Luck shines as Colts rout Giants, 40-24
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The mantra throughout the NFL each week is to look ahead. Considering how ugly the previous week was for Indianapolis, the Colts needed tunnel vision toward Monday night.
Following an awful performance in a loss to Pittsburgh, the Colts beat the New York Giants 40-24 behind Andrew Luck's four touchdown passes and an improved performance by a defense that kept Eli Manning off balance.
With his franchise-record seventh consecutive 300-yard game, Luck led the Colts (6-3) to a lopsided win one week after a 51-34 loss to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Unlike the way Roethlisberger toyed with their defense in that game, the Colts didn't let Manning get going in handing New York (3-5) its third straight defeat.
"It was great to get back in the win column after a tough one last week," Luck said.
Luck hit Coby Fleener for a 32-yard TD in the first half. He had scoring throws of 31 yards to T.Y. Hilton, 40 yards to Reggie Wayne and 2 yards to Dwayne Allen in the third period.
Adam Vinatieri added four field goals and is perfect on 20 tries this year.
It was the eighth time this season that Luck had thrown for more than 300 yards and the 17th time in his three pro seasons. He was 25 for 46 for 354 yards, helping the Colts head into their bye with a two-game lead on Houston on the AFC South.
"Reggie spoke to it last night," Luck said. "He's had only one or two, but he said losses before bye weeks stink."
So do defeats like the one the Steelers laid on Indy. The quick remedy: Win the next time out.
"We got that bad taste out of our mouths, the way we lost that last game," coach Chuck Pagano said. "It's awesome."
Wayne surpassed James Lofton for career yards receiving and has 14,070 in his 14-season career.
Giants first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. had 156 yards on eight receptions, by far his best game. Manning threw for 359 yards and two TDs, but most of that came with the game decided.
Luck seemed to look for Fleener on every pass in the first half. That well-established combination — they played together at Stanford before joining the Colts in 2012 — paid off on consecutive passes for the game's first touchdown.
Also costly for the Giants were drops by receivers, an inability to sustain a ground game, and enough pressure against Manning to force long or high throws that had no chance to be caught. Indy led 16-3 at the half thanks to Fleener's TD and field goals of 48, 31 and 48 yards by Vinatieri, who added a 43-yarder in the fourth quarter.