INDIANAPOLIS — The box score will show a nine-play, 60-yard drive taking 3:17 off the clock that culminated in a five-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton.
But let’s take a closer look at the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 1 Drive of the Game, presented by Hays + Sons:
After going three-and-out on their first drive of the second half, the Colts made some adjustments heading into their second drive of the third quarter in Sunday’s season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Leading 16-10 at the time, the Colts took over at their own 40-yard line at the 11:30 mark of the third quarter. After opening the drive with an eight-yard pass play from Luck to wide receiver Ryan Grant, the Indy offense stepped on the gas pedal, utilizing a no-huddle attack on six of the final eight plays of the drive.
Perhaps most notably, the Colts never turned to their run game throughout the entire sequence, as Luck would complete seven of his nine pass attempts on the drive for 60 yards, including the final five-yard touchdown pass to Hilton.
“They decided to play base defense and we just started throwing every down thinking we had an advantage and we moved the ball down the field,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said.
That aforementioned touchdown pass, meanwhile, was a thing of beauty. Facing a 1st and Goal from the Bengals’ five-yard line, Luck, again utilizing the no huddle, saw Hilton was getting one-on-one coverage to his left — and not only that, cornerback William Jackson was giving the four-time Pro Bowl receiver about a five-yard cushion off the line of scrimmage.
Hilton accordingly ran a quick slant to his right, catching the well-placed pass around the 2-yard line and diving into the end zone, putting the Colts up by 13, 23-10.