Colts ride Luck to buck Broncos' unbeaten run

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 08, 2015 9:48 PM

(The Sports Xchange) - Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts spoiled the Denver Broncos' perfect season when Adam Vinatieri's 55-yard field goal with 6:13 remaining gave Indianapolis a 27-24 victory on Sunday.

Cornerback Darius Butler then intercepted a Peyton Manning pass 13 seconds later, and Denver (7-1) never got the ball back as the Colts ruined Manning's push for two NFL records.

Manning finished 21 of 36 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two costly interceptions. He had needed 284 passing yards to pass Brett Favre's NFL career record and needed one victory for his 187th, which also would break the NFL record set by Favre.

Luck, who replaced Manning in Indianapolis after he was released by the team following the 2011 season, completed 21 of 36 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns.

"Finally, we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot," said Luck, who struggled with turnovers and sacks during the first eight games of the season.

"The defense and special teams were great complementary pieces today. And for once we weren't down three scores, which limits what you can do offensively.

"We know we have the pieces to be a great team, and today, we made some passes, were consistent and got lucky with a couple of dropped (potential) interceptions.

"We all needed a win after all that has happened, so this was almost like a one-game playoff. Everybody did a great job blocking out all the situations we had going this week."

Indianapolis, who broke a three-game losing streak with the win, took a 7-0 lead on Frank Gore's seven-yard run in the ifrst quarter, capping a seven-play 80-yard drive that included a 28-yard pass from Luck to T.Y. Hilton.

The Colts increased their lead to 10-0 with 12:13 remaining in the second quarter on Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal.

Colts safety Mike Adams' interception of Manning at the Indianapolis 37 set up a three-yard touchdown pass to backup tight end Jack Doyle that extended their lead to 17-0.

Denver free safety Omar Bolden, however, then returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown on the first half's final play, injecting life into a Denver team that sputtered offensively throughout the first 30 minutes.

The Broncos got right back into the game early in the third quarter when Manning's 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders sliced the deficit to 17-14 and then tied it at 17-17 on Brandon McManus's 29-yard field goal.

Indianapolis took a 24-17 lead with 14:05 remaining in the fourth quarter on Luck's eight-yard touchdown pass to running back Ahmad Bradshaw before the Broncos tied the game again on Manning's one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Owen Daniels.

"When you don't play as well as you would like, it's hard to win on the road," Manning said.

"We just didn't play well enough."

(Compiled by Greg Stutchbury)