Faster tempo allows Colts, Luck to hold off Bears 29-23

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts got Andrew Luck on track by playing fast Sunday. Now they'll try to use the same strategy to save their season.

After hearing the clamor for changes all week, the Colts cranked up the pace, took their first halftime lead of the season and, yes, even managed to pull out a badly needed victory, 29-23 victory over the Chicago Bears.

"We needed to get off the snide and get a win," Luck said after throwing a 35-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton with 3:43 to play to retake the lead. "We needed to get that taste out of our mouth. We needed a win. Winning cures all in this league."

The Colts (2-3) had plenty of concerns all week.

So Indy threw a change-up at the Bears' defense and Luck took full advantage by taking shots down the field and putting points on the scoreboard early.

The result: Indy had its first halftime lead of the season, 16-13.

But after bogging down in the regular offense most of the second half, the Colts switched back after Chicago took a 23-19 lead midway through the fourth quarter. This time, Luck needed only six plays to go 82 yards - the last 35 coming on the TD pass to Hilton that made it 26-23.

Luck was 28 of 39 with 322 yards and two TDs despite being sacked five times. Hilton caught 10 passes for 171 yards.

Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer was solid in his third straight start and gave Chicago (1-4) a 23-19 lead with a 24-yard TD pass to Jordan Howard with 7:04 left in the game. The 94-yard drive was Chicago's longest in more than seven years. Hoyer finished 33 of 43 for 397 yards and two TDs.

But after a late Bears fumble led to Adam Vinatieri's fifth field goal, Hoyer couldn't convert on fourth-and-8 from Indy's 28-yard line.

"It is frustrating," Chicago coach John Fox said. "It is a hard pill to swallow anytime you lose a game."

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

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