INDIANAPOLIS –First Quarter Recap
The Saints won the toss and chose to receive.
Robert Mathis' 100th career start (first of 2015) came on Sunday and he wasted little time making an impact. Mathis' opening-play sack of Drew Brees led to an early three-and-out.
The Colts would also punt on their first possession, failing to convert a third-and-one pass.
New Orleans would pick up a pair of third-downs on their second drive before having to punt. A nice open field tackle by Greg Toler stopped a third-and-nine screen pass. The score was tied at zero with 7:14 left in the first quarter.
It would be another three-and-out for the Colts offense. A third-and-10 scramble from Andrew Luck fell short of the chains by one yard.
The Saints would challenge two plays on their next drive, losing both, yet overcome two failed challenges with a special teams trick. A fourth-down fake field was executed to perfection. Holder and backup quarterback Luke McCown hit Benjamin Watson for a 25-yard gain down to the Colts one-yard line. On the next play, Saints running back Khiry Robinson punched it in from one-yard out. The Saints led the Colts 7-0 with 2:31 left in the first quarter.
With the Colts looking for their first first-down of the game, they would end up giving the Saints the ball right back. Rookie Stephone Anthony picked Andrew Luck on the Colts first play following the New Orleans touchdown.
It looked like the Colts would record a critical turnover backed up. However, a Vontae Davis' interception was negated by a holding penalty on D'Qwell Jackson. The first quarter would end with the Saints deep in Indianapolis territory.
At the end of the first quarter, the Saints led the Colts 7-0.Second Quarter Recap
The Jackson penalty would come back to haunt the Colts. On a third-and-two, Saints running back Khiry Robinson got back into the end zone with a six-yard rush. The Saints had a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The early struggles for the Colts continued as Griff Whalen was stripped on the ensuing kick return. The fumble gave the Saints the ball back at the Indianapolis 27-yard line.
Two plays after the forced fumble, the Saints struck again. Drew Brees found Saints tight end Michael Hoomanawanui for the 16-yard touchdown. After a missed extra point, the Saints led the Colts 20-0 with 13:36 left in the first quarter.
Down 20-0, the Colts offense finally saw their first first-down of the afternoon come at the 13-minute mark of the second quarter. Yet, zero completions from Andrew Luck led to yet another punt for the Indianapolis offense.
New Orleans and Indianapolis would trade punts on their next two possessions.
The Saints looked prime to add to their three-score lead after a 44-yard scamper from Mark Ingram. However, on a third-and-goal, a back-footed throw by Drew Brees was picked off in the back of the end zone by Vontae Davis. The interception gave the Colts the ball back at the 3:22 mark of the first half.
However, any potential momentum was history when Andrew Luck was sacked on the first play of the drive. Another Pat McAfee punt came at the two-minute warning.
A quick three-and-out from the Saints handed the ball back to the Colts for one final scoring chance before halftime. A drive in Saints territory ended with Luck being picked off by Saints cornerback Kyle Wilson at the goal line.
At halftime, the Saints led the Colts 20-0.Third Quarter Recap
The Colts would start the third quarter with the football but it was another three-and-out for the Indianapolis offense.
New Orleans would start the half right where they left things at halftime. A six-play, 82-yard drive from the Saints was capped by Mark Ingram running it in from one-yard out. The Saints lead was 27-0 with 10:26 to go in the third quarter.
A fourth sack of Andrew Luck would end another Indianapolis drive.
After a punt from the Saints, the Colts would finally get on the board.
Andrew Luck found a wide open T.Y. Hilton for an 87-yard touchdown. With Saints cornerback Delvin Beaux falling down, Hilton made the catch and then maneuvered around safety Jairus Byrd for the longest touchdown of Hilton's career. The Saints lead was 27-7 with 3:42 left in the third quarter.
Looking for some life, the Colts defense appeared to do its part with a key turnover. D'Qwell Jackson jarred the ball loose from Saints running back Mark Ingram and recovered the fumble, returning it to the Saints 22-yard line. However, a booth review led to the call being overturned and the Saints keeping possession. New Orleans would punt two plays later.
The Colts would not go quietly. A 44-yard touchdown toss from Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton cut the deficit to 27-14 with one second left in the third quarter. The touchdown gave Hilton 144 receiving yards, his first 100-yard outing of the season
At the end of the third quarter, the Saints led the Colts 27-14.Fourth Quarter Recap
The Colts defense would keep the momentum going by forcing another three-and-out.
Down 27-14, the Colts took over at their own 17-yard line with 13:18 left in the game. The Saints dialed up a key three-and-out with some interior pressure on second and third-down.
With time obviously an issue for the Colts, the defense made sure to not stay on the field for long. A third-down sack from Kendall Langford forced another Saints punt.
Griff Whalen's 22-yard return to the Indianapolis 40-yard line gave the Colts their best field position of the afternoon. Unfortunately, the Colts offense bogged down after an initial first-down.
Pat McAfee's punt did pin the Saints at their own one-yard line with 9:26 remaining, with the score in New Orleans' favor at 27-14. On a third-and-eight, Drew Brees stood in his own end zone and found Brandin Cooks for a 47-yard gain. The Saints would eventually punt, but did flip field position and chew up a couple of extra minutes.
Indianapolis had a little less than seven minutes left to try for the miracle comeback. This drive would see an initial first-down, but a holding penalty brought the play back, leading to All-Pro punter Pat McAfee back on the field.
The Saints, leading 27-14, took over near midfield looking to run out the remaining five minutes. Indianapolis continued its strong second-half performance from the defense. A Saints punt would put the Colts at their own 20-yard line with 3:59 remaining.
Andrew Luck would lead the Colts on a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with Donte Moncrief catching an eight-yard score with 3:05 left.
The Colts would try an onside kick, but the Saints recovered the bouncing ball at their own 47-yard line. New Orleans would convert a critical third-and-four, running out the clock for the 27-21 victory.
The Colts (3-4) will now travel to Carolina (5-0) in Week Eight for a Monday night meeting with the undefeated Panthers.
Colts In-Game Injuries
WR-Phillip Dorsett (ankle, ruled OUT)
C-Khaled Holmes (burner, ruled OUT)
Colts Pre-Game Notes
-This is the only stretch of back-to-back home games the Colts will play in 2015.Weather Update
-With sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 50s today in Indianapolis, the roof and window at Lucas Oil Stadium will be open.