INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - This Colts win just felt like it was meant to be. After a terrible first half, the horseshoes dug deep for their cancer-stricken coach, scoring 27 second half points behind a career day from Reggie Wayne for an improbable victory.
"Glad we won, glad we won, happy for Chuck, happy for this organization," said Andrew Luck, who produced a solid game with another late two minute rally. "I think my heart would have broke if Crosby made that kick, but just happy we won."
The defense came up big after digging a 21-3 halftime hole.
"Our attitude changed the second half," said defensive end Cory Redding. "We came in here, and Bruce Arians said what he had to say. The guys looked each other in the eyes and said the last few times we were at home, we stunk in the third quarter - change that mind set. We addressed it and we executed."
Reggie Wayne has known coach Chuck Pagano since his days at the University of Miami, and 87 gave a career performance for his leader.
"I just said to myself, I'm going to lay it all on the line. Just carry me off the old Winslow way, and give it everything I had, and as a team we just kept fighting and fighting a collective effort, we were all able to find a way and just get it done," said Wayne, who caught thirteen passes for a career high 212 yards.
Dwight Freeney has been part of a lot of locker room celebrations, and says this one was different.
"Very emotional. We just went out knowing how tough this team is, the circumstances were very tough, we just came out fighting and it feels good we came out with a win."
"Another one of those close games that could have gone either way, and we found a way to win it at the end. I think everybody did a tremendous job just hanging in there and believing even though we went down early, but this game was for Chuck. We dedicated the game to him, and we wanted to go out and get the win for him," added Jerraud Powers, who came up with a big interception in the second half.
The interim head coach could not be more proud.
"A band of brothers just came together," said Bruice Arians. "I think the team overcame something that no one gave them a shot to do and now we have to move forward. This can't be one step, this has to be a big step forward."
Tears of joy on the field and in the locker room that hasn't seen a performance like this in a very long time.