INDIANAPOLIS -- If Indianapolis Colts quarterback Curtis Painter has looked remarkably comfortable in the first two starts of his career, the presence of offseason workout partner Pierre Garcon has to be one of the biggest reasons.
In Painter's two starts, Garcon has been an explosive force, averaging 38.7 yards on seven receptions and scoring four touchdowns -- three of which covered 213 yards, a staggering average of 71.0.
The fourth-year wide receiver from Mount Union followed his career-high 146-yard game Monday night against Tampa Bay with another big outing. In a 28-24 loss to Kansas City on Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium, Garcon had five receptions for 125 yards -- the third-highest single-game total of his career -- and two more touchdowns, including a 67-yard bomb that put the Colts ahead, 17-0, in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for the Colts, the offense was not as productive in the second half, when Garcon had just one reception for six yards as Kansas City rallied.
"Yes, Pierre had a good day," said Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell. "Obviously, he certainly had a big day. And you know, Reggie (Wayne, who had four receptions for 77 yards) caught the ball well. We just couldn't get enough big plays."
Garcon capped an impressive game-opening drive with a six-yard scoring reception from Painter on much the same screen play that resulted in touchdowns covering 87 and 59 yards Monday night -- only this time, the receiver did not have nearly as much ground to cover after breaking free.
He had a 37-yard reception early in the second quarter to help set up Adam Vinatieri's 53-yard field goal that made it 10-0. And then came the biggest of them all.
On the first play of the Colts' next possession, Painter fooled cornerback Brandon Flowers with a deft pump fake and lofted a perfectly timed throw to Garcon, who sped uncovered down the right sideline on his way to a 67-yard score.
Garcon gave Painter all the credit -- and the ball -- for that big play.
"That was all his," Garcon said. "I gave him the touchdown ball because it was a great pump fake. It was a perfect play. Nobody can do it better than that."
In the first three games of the season, Garcon had 12 receptions covering 149 yards, a 12.4 average, with no touchdowns and a long gain of 29 yards.
In two games with Painter in the lineup, Garcon has averaged 38.7 yards per catch, produced four scores and had four receptions covering at least 37 yards.
"Me and Curtis have been practicing a lot. We practiced a lot this offseason, and in practice we've been doing a lot of stuff together," said Garcon. "It's just calling the plays, he's making his reads and throwing it and we're just coming along together. …
"It's a lot of things. The coaches are calling great plays, we were working together, everybody has confidence in Curtis, and Curtis is back there just slinging it. He's not particularly throwing it to me, he's throwing it to everybody. It's just clicking."
After scoring more points in the first half than in any of their previous four games, the Colts were shut out in the second, managing 64 total yards and two first downs. After a huge first half, Garcon was limited to just the one reception in the second, although that six-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter gave the Colts their initial first down of the second half.
"They played great defense in the second half. They adjusted," said Garcon. "I don't know exactly what they took away but we just couldn't get our offense rolling like we did earlier.
"I think we were on the field for one series in the third quarter and that doesn't help but once we get a chance out there, we still have to convert third down. Third downs are money downs."
Garcon's 87-yarder in Tampa Bay was the fifth-longest touchdown reception in franchise history. His current average of 22.1 yards per catch is an outstanding start to the season.
"We still have a lot of potential on this team, a lot of great players and we still have a lot of great weapons on offense and on the whole team," he said. "We've just got to finish the game, finish strong."