football. A win on Thursday and the Colts would have early control on the division they’ve won the last two seasons.
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This week’s “Back-Up of the Game” presented by Venyu is quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
All week leading up to the Colts Week Four home contest with the Jaguars, the media gathered around Matt Hasselbeck’s locker like he would be the starting quarterback come Sunday.
Hasselbeck’s call to be under center on Sunday came following an on the field morning warmup session with Andrew Luck.
The Colts, who moved to 2-2 and to top the AFC South on Sunday, worked out Luck on Saturday morning, but with Luck’s arm strength not fully ready, Hasselbeck was thrust into duty for the first time since 2012.
The definition of next man up is a trait of these Colts, yet that can be difficult to abide by week-after-week when you’re playing behind the durable Luck.
With practice reps extremely rare with the first unit, Hasselbeck showed little rust on Sunday. He was 30-of-47 for 282 yards and a touchdown.
“I’m very, very proud of Matt and what he did,” Chuck Pagano said after Hasselbeck’s 153rd career start.
“The guy is a true pro and a winner and I’m glad we got him on our football team.”
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