(Indianapolis, IN) - Andrew Luck threw a touchdown strike to Reggie Wayne with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Indianapolis Colts a 30-27 comeback win over the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It was a career day for both Luck and Wayne, who hooked-up thirteen times on an afternoon that featured a dramatic second half comeback under interim head coach Bruce Arians.
Green Bay opened the scoring late in the first quarter when John Kuhn crossed the goal line from two yards out, giving the visitors a 7-0 lead. The Packers followed the Colts three-and-out with another scoring drive that finished with Aaron Rodgers hitting James Jones with a six yard touchdown pass that made it 14-to-nothing early in the second quarter.
Adam Vinatieri put Indianapolis on the board with a 28 yard field goal late in the half, but the Packers responded with their third scoring drive of the game on their next possession. Randall Cobb slipped behind the Colts secondary and snagged a 31 yard pass that resulted in a 21-3 halftime lead for Green Bay.
The Colts ended their season streak of unproductive third quarters by scoring 16 unanswered points over the next fifteen minutes. Jerraud Powers picked off Rodgers during the Packers opening drive of the second half, setting up a five play, 39 yard drive that concluded with an eight yard touchdown snag by Dwayne Allen that cut into the Green Bay lead at 21-10.
Adam Vinatieri tacked on a 50 yard field goal at the 7:42 mark in the third quarter that made it 21-13 Packers.
The Colts finished the quarter with a six play, 58 yard scoring drive that was assisted by a questionable 25 yard pass interference penalty on Sam Shields in coverage of wideout Donnie Avery.
Andrew Luck scored on a three yard quarterback draw, and honored head coach Chuck Pagano by smacking a "Chuck Strong" poster hanging in the endzone following the score.
Luck's pass to Wayne on the ensuing two point conversion attempt was batted down, retaining the Packer advantage at 21-19.
The teams traded possessions in the fourth quarter, one that featured Luck's only interception of the game, until Vinatieri gave the Colts their first lead of the afternoon with a 28 yard field goal.
The Colts led 22-to-21 with 4:44 left in the game when Alex Green sprinted 41 yards for the Packers, setting up an eight yard touchdown catch by Jones for a 27-22 lead after the two point conversion attempt failed.
On the Colts next possession, Luck produced three, third down conversions in route to their final score.
The 13 play, 81 yard drive concluded with a four yard touchdown pass to Wayne and a successful two point conversion run by Donald Brown.
The Packers got the ball back with 35 seconds left in the game and drove the ball to the Colts 33 yard line. Mason Crosby ended Green Bay's chances at a comeback by pulling a 51 yard field goal attempt wide right of the crossbar.
The 30-27 win capped an emotional week for team personnel and Colts fans who learned that Pagano had been diagnosed with a treatable form of Leukemia. "Chuck Strong" posters were hung behind every goalpost and owner Jim Irsay would later deliver the game ball to the ailing coach.
Wayne had a career high in receiving yards with 212 and Luck set a Colts record for most yards by a rookie quarterback with 362. Luck said in a post game conversation that the victory was one of the greatest athletic moments he's been a part of.
The Packers fall to 2-3 and travel to the undefeated Houston Texans next weekend.
The Colts are 2-2 and play the 2-2 New York Jets Sunday at East Rutherford.
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