INDIANAPOLIS — The boxscore will show a 13-play, 75-yard drive taking 6:53 off the clock that culminated in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Erik Swoope.
But let’s take a closer look at the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 7 Drive of the Game, presented by Hays + Sons:
In Indy’s previous three games prior to Sunday’s Week 7 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, the team had backed itself into corners in which recovery was virtually impossible, falling behind by double digits at halftime, and, after a spirited comeback effort in the second half, eventually running out of juice. It was a big reason behind the team’s four-game skid going into the matchup against the Bills.
But after two straight three-and-outs to begin Sunday’s game, the Colts still had a chance to get things started, jump out to a lead, and see where things could develop from there.
Thanks to some solid defense, the Bills were held to virtually nothing in their first two drives, too, and after a 48-yard punt, the Colts took back over at their 25-yard line with 5:24 left in the first quarter in a scoreless game.
A 13-yard pass play from Luck to wide receiver Chester Rogers right out of the gates sure helped, but four plays later, the Colts found themselves staring at a 4th-and-1 play from their own 47-yard line. Indy called timeout.
Whatever the fellas discussed must’ve worked.
On that 4th-and-1 play, Luck handed off to running back Marlon Mack, who ran off left tackle Anthony Castonzo for a big 10-yard gain, getting into Buffalo territory at the 43. Now we’re cookin’.
The Colts would use rookie running back Jordan Wilkins to convert two third downs later in the drive; he got two yards on a 3rd and 1 from the 34, and, three plays later, caught an eight-yard pass on 3rd and 5 from the 27, to get to the 19.
After a two-yard run by Mack as the game had moved into the second quarter, the Colts faced 2nd and 8 from the Buffalo 17.
Luck, lined up in the shotgun formation with Mack to his left, took the snap and faked a handoff to the back, forcing the linebackers to take a couple steps forward.
That left the Colts’ two tight ends, Eric Ebron and Swoope, an opportunity to freely attack the right side of the secondary together. Ebron would eventually peel off to the right towards the front corner of the end zone, while Swoope would peel off to the left, breaking open around the 5-yard line.
That’s when Luck fired a strike to Swoope at the front of the end zone, which was perfectly placed right between three Buffalo defenders, including safety Jordan Poyer, who is late getting back to cover that area of the field.
Adam Vinatieri would miss the extra point, but the 6-0 lead was a terrific start, nonetheless — and Indy wouldn’t look back from there, scoring 24 unanswered points going into the midpoint of the third quarter, and earning its second win of the year — and its most convincing victory — 37-5.