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'The Pass' Gives Colts Fans Ray of Hope for 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 12: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts breaks away on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck on the team's first play against the St. Louis Rams during a preseason NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 12, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIAugust 13, 2012

Many fans didn't know what to expect for the 2012 Indianapolis Colts campaign. The team was basically built from scratch as the front office, coaching staff and personnel were different.

The Colts are relying on a rookie quarterback to lead the team back to prominence and leaning on other rookies to help immediately. The defense is also having a huge overhaul with playing a new 3-4 scheme and moving Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis back to linebackers.

What the Colts did yesterday is nothing short of remarkable.

Lucas Oil Stadium was sold out and loud for a preseason game. There was a big buzz around the city, mainly to see what Andrew Luck would do in his first professional game and to see how this new team would look.

For the first time since the early Peyton Manning era, there were no expectations for this team as the city was almost transitioning back to a basketball town.

Then came yesterday.

The defense had a great effort in stopping the Rams on their first drive on a great fourth-down stand. What happened next gave not just the fans in Lucas Oil Stadium hope, but a whole state. Luck hit Donald Brown on a screen pass and the running back ran 63-yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage for the new look offense and the rookie quarterback.

Go ahead and coin the first play from scrimmage as "the Pass."

Indiana has rich history with the term "the Shot."

Milan High School's Bobby Plump hit a shot to lead little Milan to the state championship in 1954. The play was coined "the Shot." Then in 1987, Keith Smart hit a game winning jumper from the left corner against Syracuse in the final seconds to win the NCAA Championship. The play was called "the Shot."

Finally, Christian Watford hit a last second shot against the then No. 1 and eventual national champion Kentucky on December 10 to give Indiana the upset victory. The play was deemed, you guessed it, "the Shot."

What Andrew Luck and Donald Brown did yesterday is nothing short of what these three "the Shot" moments did for their respective teams.

Plump's shot was heard around the world, as the small school took down goliath in Indiana's high school state tournament for the first time. It gave all the small schools hope and they even made a big Hollywood movie out of it.

Smart, gave Indiana their fifth national title and put them in the conversation for best basketball program of all time.

Watford's shot put Indiana back on the map, after struggling since their last Final Four appearance in 2002 and NCAA sanctions that put Indiana through their worst years in the history of the program with Kelvin Sampson's recruiting violations.

Luck's pass to Brown gave the Colts' fans hope. It could have done what these three big plays did by building confidence for the rest of the season and setting the tone for the rest of his career.

"The Pass."

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