Indy Football Report Editor John Oehser takes a next-day look at the Indianapolis Colts’ 38-14 victory over the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday in Week 2 of the 2010 NFL regular season . . .
INDIANAPOLIS – A week later, the mood hardly could have been more different.
And for the Indianapolis Colts, considering the darkness of the previous week, a change in mood was a very good thing. Because while in the NFL there’s no such thing as a must-win Week 2 game, there is a such thing as an important Week 2 game.
And for the Colts, Sunday’s game was certainly that.
It also was an impressive game, with the Colts dominating each side of the line of scrimmage at times in a 38-14 victory over the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday night.
And make no mistake:
After what happened the previous week, the Colts didn’t just want such a performance.
They needed it, too.
“It was just one of those collective team efforts,” Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said.
“Obviously, we had that bitter taste in our mouth after last week,” Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers said, referring to a 34-24 loss to Houston in the season opener a week ago. “We definitely didn’t want to start our season off like we did last week and we definitely didn’t want to start 0-2 and put ourselves in a bigger bind.”
Perhaps what was most striking – maybe even surprising for the Colts — wasn’t that they beat the Giants. And it wasn’t even that they beat them in dominant fashion.
It was that they beat the Giants with a balanced offense, and with a defense that looked very much in control most of the time – and surprisingly dominant a lot of time, too.
Not only did quarterback Peyton Manning complete 20 of 26 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns, but the Colts also turned in one of their best running games in three or four seasons, rushing or 160 yards and a touchdown on 43 carries.
And not only did Pro Bowl defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis – playing against an offense that surprisingly left them to rush one-on-one with their offensive tackles much of the night – each register two sacks, the Colts’ run defense was active and effective, particularly early.
A week ago, the Colts allowed 257 yards rushing in a loss to Houston.
On Sunday, the Colts weren’t dominant defensively against the run. But while they allowed 120 yards rushing, at no time did the Giants seem to be able to run at will as was the case the week before.
“I think a lot of guys had a little chip on their shoulder, especially on the defensive side,” Powers said. “There was a lot of people talking bad about us. Coming off the performance last weekend, we felt like we had to come out here and prove that we can be that D that everybody was talking about in the preseason.”
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