Indianapolis Colts Week 2 Wrap Up
The storyline: The Colts, a week after relatively rare opening-game loss, averted their first 0-2 start since 1998, pulling away from the New York Giants for a 38-14 victory in the second career meeting between Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his older brother, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
Key moment: The Colts pulled away from the Giants relatively early, but even though Indianapolis controlled momentum in the first quarter, New York trailed just 7-0 early in the second quarter. Taking possession at their 2, the Colts ran on six of seven plays to reach midfield. With the Giants' defense perhaps thinking run, Peyton Manning threw deep to tight end Dallas Clark, who caught the pass and broke a tackle inside the 5-yard line en route to the third touchdown of his career of 50 or more yards.
Key stat: There were several notable statistics, including the team allowing just 120 yards rushing after allowing 257 to the Texans in the opener. But perhaps the most notable was that the Colts rushed 23 times in the first half. That was the most for the franchise since at least 1991 and the solid early rushing of Joseph Addai and Donald Brown set the tone early. The Giants decided early they were going to defend the Colts by taking away the pass and forcing the Colts to beat them running. The Colts did, rushing for 124 yards in the first half and 160 for the game.
Where they stand: The Colts remain a game behind the Houston Texans, who remained unbeaten with a come-from-behind overtime victory in Washington. But while the Colts – who were alone in last place after Week 1 – didn't make up the ground lost with an opening-game loss to the Texans last week, they did take the first step of catching the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. They are in a three-way tie for second place after Jacksonville lost to San Diego Sunday and Tennessee lost to Pittsburgh.
Notable: The Colts' offensive line deserves credit. With many observers questioning if they had the personnel to improve from a two-sack, multiple-pressure performance in the season opener against the Texans, the Colts allowed just one sack and gave Manning better time than he had a week ago. Indianapolis also had one its better run-blocking games in the last several seasons. All of the Colts' offensive line issues have not magically disappeared, but this was a drastic improvement from last week.
Quick quote: "It's one win. You're happy to be 1-1, you don't want to be 0-2. We're happy to be 1-1, and we have a lot of work to do. We break our season up game-by-game and quarter-by-quarter. We want to finish this quarter 3-1 and that means we have to win the next one as well."
--- Colts' center Jeff Saturday