INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck was back to his old self and the Indianapolis Colts stopped Peyton Manning from getting the NFL’s passing record in the stadium he helped build. Luck got his third win in four head-to-head matchups against Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Colts' 27-24 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The victory was badly needed for the Colts because it ended their three-game losing streak during a week in which they fired their offensive coordinator. They also left Manning with his first loss of the season and three yards shy of passing Brett Favre for the NFL’s passing record.
The Colts jumped out to a 17-0 lead before having to hold Manning off at the end. New offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski simplified the offense by calling a lot of underneath passing routes, which allowed Luck to get rid of the ball quickly. The Colts finished with 365 yards of total offense
What it means: The Colts maintained their lead over the Houston Texans for first place in the AFC South. And almost just as important, the Colts ended their six-game regular-season losing streak against teams outside of the division.
What were they thinking: The end of the first half continues to be a problem for the Colts. Omar Bolden's punt-return touchdown at the end of the first half goes with the Hail Mary that the Colts gave up at the end of the first half of their Week 5 game at Houston.
One reason to get excited: Maybe Luck has finally turned the corner from what’s been an atrocious season for him so far. Luck finished the game 21-of-36 for 252 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest thing about Luck’s performance is that he didn’t turn the ball over after entering the game with an NFL-high 13 turnovers on the season.
One reason to panic: Greg Toler has never been a great cornerback, but he was solid during his first three seasons with the Colts. That’s no longer the case. Toler was beaten badly by Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a 64-yard touchdown and then he was called for pass interference in the end zone on receiver Demaryius Thomas to give Denver first-and-goal at the Colts’ 1-yard line. The Broncos scored on the next play to tie the score at 24-24.
Vinatieri moves up: Colts 42-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri moved past Jason Hanson for the third most field goals made from 40-49 yards in NFL history with his 43-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Vinatieri has made 137 field goals from 40-49 yards in his career.
Ouch: Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams (ankle) and rookie defensive tackle Henry Anderson (knee) both left the game with injuries and did not return. Adams suffered his ankle injury after intercepting a Manning pass.