Colts Recover From Early Errors, Thump Washington

Turnovers on their first two possessions didn't faze Andrew Luck and the Colts. The team's response was to battle back and score seven touchdowns in a wild, big-play game. The Colts defeated Washington, 49-27, Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The victory lifted the Colts to 8-4. Washington is 3-9.

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INDIANAPOLIS –Quarterback Andrew Luck suffered a fumble and threw an interception on the Colts' first two possessions. Rattled? His subsequent performance reflected nothing of the sort.

Luck and the Colts righted the ship Sunday. They gained momentum. They stormed back, scoring seven touchdowns in high-octane fashion to topple visiting Washington, 49-27.

"We survived. Again," Luck said afterward about the difficult start. "We settled down and did a better job. Obviously, we're not going to survive it forever. It has to change, and it starts with me."

A Lucas Oil Stadium crowd of 65,352 quickly dismissed any concern over the early miscues. The turnovers were forgotten amid the flurry of jaw-dropping scores by the home team.

Among the Indy touchdowns were passes for 30, 3, 48, 73 and 79 yards. Another TD involved a 49-yard run. The defense got into the act with a 35-yard fumble return for a score.

Luck finished with 19-of-27 passing for 370 yards and five scores. Coming in, the Colts liked their prospects for lengthy plays.

"We were confident we could hit some chunks, as we say," Luck said. "The line did a great job of settling in and finding that rhythm. I think our tempo helped. We came in thinking we'd have a chance at some big ones."

Rookie Donte Moncrief caught three passes for 134 yards, including touchdowns of 48 and 79. Coby Fleener caught four passes for 127 yards, with scores of 30 and 73.

"Credit the quarterback (for) hanging in there," Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said. "Credit the offensive line for buying that extra second or two, and giving Andrew an opportunity to step up and find those guys."

Boom Herron led the Colts in rushing with 88 yards in eight attempts. He scored on a 49-yard run.

"He's a talented guy," Pagano said. "I think we've seen that out of him. He's quick. He's fast to hit the hole. Once he gets outside, he's got some long speed."

Washington's Colt McCoy completed 31-of-47 passes for 392 yards and three touchdowns. But he was not without error. Indy linebacker D'Quell Jackson returned a McCoy fumble 35 yards for a third-quarter score.

"We had one goal and one goal only coming into this," Pagano said. "That was to get No. 8 (victory). We got No. 8 (with) a lot of good play out of a lot of people. I thought the defense stepped up."

SCORING RECAP

FIRST QUARTER (13:18 remaining)

Washington jumped on the scoreboard quickly with a 25-yard field goal by Kai Forbath. It was set up by a big defensive play. On the Colts' first play after the opening kickoff, Washington's Ryan Kerrigan slammed into quarterback Andrew Luck, causing a fumble that Jason Hatcher recovered at the Indy 14-yard line.Washington 3, Indianapolis 0.

FIRST QUARTER (6:05 remaining)

Luck bounced back from an early fumble and an interception to lead the Colts on their first scoring march. Luck completed 4-of-4 passes for 54 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown toss to Coby Fleener. The drive went 83 yards in six plays. Adam Vinatieri kicked the extra point. Indianapolis 7, Washington 3.

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SECOND QUARTER (12:27 remaining)

Credit most of this march to Boom Herron. The Colts running back carried three times for 11, five and 49 yards. The 49-yarder was a thing of beauty as he bolted between left guard and tackle, broke to the left sideline and outran the Washington defense for a touchdown. Vinatieri added the extra point. Indianapolis 14, Washington 3.

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SECOND QUARTER (6:53 remaining)

Luck got back to work, completing 5-of-7 passes for 63 yards, leading the Colts to another TD. When a wide-open Fleener dropped a pass that seemingly would have been a score, Luck went right back to him for completions of eight and 16 yards. The final two plays of the drive were passes of 25 and three yards to T.Y. Hilton. The 3-yard TD was an impressive catch at the back of the end zone, on which Hilton had to slow his momentum, turn his body almost completely around and grab the hard-thrown pass. Vinatieri hit the extra point. Indianapolis 21, Washington 3.

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SECOND QUARTER (1:59 remaining)

Washington quarterback Colt McCoy, finally getting some time to throw, completed four passes for a total of 72 yards in pushing his team to its first touchdown. The scoring toss went 21 yards to Roy Helu Jr. Forbath connected on the extra point.  Indianapolis 21, Washington 10.

THIRD QUARTER (11:22 remaining)

McCoy turned in a strong effort to complete a 16-yard touchdown pass to Logan Paulsen. Three different Colts had a shot at tackling McCoy before he launched the pass. He spun away from each. McCoy was 4-of-5 for 65 yards on the 80-yard  march with the second half's opening kickoff. Forbath hit the extra point. Indianapolis 21, Washington 17.

THIRD QUARTER (10:05 remaining)

The Colts wasted little time in answering the Washington score. Three plays into their next possession, Luck unleashed a 48-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Donte Moncrief. Vinatieri added the extra point. Indianapolis 28, Washington 17.

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THIRD QUARTER (7:30 remaining)

The Colts' defense rose up in a big way. Washington opted not to punt on fourth-and-a foot at its own 41-yard line. But instead of a running play, Washington called for McCoy to pass. The Colts' Erik Walden slammed into McCoy, jarring the ball loose. D'Quell Jackson recovered and carried it 35 yards for a score. Vinatieri added the extra point. Indianapolis 35, Washington 17.

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THIRD QUARTER (5:12 remaining)

McCoy didn't seem bothered by his fumble on the previous possession. He promptly led Washington on an 80-yard march, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. Forbath hit the extra point. Indianapolis 35, Washington 24.

THIRD QUARTER (4:45 remaining)

Luck found his old Stanford buddy, Fleener, open again in the middle of the field. Luck connected with him on a relatively short pass and Fleener set sail, running at least 60 yards after the catch. The result: a 73-yard TD. Vinatieri added the extra point. Indianapolis 42, Washington 24.

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FOURTH QUARTER (12:00 remaining)

Forbath cut the Colts' lead with a 29-yard field goal. The big play was a 30-yard pass, McCoy to Jordan Reed. Indianapolis 42, Washington 27.

FOURTH QUARTER (10:34 remaining)

The big plays just kept on coming. Luck unloaded a 79-yard scoring pass to Moncrief to pad the Colts' lead. Moncrief, like on his first TD, was wide open and easily made the catch. Vinatieri hit the extra point.Indianapolis 49, Washington 27.

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