INDIANAPOLIS –Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck produced some impressive moments early, but subsequent highlight stuff belonged mostly to the Chicago Bears.
Backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen led the Bears to a pair of third-quarter touchdowns while the Chicago defense held the Colts scoreless after halftime. The Bears went on to a 23-11 victory Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, leaving the Colts winless in their first two preseason games.
After the Colts gained only one first down on their first two possessions of the game, Luck got untracked. Indy trailed, 6-0, following a pair of Robbie Gould field goals.
On Indy's first possession of the second quarter, the offense gained momentum with a four-yard pass to Dwayne Allen on third-and-one.
Two plays later, T.Y. Hilton muffed a pass from Luck but made quick reparation on his next play. His 45-yard gain with another accurate offering from Luck – with a taunting penalty against Chicago added to it – moved the Colts to Chicago's 14-yard line.
Three plays later, Luck went through his pass reads, spied an open left side and scrambled five yards for a touchdown. He followed that with a two-point conversion pass to Andre Johnson, giving Indy an 8-6 lead.
"We weren't on the screws to start the game," Luck said. "I thought we settled down and got rolling and put a nice, long drive together that ended with eight points. That was important. We needed to do that."
As for the struggles on the first two series ...
"The most important thing is, why didn't it work?" Luck said. "What went wrong and why didn't it work? We have to be able to fix those. … We can't afford to have negative plays, penalties and three-and-outs. It puts our defense in a tough position."
A field goal by Adam Vinatieri to end the half gave the Colts an 11-9 edge. As Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said, from there it became a "tale of two halves, really."
Clausen turned in some nice third-quarter work and the Colts couldn't answer with their reserves.
FIRST QUARTER (8:07 remaining)
The Bears used a 29-yard punt return by Marc Mariani to their advantage. Taking over at their own 49-yard line, the Bears recorded a quick first down on a 12-yard pass from Jay Cutler to Matt Forte. That's all they needed. Robbie Gould connected on a 50-yard field goal for the first score of the game.* Bears 3, Colts 0.*
SECOND QUARTER (14:18 remaining)
An 11-yard run by Forte and a 13-yard scramble by Cutler were the big plays as the Bears marched to the Indy 7-yard line. However, calamity in the form of a sack and a penalty cost Chicago thereafter. Gould came in to hit a 38-yard field goal. Bears 6, Colts 0.
SECOND QUARTER (10:51 remaining)
T.Y. Hilton, who missed the Colts' first preseason game, dropped the first pass that Luck sent his way Saturday night. He quickly made amends. On the next play, Hilton hauled in a 45-yarder from Luck and, when a taunting penalty against the Bears was tacked on, Indy had the ball at the Chicago 14.
Three plays later, Luck scrambled five yards for the touchdown. The Colts tried a two-point conversion and Luck made it successful, too, with a pass to Andre Johnson. ** Colts 8, Bears 6.
SECOND QUARTER (5:31 remaining)
A 20-yard pass, Cutler to Martellus Bennett, proved to be the big play for Chicago. When the Bears' drive stalled, they called on Gould again and he connected on a 25-yard field goal, his third of the game. Bears 9, Colts 8.
SECOND QUARTER (00:00 remaining)
Colts cornerback Sheldon Price intercepted a Jimmy Clausen pass and returned it 19 yards down the sideline. The Indy offense, with backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in the game, struggled to get untracked. With two seconds left in the half, the Colts called timeout and inserted kicker Adam Vinatieri, who hit a 25-yard field goal to regain the lead.Colts 11, Bears 9.
THIRD QUARTER (6:26 remaining)
The Bears stitched together a 10-play, 88-yard touchdown drive on their first possession of the second half. The big play was a 46-yard run, right up the middle, by Jeremy Langford. Gould made the extra point. Bears 16, Colts 11.
THIRD QUARTER (2:00 remaining)
Chicago's Sam Acho sacked Hasselbeck, causing a fumble, and Eddie Goldman recovered for the Bears. From the Colts 32-yard line, the Bears needed only five plays to bust in for a touchdown – on a 2-yard run by Langford. Langford earlier in the series ran 15 yards for a first down. Gould added the extra point.Bears 23, Colts 11.