INDIANAPOLIS --Chuck Pagano talked about his team's resilience. He talked about its fiber and fortitude. The Colts' head coach cited the manner in which his team has been constructed -- with the type of toughness to dispatch one opponent after another with stirring fourth-quarter comebacks.
"We've got something special," Pagano said Sunday after the Colts put away the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks, 34-28, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
That toughness starts with Andrew Luck, who led his team to a come-from-behind, fourth-quarter score for the ninth time in his 21 career games. Luck's passing ignited a 14-play, 86-yard march in the fourth quarter, and he capped it with a two-point conversion pass to Reggie Wayne that sent Indy up, 31-28.
A 49-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri gave the Colts breathing room with 1:55 left.
"Maybe there's something special about the close ones," Luck admitted when asked if he savors the team's rallying wins.
The Colts lifted their record to 4-1, in first place in the AFC South. Seattle dropped its first game in five outings.
Luck completed 16-of-29 passes for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Five of his completions went to T.Y. Hilton for 140 yards and both aerial scores. But the cast of characters in Indy's strong effort didn't end there, not by a longshot.
After Vinatieri's late field goal, Seattle got the ball back for one more push. Quarterback Russell Wilson, who passed for 210 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards, went to work.
Wilson scrambled for 22 yards on the first play. But then he threw three consecutive incompletions. Colts cornerback Darius Butler made a nifty breakup on one Wilson pass. Cornerback Greg Toler nicely defended another.
On fourth down at the Seattle 37-yard line, Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman harassed Wilson as he tried to unload and his pass fluttered into Butler's hands for an interception that sealed Indy's victory.
"They've got more grit," Pagano said about his Colts, "than any team I've ever been around."
FIRST QUARTER (11:40 remaining)
Steven Hauschka put the Seahawks on the board first with a 42-yard field goal.
Seattle scored after getting the ball at its own 48-yard line following a 24-yard punt by the Colts' Pat McAfee. A 24-yard run by Marshawn Lynch on Seattle's first offensive play provided the big gain.Seahawks 3, Colts 0.
FIRST QUARTER (6:14 remaining)
Seattle extended its lead with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate. The score came at the conclusion of a methodical eight-play, 64-yard drive and ended the Indy defense's streak of seven straight quarters without allowing a TD. Wilson completed both of his passes on the march and scrambled 11 yards for a first down. Lynch once again got the drive started with a nice rushing gain -- a 19-yarder. Hauschka booted the extra point.Seahawks 10, Colts 0.
FIRST QUARTER (4:53 remaining)
With McAfee lined up to punt for the Colts deep in his team's territory, Seattle's Jermaine Kearse burst through the middle for a block that sent the ball caroming into the end zone. Jeron Johnson recovered but couldn't control the ball before sliding out the back of the end zone. The ruling: a safety.Seahawks 12, Colts 0.
FIRST QUARTER (1:04 remaining)
The Colts scored in stunning fashion when Andrew Luck unloaded a 73-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton down the right sideline. Hilton danced along the sideline to avoid going out of bounds for a nifty finish on the play. It marked the initial first-quarter points yielded by Seattle this season. Adam Vinatieri kicked Indy's extra point.Seahawks 12, Colts 7.
SECOND QUARTER (13:06 remaining)
The Colts answered Seattle's big play on special teams with one of their own. Lawrence Guy blocked a field goal attempt by Seattle's Hauschka and Delano Howell snatched it out of the air and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown. It was the fourth time in team history that the Colts returned a blocked field goal for a score -- and the first time since 2004. Vinatieri added the extra point.Colts 14, Seahawks 12.
SECOND QUARTER (5:57 remaining)
Wilson did some big damage with his throwing arm on this march, completing three passes for 56 yards, including a 28-yard score to Kearse. Wilson also ran five yards for a first down on fourth-and-3 from the Colts' 37-yard line. Hauschka kicked the extra point. Seahawks 19, Colts 14.
SECOND QUARTER (58 seconds remaining)
Colts running back Donald Brown turned in the big play, a 16-yard rush. Earlier, Luck hit Hilton with a 13-yard pass that provided a key first down. When the drive stalled, Vinatieri booted a 41-yard field goal.Seahawks 19, Colts 17.
THIRD QUARTER (11:18 remaining)
Seattle came out of the locker room at halftime and its running game went right to work. Lynch went for 18 yards on the first play. Wilson scrambled for 14 a little later -- after he completed a 27-yard pass to Doug Baldwin. When the Indy defense stiffened, Hauschka hit a 36-yard field goal. Seahawks 22, Colts 17.
THIRD QUARTER (8:12 remaining)
Seattle's defense helped to lift the visitors to an eight-point lead. Chris Clemons invaded the pocked and slapped the ball away from Luck. Cliff Avril recovered at the Colts' 30. The Seahawks offense didn't do much, so Hauschka kicked his third field goal -- a 41-yarder. Seahawks 25, Colts 17.
THIRD QUARTER (4:16 remaining)
Luck went to work via the airways, completing 4-of-6 passes for 58 yards, including a 29-yard scoring toss to Hilton. The reception pushed Hilton over the 100-yard mark for the seventh time in his career. Luck went for a two-point conversion, but his pass was incomplete.Seahawks 25, Colts 23.
THIRD QUARTER (35 seconds remaining)
Wilson limbered up his arm again, completing four passes for 49 yards on the march. But the Colts' defense rose up and forced a 46-yard field goal by Hauschka.Seahawks 28, Colts 23.
FOURTH QUARTER (8:55 remaining)
Luck hit 5-of-7 passes for 49 yards. Donald Brown busted into the end zone from the 3-yard line. Then the Colts wasted no time going for a two-point conversion. This time, they found success. Luck, while moving to his right, threw back across his body and found Reggie Wayne to make it a three-point game. Colts 31, Seahawks 28.
FOURTH QUARTER (1:55 remaining)
Vinatieri booted a 49-yard field goal to stretch the Colts' lead to six. The big play on Indy's 42-yard drive was a 19-yard pass, Luck to Wayne. Colts 34, Seahawks 28.