Luck runs for 2 scores as Colts edge Browns
Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck ran for two touchdowns in the first half and Adam Vinatieri added a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to carry the Indianapolis Colts to a hard-earned 17-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts improved to 3-3, second in the AFC South behind the Houston Texans (5-1), while the Browns dropped to 1-6, last in the AFC North.
Luck completed 16 of 29 passes for 186 yards without a touchdown but made up for it with two rushing scores in the first half to give the Colts a 14-6 lead.
The Colts’ rushing corps outplayed their Browns counterparts, rushing for a total of 148 yards on 37 carries compared to just 55 ground yards by Cleveland.
“The guys up front have worked hard all year,” Luck said. “And it’s nice to see the backs bust some of those runs. We got some good momentum.”
The Colts’ defense also stepped up in the second after the Browns pulled to within one after a 33-yard touchdown pass by Brandon Weeden to Josh Gordon, forcing Cleveland to punt in its next four possessions.
The Colts delivered its biggest defensive play in the last four minutes of the game, with cornerback Jerraud Powers breaking up Weeden’s pass to Josh Cooper on fourth down, giving Indianapolis possession with two minutes left.
“That was a better balanced football team for us today,” Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians said. “We have to stay that way. We can’t be one-dimensional. And we don’t want to be.”
Weeden completed 25 of 41 passes for 264 yards and a pair of touchdown heaves to Greg Little and Gordon, who finished with 59 receiving yards on two catches.
Luck was on target in the Colts’ first possession, completing all for of his passes for 67 yards before capping the 11-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard scoring run.
Weeden answered with a 16-play, 90-yard drive in the second quarter that led to a 14-yard touchdown pass to Little. The Browns, however, failed to tie when Browns holder Reggie Hodges mishandled the snap.
Luck continued his fine passing in the next possession, hitting third-down passes of 16, 10 and nine yards for first downs before scoring his second touchdown run of the game, giving the Colts a 14-6 advantage.
The Browns opened the second half with a successful six-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Gordon’s 33-yard touchdown reception, bringing the Browns to within a point.
Luck however engineered a 17-play, 61-yard drive that put Vinatieri in a position for a 38-yard field goal that padded the Colts’ lead to 17-13.