Indianapolis, IN – Andrew Luck threw for 186 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, and the Indianapolis Colts held off the Cleveland Browns, 17-13, Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Though Luck was just 16-of-29 passing, he led the Colts to 321 yards of total offense and three scoring drives, just enough to edge out the Browns, who generated 319 yards of offense.
Reggie Wayne led all Colts receivers with 73 yards on six catches, and Vick Ballard had a game-high 84 yards rushing on 20 carries for Indianapolis (3-3).
"We're obviously excited about the win, to get to 3-3, and be in the hunt now in the AFC with a bunch of other teams, and we'll start to get healthy, hopefully next week, and see if we can take this on the road," said Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians, whose team next plays at Tennessee. "We had a lot of mistakes today but they can be corrected, myself included, and we'll go from there. But it's a pretty happy locker room to get to 3-3."
Brandon Weeden completed 25-of-41 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns for Cleveland (1-6), which was coming off its first win of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Greg Little hauled in six passes for 52 yards and a touchdown, and Josh Gordon had 59 yards receiving with a score for the Browns in defeat.
"We didn't make enough plays in the passing game to get it done. If you look at some of the things that happened, we didn't run the ball well enough," said Browns head coach Pat Shurmur. "Although they didn't sack us, and we didn't really have any turnovers to speak of, we've got to score more points than we did."
The Colts scored on the game's opening possession, with Luck capping an 11- play, 80-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Luck completed all four of his passes for 67 yards on the drive, which was highlighted by a 30-yard completion to Wayne on the game's first play.
Cleveland came right back to score, with Little making a circus-like catch in the back of the end zone on a 14-yard TD throw from Weeden. However, a bad snap on the extra-point attempt caused the Browns to trail 7-6 early in the second quarter.
Indianapolis took a 14-6 lead with 7:47 left in the first half, with Luck getting his second TD-run of the day from five yards out on a play-action bootleg around the right end. The play ended a 14-play, 76-yard drive that was salvaged when Luck hit Wayne on a pass for nine yards on a 3rd-and-5 from the Cleveland 18.
The Browns rolled out of the gate to score in the second half, with Weeden going a perfect 4-for-4 passing for 80 yards, ending the drive with a 33-yard touchdown throw to Gordon to make it a 14-13 game.
The Colts came back with another long scoring drive, this one a 17-play march that ate up over eight minutes of clock. Vinatieri capped the drive with a 38- yard field goal with 3:24 left in the third. The kick made it a 17-13 game after the Colts converted twice on third down and once on fourth during the possession.
Still trailing, Cleveland's defense forced a turnover in the fourth quarter after blitzing defensive back Sergio Brown sacked Luck and pried the ball from his hands, giving the Brown's offense the ball back at midfield.
But on 3rd-and-1, Weeden just missed a would-be touchdown throw to Gordon, who was streaking down the middle of the field, which forced the Browns to punt with 6:38 remaining.
After forcing a Weeden incompletion on 4th-and-6 with 1:54 left to play, the Colts were able to effectively run the clock down before punting back to Cleveland with just seven seconds left.
Browns running back Trent Richardson did not play in the second half after aggravating a rib injury ... The game marked the fourth time in Cleveland team history that the Browns started a rookie quarterback (Weeden) against another starting rookie quarterback (Luck) ... Gordon became the first Browns rookie with a TD reception in three straight games since Andre Davis in 2002 ... After passing for seven TD's through Week 4, Luck failed to throw a TD pass for the second consecutive game ... A pair of Cleveland defensive starters, tackle Ahtyba Rubin (calf) and cornerback Sheldon Brown (ankle), also left the game with injuries.