Heavy-Hearted Garcon Keeps Focus
But maybe a distraction was exactly what he needed.
Since news Tuesday of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti, the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver has been trying to get as much information as possible about family members living in the ravaged island nation. His parents and three siblings were born in Haiti, and it is home to more relatives than he can count.
Garcon, though, found some release Saturday night with an inspired performance in the Colts' 20-3 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"It was a little tough," said Garcon, who carried a Haitian flag to the postgame podium. "I wasn't as hyped as I would usually be, but once you start playing, start hitting, you kind of just go out and battle."
Garcon caught five passes for 34 yards against the tough Ravens defense, but it was the sheer hustle play he made against the Baltimore "D" that will be remembered most from this one.
Peyton Manning went for the jugular on a deep ball intended for Garcon midway through the third quarter. Garcon had his man beat, but because fellow wideout Austin Collie ran a wrong underneath route, Ravens safety Ed Reed was able to jump the play and provide deep cover help.
Reed picked off the pass and raced up the sideline.
"He took my touchdown away," Garcon said. "I had to go get it back."
Garcon chased down Reed from behind and popped the ball free 40 yards upfield. Colts tight end Dallas Clark recovered at the Indianapolis 28.
"Huge play," Manning said.
"That just shows what kind of character and determination he has," Collie said.
Instead of the Ravens having a first down deep in Colts territory with a shot to cut a 14-point lead in half, Indianapolis took over and drove for a field goal to ice the game.
"He's one of those guys that doesn't get rattled very often," coach Jim Caldwell said of his second-year pro. "He's really had, I think, great, extraordinary focus. Obviously, the circumstances that he's dealing with are very, very difficult. For him to be able to come out and focus in on the ballgame and perform extremely well says a lot about him."
Garcon, 23, said he has tried to raise money for the Haitian victims via his Twitter and Facebook pages.
"We've gotten a lot of support," he said. "Support from all over. People in Indianapolis, on the team, everybody has handed out a hand to help me help the country and help us get back on our feet."