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Indianapolis Colts Win Despite Questionable Calls and Protection Issues

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 09: T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIDecember 9, 2012

The Indianapolis Colts won a close game on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.  After being down 20-7 at the end of the first half, the Colts were able to rally and come back and win by a score of 27-23.

The Colts were forced to overcome some frustrating calls.  Interim coach Bruce Arians challenged a play in the first quarter that appeared to be a drop by a Titans receiver.  After the review, the play surprisingly stood.  

What could have been the biggest call was an interception thrown by Andrew Luck in the second quarter.  Luck tried to scramble out of the pocket, and as he was being tackled he attempted to throw the ball away.  The ball was intercepted by Will Witherspoon, who ran 40 yards for the score.  The replay showed that Luck might have been down before he threw the ball.  However, the call on the field was upheld, giving the Titans a 17-7 lead.

Along with these surprising calls on reviews, there were also some very questionable calls on pass interference.  There were several questionable no-calls during a drive in the third quarter.  Fortunately for the Colts, they were able to get into the end zone.  

Antoine Bethea was called on a very questionable pass interference that kept a drive alive for the Titans on third down.  It appeared that Bethea did not touch the receiver, yet was called anyway.

The Colts also had to adjust to poor pass protection.  Luck was sacked four times on the day, and hurried on what seemed to be nearly every pass play.  His elusiveness could only protect him so much, as the defense was able to constantly get through to him.

Luck was able to overcome the pressure, leading his team into yet another comeback victory.  He led the Colts with his sixth game-winning drive this year, which is the most by any rookie quarterback.  While he may lead the league in interceptions, his ability to have a short memory has helped his team to a 9-4 record.

The Colts have now almost guaranteed themselves a playoff spot with the losses by the Steelers and Bengals.  With three remaining games, including a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Colts should feel confident that they are returning to the postseason after a 2-14 record last year.

With yet another impressive comeback, the Colts are proving that they are one of the most mentally tough teams in the NFL.  Regardless of the score, they find ways to come back and win.  The rest of the AFC will need to look out for this team in the playoffs.

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