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Luck comes up big after Rodgers' comeback attempt

The Indianapolis Colts held off a furious Aaron Rodgers comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter, hanging onto a 31-26 upset victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. Here's what we learned:

  1. A more intense Colts squad simply outplayed the Packers in all three phases, starting with a 99-yard Jordan Todman kickoff return to kickstart the festivities. Green Bay's only two sacks came via safety blitzes, as Indianapolis' beleaguered offensive line held up long enough to allow Andrew Luck to overcome the first multi-interception opening quarter of his career. Luck led four scoring drives, including a 15-play, 96-yard gem to stake the Colts to their largest halftime lead (14) in two years. The quarterback's masterpiece, though, was a game-clinching drive in which he shook off a Haha Clinton-Dix sack to hit Jack Doyle for 20 yards on third-and-long. Three plays later, he beat the third-down blitz again with a 27-yard toss to T.Y. Hilton that allowed the Colts to run out the clock and keep a white-hot Rodgers on ice.
  1. After reviving a struggling aerial attack with a short, quick-hitting approach the past two weeks, Aaron Rodgers spent most of the afternoon waiting for his wideouts to win isolation routes versus the stingy man coverage of Indianapolis' cornerback quartet (Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson, Darius Butler and Rashaan Melvin). By the middle of the third quarter, Jordy Nelson and tight end Richard Rodgers had combined for 109 yards on eight catches compared to eight yards on three catches for the rest of the receiving corps. Davante Adams managed just four receptions for 41 yards after notching 25 catches over the past two weeks. Returning from a hamstring injury, Randall Cobb caught a late touchdown, but didn't play a snap in the first half. Absent a ground attack, Rodgers' offense offers more questions than answers entering a three-game road stretch at Tennessee, at Washington and at Philadelphia.
  1. Down 31-13 with less than 10 minutes remaining, a masterful Rodgers marched down the field, directing back-to-back touchdown drives of less than two minutes apiece. Although the 3-yard touchdown pass to Cobb was a perfectly placed laser, it was not Rodgers' best throw of the day. A potential 75-yard touchdown bomb went to waste in the second quarter of a one-score game when Jeff Janisdropped it in-stride with a step on Vontae Davis. It was a back-breaking flub for the Packers.
  1. Indianapolis enters the bye week tied for second place, just a game and a half behind a flawed Houston team beset by a dysfunctional offense. Holding the AFC South's trump card with the division's best player in Luck, the Colts welcome the Titans and Steelers coming out of the bye before traveling to the Jets. If they knock off Tennessee in Week 11, it's easy to imagine the Colts playing for first place when they host the Texans in Week 14.
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