TAMPA, FLA. —
Josh Freeman and LeGarrette Blount helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rally for another victory.
Freeman threw for 287 yards and a touchdown, Blount ran for 127 yards and a score, and the Buccaneers beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-17 on Monday night.
Freeman, who ran for a touchdown early in the game, scrambled for a huge first down on the winning drive as the Buccaneers (3-1) won their third consecutive game. Freeman rallied the Bucs to victory at Minnesota in Week 2.
The Colts fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1998, Peyton Manning’s rookie season. Manning has watched all four games, unable to play because of a neck injury.
Curtis Painter started this one, filling in for injured backup Kerry Collins, who’s out because of a concusssion, and played better than most expected. Painter threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, both long ones to Pierre Garcon. He wasn’t nearly as effective down the stretch, partly because the Colts lost starting offensive linemen Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana to injuries. Guard Ryan Diem was inactive.
Painter completed 13 of 30 passes. Garcon turned a short sideline route into an 87-yard score in the second quarter, then took a screen pass and weaved his way through defenders for a 59-yarder in the third.
The 87-yarder was the team’s longest play of the season, the fifth-longest pass play in team history and longer than anything Manning has thrown in his NFL career.
The Colts were up 17-10 after Garcon’s second score, but it was all Tampa Bay in the final 20-plus minutes.
Freeman was 25 of 39 passing, buying time in the pocket and picking apart Indy’s zone defense. He got the Bucs on the scoreboard with a 1-yard plunge in the second quarter and tied the game at 10 with a 13-yard pass to Preston Parker late in the third.
Blount put them ahead for good when he broke through the line of scrimmage, cut right and scampered for a 35-yard score with 3:15 remaining. Freeman had a huge run on a third-and-6 play on the drive. He eluded a rusher, scrambled out of the pocket and dived for a first down.
Freeman also converted a fourth-and-1 play with 1:10 remaining, allowing the Bucs to run out the clock. He finished with six carries for 27 yards.
Tampa Bay’s biggest problem — aside from the two long TD passes — was penalties. The Buccaneers were flagged 14 times for 106 yards.
None of those was as costly as Dwight Freeney’s penalty. Indianapolis’ star pass-rusher was flagged for being offside on a third-and-19 play. The Buccaneers converted on the ensuing play, setting up Connor Barth’s 46-yard field goal that tied the game at 10.
Indy went back in fronton Garcon’s second score. He eluded several defenders while crisscrossing the field, and may have been aided by a block in the back. There were no flags, though.
Garcon’s first one was nearly as good. He turned up the sideline and outran everyone to the end zone, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead.
Freeman responded by driving the Bucs down the field, then sneaked the ball across the goal line. Tampa Bay had a chance to tie the game or take the lead just before halftime, but Robert Mathis sacked Freeman on third down and the Bucs had to scramble to get the field goal unit lined up.
They did, and Barth’s kick was good from 37 yards. But the Bucs had 12 men on the field, so they went to the locker room trailing.
It didn’t matter, not against the struggling Colts.
With Collins out, Painter made his first career start, and recently signed Dan Orlovsky served as the backup.
Indy looked like it might pull the upset until the linemen starting going down. The Colts also lost defensive tackle Eric Foster with a dislocated right ankle.
Foster injured his ankle with 52 seconds remaining in the first half. He got tangled up in a pile while trying to make a tackle. Athletic trainers rushed to help him. Teammates and opponents prayed and Colts coach Jim Caldwell knelt by his side.
Foster was fitted with an air cast and taken to a hospital where he was to be kept overnight for observation. He pounded his chest and yelled to teammates as he left the field to applause.
Foster, out of Rutgers, is in his fourth season. He entered the game with 12 tackles.
Painter not shabby despite setback
TAMPA, FLA. —
Josh Freeman and LeGarrette Blount helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rally for another victory.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
Give the Cincinnati Bengals plenty of credit. In a game that pitted two of the AFC’s better teams and two of the National Football League’s best young quarterbacks, the home-standing Bengals took care of business.
Many doubt Cincy runner scored on goal-line play
Did he make it or didn’t he?
Was Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis stopped on fourth down short of the end zone or did he make to the end zone without being touched?
Heavy snow appears in forecast for Colts
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrew Luck doesn’t have a history of playing a lot of football in the snow or in snowy conditions. But if weather forecasts for this weekend remain on track, Sunday’s AFC battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals may be severely tested by the weather.
- More Colts Headlines
- Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years