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Best game of the first half? Packers-Colts earns critical acclaim

  • By NFL.com
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There has been no shortage of high-scoring affairs, plus we've seen a few defensive slugfests and several last-minute stunners. What was the best game of the first half of the 2012 season?

  • Jason Smith NFL.com
  • Nothing made me gasp more than Jaguars-Colts in Week 3

    I'm going for the game that made me gasp more than any other this year. (OK, not including New York Jets games, all of which give me heart palpitations.) In Week 3, the Jacksonville Jaguars led the Indianapolis Colts, 16-14, with two minutes left. The following all took place in those final, frantic seconds (which, for me, is the game) ...

    Trying to run out the clock, Maurice Jones-Drew fumbles, but recovers. The Jaguars wind up having to punt from their own 21 with 1:46 left. Bad news. But Bryan Anger boots a 60-yarder to put the Colts back at their own 19. What a bailout. However, Luck needs just 18 seconds to get Indy in field goal position, and Adam Vinatieri gives them the lead. Game over, right? But after the ensuing kickoff, Blaine Gabbert hits Cecil Shorts on a stunning 80-yard touchdown pass for the 22-17 advantage. Game over, right? Needing a touchdown with just 45 seconds to go, Luck completes a third-and-10 pass for 36 yards to put the Colts on the Jacksonville 26. Luck has one last shot at a touchdown, but two passes to Reggie Wayne fall incomplete.

    I had no rooting interest in this one, but I was up on my feet for it in the NFL Network newsroom. I walked away firmly convinced that Luck was as good as advertised coming out of Stanford. He was cool, accurate and looked like a 10-year vet leading his team in the last 120 seconds. I love seeing games that signify the birth of a new star in a sport; this was Luck's. The crazy thing? He lost.

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