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Up-Tempo Attack Sparks Second Colts' Win Of 2016

Intro: What was talked about earlier in the week came to fruition on Sunday as the Colts used some no-huddle attack for a productive first half paving the way for a 29-23 victory over the Chicago Bears.


INDIANAPOLIS – Returning from London last week, Chuck Pagano sat on a plane for eight hours thinking about how to spark an offense that has found points hard to come by early in games this season.

Pagano first spoke to the media last Monday, revealing that the Colts staff would seriously discuss the implementation of a quicker pace.

Six days later, the Colts did move quicker offensively and in return scored on all four first-half possessions, starting faster and holding on for a critical 29-23 victory over the Chicago Bears.

"We felt like it has been good to us and we wanted to use it," Pagano said of the no-huddle look after his team earned its second win of 2016.

"Guys worked on it this week and they did a nice job."

While the Colts did not use a full up-tempo pace for the entire 60 minutes on Sunday, they sprinkled in some no-huddle throughout the contest.

Often, Luck would direct traffic for his offensive teammates pre-snap, then get to the line of scrimmage with ample time to dissect Chicago's defensive formation.

"We did a nice job with the no-huddle," Luck said after an afternoon where he was 28-of-38 for 322 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

"In the second half, we did maybe a little less and I don't know if that was necessarily the reason why we weren't playing as well as we did in the first half. I'm sure there's a bunch (of reasons). I'll have to go back and watch, but it worked out in practice and it managed to do well for us."

Coming into Sunday, the Colts were 26th in the NFL in first half points this season, averaging less than nine points per game.

The Colts nearly doubled their normal first-half output, scoring 16, and finding points on every first-half drive for the first time in more than two years.

T.Y. Hilton was magnificent on Sunday. Hilton, who wanted the Colts to use more up-tempo, caught 10 balls in 11 targets for 171 yards and the eventual game-winning touchdown.

It was that fourth-quarter drive which saw the Colts go back to a slightly faster pace.

After the Bears took a 23-19 lead with 7:04 remaining, Luck led the Colts on an 82-yard drive.

Luck was 5-of-5 on the drive in orchestrating his 16th career game-winning drive.

When weighing the pros and cons about using more pace in Week Five, the Colts knew that their fundamentals had to improve.

Drops and penalties ruined drives in London.

The self-inflicted negatives decreased quite a bit on Sunday.

Tempo or no tempo, the skill guys had to play better.

Bears @ Colts 2016 - GAMEDAY

"Andrew's supporting cast stepped up today," Dwayne Allen said after catching six balls for 50 yards.

"The tempo, that's always a part of our game plan. We started with it a little earlier today but the fact of the matter, the guys around (Luck), the guys around T.Y. Hilton, stepped up and made plays. That was the difference."

In playing their best first half of the season on Sunday, the Colts' second victory of 2016 takes them into back-to-back divisional road contests.

What awaits the winner next Sunday in Houston?

First place in the AFC South, thanks to the Colts' rhythm finding a much earlier sync than normal.

"We needed to get off the snide and get a win," Luck said, "and sort of get that taste out of our mouth.

"Winning cures all in this league."

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