INDIANAPOLIS – A year ago today, Donald Brown had a two-point conversion that capped the Colts' scoring in a stirring comeback win over Green Bay.
Yesterday, Brown scored the go-ahead touchdown midway in the fourth quarter as the Colts rebounded from 12- and eight-point deficits to beat Seattle, 34-28.
Where Brown hurt a knee after the clinching points in the 30-27 win over the Packers, he punctuated yesterday's touchdown with a solid spike as the Colts grabbed sole possession of the AFC South lead.
"It's just exciting to get in the end zone, (the) offensive line did a great job," said Brown of his thunderous spike. "It's not easy scoring touchdowns in the NFL, so you're obviously grateful when you get in."
The nature of the drive where Brown scored is symbolic of the Colts under Chuck Pagano. Not only did the Colts produce a ninth comeback win in the 21 games Pagano has been at the helm, Indianapolis scored 11 points in the fourth quarter off a Seattle defense that had yielded but seven in that period all season.
It did so in team fashion where Brown started the march with two runs for 11 yards. The Colts converted a first down by penalty before Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton with a 13-yard pass. Trent Richardson ran for two yards before Luck and Hilton combined again for a first down.
On third-and-four from the Seattle 27, officials ruled a completion from Luck to Reggie Wayne did not get enough yardage for the first down, an argument the Colts won with a replay reversal.
After Wayne snagged another pass from Luck, Brown scored to put the Colts ahead, 29-28. Where Brown's two-pointer against Green Bay last year came after a Wayne touchdown, Wayne caught a two-point pass to push the Colts' lead to three yesterday.
It was a team-oriented drive that produced an eventual victory.
As the Colts have moved from 1-1 to 4-1, Brown has played a role. He rushed three times for 25 yards at San Francisco. His 50-yard burst at Jacksonville the next week highlighted a 65-yard, three-rush day, and Brown added two receptions.
After getting 13 snaps at Jacksonville, Brown was in for 17 yesterday, gaining 37 yards on six rushes and having two more receptions.
Brown always has been ready to contribute, something position coach David Walker cited before the season.
"Donald's approach to his work is that he's in the meetings early," said Walker. "He watches a ton of film. He studies himself and his opponent. He tries to anticipate things on the field before they're going to happen. He wants to continually put himself through his film study in the best position.
"(I look for) continued progress in his game, continued leadership. He is a steady football player and you know exactly what you are going to get from him."
Brown is one of the team's strong special teams players. He prepares for every role so his contributions can be maximized in an instant.
"You just prepare for all situations," said Brown. "You have to prepare like you're the starter no matter what the situation is. When your number's called, make the most of every opportunity, whether you're on offense or on special teams.
"(My mindset is) just to make the most of the opportunities. That's what I can control. It's just (to) give it my all when I'm out there and help the team any way I can."