INDIANAPOLIS – Eight times in the last 17 games, Indianapolis has earned wins with a fourth-quarter or overtime comeback.
Last year when the Colts rallied in the final half-minute to top Minnesota, it was the first September fourth-quarter comeback led by an NFL rookie quarterback since 1971.
The comebacks kept following – down 18 at the half, the Colts rallied to beat Green Bay, 30-27; three weeks later, a game-tying touchdown drive forced overtime, which Indianapolis immediately followed with another touchdown at Tennessee and a 19-13 win; a week later,
As much as teams try to distance themselves from previous seasons, particularly when parallels are drawn to point out past successes, the Colts repeated last year’s script by erasing a three-point deficit with a late touchdown drive for a 21-17 victory over Oakland.
Why the resiliency?
“We practice these situations,” said
Prior to the Detroit win last year, interim coach Bruce Arians went through a game-ending scenario on Saturday before the team traveled where the Colts were in the red zone, were trailing and needed a touchdown on the last play.
Ironically, that situation played out when Luck and Donnie Avery combined on a 14-pass at the gun.
Luck said Sunday perhaps the team focuses more sharply in those clutch moments likening it to part of the locker room’s DNA.
“It’s something that you have to believe,” said Allen. “We believe in each other. Our motto is, ‘60 minutes, or however long it takes.’ We’ll never give up.”
In a euphoric locker room just seconds after an
“Exactly. That’s exactly how it was (Sunday), and that’s the way it was last year,” said Allen. “We basically laid the foundation last year for this organization in the way we went out and were able to win those close-margin games.”
Indianapolis is 10-1 under Pagano in games decided by seven points or less, winning the last nine straight. Luck said Sunday the team needed to depart from that script a bit so it does not start losing its “fair share” of those outcomes.
“It’s just doing what we preach,” said Wayne. “We preach 60 minutes no matter what. Games are going to be tough. Guys who were here last year will understand that you haven’t played a game until a game is completely over. The new guys are starting to get a little of that.
“It’s just, ‘Never quit and continue to play, no matter what,’ continue to believe in each other and just hope that we go out there and do the things that we are capable of doing.”