INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he had one goal during the week leading up to Sunday's home meeting with the Green Bay Packers: Bring coach Chuck Pagano the game ball from a victory.
That's exactly what he did.
A clearly emotional Irsay gave a heartfelt speech to his team following a come-from-behind 30-27 win. He then took the game ball and drove straight to the hospital where Pagano was admitted last week after being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.
The entire day was about being "Chuckstrong" for the Colts. A banner bearing the phrase hung on the end-zone wall. The team wore T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase. Even the Packers wore versions decorated in green and gold colors.
The Colts fell behind 21-3 at halftime and were being handled. The Packers won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers was on his way to a statistically gaudy performance. But everything changed at halftime.
"Attitude," Redding said. "We didn't draw up nothing different. We didn't do no exotic stuff. We just said enough is e-freaking-nough. Put our foot down, and let's go after this boy and make them beat us.
"As a player, you are an image of your coach. Our coach is a tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar kind of guy. Put your hard hat on and go to work, no matter what's going on. Don't blink. Don't ask why. Ask why not? That's the kind of guy he is, and that's the kind of reflection we have as a team. Guys could have started pointing fingers, threw my hat in and been done. But we just kept fighting. We kept believing. Long as you have that, good things are going to happen."
The Colts outscored the Packers 27-6 after the half as rookie quarterback Andrew Luck put on a show that will be remembered for a long time in Indianapolis. Despite taking a beating throughout the game, Luck threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns and ran one in from 3 yards out to cut the deficit to 21-19. Luck put together a 13-play, 80-yard drive with 4:35 left and capped things off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne, giving the Colts a three-point lead with 35 seconds left in the game.
Linebacker Justin Hickman literally rolled on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf in a moment of jubilation when the clock expired. Luck described feeling "elation." Offensive coordinator and interim coach Bruce Arians called it his greatest win, with a storybook ending.
"It seemed like a long week," said Wayne, who had a career day with 13 receptions for 212 yards. "I said I was going to lay it all on the line. ... As a team, we were able to just keep fighting, fighting, fighting.
"It was emotional, man. For everybody. Everybody wanted to get this game done. ... As they say, we was joyous."
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.