I still can’t believe what I witnessed at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday. All I wanted was for the Colts to win a playoff game. To take it one step farther than last year.
After this up and down season and all the injuries, advancing in the playoffs would be such a victory for this young team.
And they did. Our new era Colts won a playoff game. But they also did so much more.
The fans were still skeptical. Yes, there were many economic reasons the Colts had trouble selling out the playoff game, but I think one of the bigger reasons was that people just didn’t trust this team yet. One week, they looked like a playoff team. The next week…not even a little bit.
And then, in the first half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs, those fears were realized. The big plays weren’t coming. But the big mistakes were. There were too many turnovers and not enough defense.
I’m not going to lie…it was bleak. The crowd wasn’t even as loud as it was during the regular season game against the Broncos (with the roof open). There just wasn’t a lot to get excited about.
The Colts gave us pom-poms…but no reason to use them.
By halftime, it was 31-10 Chiefs. Some of the fans were starting to leave. And you know what? My husband wanted to leave. I told him to sit down and shut up. And almost smacked him upside the head. But yes, he’s thanking me today. And will be for years. I wish I could have stopped the other people from leaving. They must be kicking themselves. Or each other.
And then, shortly after halftime, another turnover. For a touchdown. And it was 38-10. Another stream of fans headed for the doors.
The Colts. Down 28 points.
But, then came some plays.
A catch by Donald Brown. A fumble recovery. A Coby Fleener touchdown. And the now infamous fumble for a touchdown by Andrew Luck. Another long touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton. And suddenly, miraculously, the Colts were in the lead 45-44.
With a strong performance by the defense, buffered by the 12th man…the Colts won. By one.
The crowd was not only back in the fourth quarter. It was deafening. It electrified the defense and drained the Chiefs offense.
My phone died at the end of the game. And I almost did too. From lack of oxygen.
And in the end, against all odds, (per ESPN, the Colts had a 3.6% chance of winning in the third quarter) the Colts came out on top. And I think we all learned something. I hope my husband learned something.
Never give up on this team.
Because they’re never giving up on you.
We’ve been through a lot with this team over the last two years. The breakup. The rebuilding. All the new faces. The doubts. The second guessing. The injuries. More new faces.
But, no matter where this season ends…the Colts already won something money or records can’t buy.
On Saturday, they won our hearts.