Luck has Colts back on track and owner happy; Giants have injury issues and offensive concern
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Maybe Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay should complain before every game.
A miffed Irsay let the Colts know he was unhappy after their preseason opening loss to the Buffalo Bills last week and Andrew Luck and company certainly responded against the New York Giants on Sunday night in a 20-12 win.
Luck threw for 107 yards, two touchdowns and the Colts (1-1) scored on three consecutive possessions in making their boss smile a week after an abysmal showing in a 44-20 loss to Buffalo.
"That's more like it..there r sum that shrug off losing,even at checkers;they'll never wear the HORSESHOE or touch the Diamond's of Champions," Irsay tweeted after the win over New York.
Tom Coughlin was anything but happy after the contest. The soon-to-be 67 year-old coach saw the Giants (1-1) limited to four field goals by Josh Brown on five trips inside the Indianapolis 30, including three inside the Colts' 10-yard line.
The two-time Super Bowl coaching winner also got flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the first half for coming out of the coaching box after the officials warned him that he was doing it too much.
"I was wrong," Coughlin said. "It wasn't a smart thing but the frustration in terms of how we played was there and I am disappointed in tonight's game."
A bigger concern for Coughlin was injuries. Wide receiver Victor Cruz bruised his left heel and starting center David Baas sprained his left knee in the opening minutes. Neither returned. Defensive captain Justin Tuck also tweaked a hamstring.
While Coughlin did not know the seriousness of the injuries, Baas might be the biggest concern. Fellow receiver Hakeem Nicks said Cruz said he was OK.
From the press box, here' s five things we learned during the Colts' victory over the Giants:
1. IT PAYS TO BE LUCK AND LUCKY: With the Giants not putting much pressure on him, Luck hit 9 of 13 passes, converting three times on third down. His 18-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton in the corner of the end zone was floated just over the outstretched hand of backup cornerback Jayron Hosley. The first touchdown was simply lucky. He underthrew Reggie Wayne by about five yards on a pass from the New York 28, and veteran cornerback Aaron Ross was in perfect position to intercept it. He lost the ball in the lights for a second, mishandled it, and then popped it in the air to a waiting Wayne. It qualified for football follies and gave the Colts a lead they never lost.
2. DAVID WILSON IS THE REAL THING: While there was some concern about the Giants running game after Ahmad Bradshaw was released, Wilson gave an indication he not only can handle the job, but that he will be exciting. On the second play from scrimmage, Wilson darted through a hole for a 21-yard gain and was a step from going 76 yards for a score. He brings that kind of excitement. Andre Brown is also a very capable No.2, gaining 36 yards on eight carries, two more yards that Wilson had on the same number.
3. THE COLTS' DEFENSE BENT BUT DID NOT BREAK: After giving up 451 yards to the Bills last week, New York was limited to 247 yards, including 152 passing, and recorded six sacks, including two apiece by DT Drake Nevis and rookie LB Caesar Rayford. The defense was outstanding on third down. New York converted on 3-of-15 attempts and was 1 of 2 on fourth down, including being stuffed on a fourth and less than one from the Colts 7 on the opening series. New cornerback Greg Toler intercepted an Eli Manning pass to set up a 52-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. It would have been good from 62.
4. GIANTS INJURIES: While the Giants are concerned about the injuries to Cruz and Baas, they are deep enough to get by a while. Nicks played for the first time in the preseason and had two catches for 21 yards and second-year pro Rueben Randle had two for 17 yards. The surprises were contributions by Ramses Barden (4 for 28) and Louis Murphy (3 for 20). The offensive line has always had interchangeable parts and if Baas is out a while, Kevin Boothe can move to center and that might open a spot for No.1 draft pick Justin Pugh.
5.HOCHULES HAS A SON ON THE JOB: Referee Ed Hochuli, nicknamed as "Guns" or "Hochules" because of his big biceps, had a new member on his officiating crew. His son, Shawn, who is a football official in college and the arena football, was the back judge for the game. The younger Hochuli had an embarrassing moment late in the first half when an errant pass by Giants backup hit him near the face because he was so intent on watching the play. The elder Hochuli, who has refereed two Super Bowls, also conferred with the other officials and decided to pick up a flag his son threw for a hit to the head by a Giants defender on an incomplete pass.