Drive of the Game

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Colts-Texans Drive Of The Game: Sending It To Overtime

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INDIANAPOLIS — The boxscore will show a nine-play, 85-yard drive taking 2:13 off the clock that culminated in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Nyheim Hines, with a two-point conversion from Luck to Chester Rogers.

But let’s take a closer look at the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 4 Drive of the Game, presented by Hays + Sons:

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The task at hand for the Colts’ offense late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Texans was pretty simple: either you drive 85 yards down the field, score a touchdown and get a two-point conversion, or the game is over.

Easy enough, right?

That the Colts even found themselves in that position was pretty amazing considering the team was down as much as 18 points with less than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. But the defense continued to put the clamps down, and then Luck absolutely caught fire.

After the Colts had cut the Texans’ lead to five, 28-23, with 7:45 left in the fourth quarter, Houston went down and got a 40-yard field goal to push their lead back to eight with 3:02 left on the clock.

Luck and the Indy offense took the field at their own 15-yard line with 2:53 left knowing what was at stake, but they quickly found themselves facing a 3rd and 3 from the 22. Luck was able to connect with Rogers down the middle for a 22-yard gain, however, moving the chains and getting the Colts close to midfield.

That really seemed to open things up for the Indy offense. The next play: a 17-yard pass to Zach Pascal. Two plays later, a 13-yard pass to Ryan Grant at the Houston 26. Luck then ran for seven yards on a scramble, and followed that up by hooking up with Rogers for a 10-yard gain to get inside the Texans’ 10-yard line.

With just 51 seconds left, Luck, lined up in the shotgun with Hines to his left, dropped back and looked at his options to the right, which included tight end Eric Ebron, Rogers and Pascal. Grant, meanwhile, was busy clearing out room to the left for Hines, who ran a cut route out of the backfield.

Luck turned to his left and fired an on-target throw to Hines, who was able to hang on at the two-yard line and fall backwards into the end zone, taking on a big hit from safety Tyrann Mathieu, for the touchdown — the rookie’s second of the day.

All of that is great, but it would’ve meant nothing if the Colts couldn’t get the two-point conversion.

On that play — after a timeout by both Houston and Indianapolis — Luck, lined up in the shotgun once again with Hines to his left, faked the handoff to the running back and immediately fired a pass to his right to the front of the end zone, where Rogers was there to make the clutch grab in between cornerback Aaron Colvin and linebacker Bernardrick McKinney.

Tie ballgame, and we’re going to overtime.

Just how good was Luck during that comeback — particularly in the fourth quarter? During that period, he completed 16-of-19 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with five different receivers in the fourth quarter: Ebron (three receptions, 22 yards, touchdown), Grant (two receptions, 22 yards), Hines (three receptions, 23 yards, touchdown), Pascal (three receptions, 43 yards) and Rogers (five receptions, 58 yards).

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