INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The sun was actually out on 56th Street as the struggling 3-5 Colts returned to the practice field. It may be all doom and gloom from a fan perspective, but the guys in the locker room can’t afford to let the negativity creep in.
“The 3-5 record doesn’t look good,” said punter, Pat McAfee. “But all that means is if you have five losses you still have an opportunity to win eleven games, and when you’re in the locker room that’s how you have to think because they’re not cancelling the games.”
As for Sunday’s game with Green Bay, who can forget the last time the Colts and Packers met on the field. October 7, 2012, Lucas Oil Stadium, Chuck Pagano was just diagnosed with leukemia, and the Colts were playing with heavy hearts. Top assistant Bruce Arians stepped in, and needed a rookie quarterback to lead the team against mighty Green Bay.
“Weird, it was bizarre in a sense,” recalls Andrew Luck. “I think the gravity of the situation hit guys maybe at different times. You have BA (Bruce Arians) stand up there and tell you Chuck’s sick, and is in the hospital. It certainly provided a lot of perspective on football and on life.”
It wasn’t pretty for a while. The Packers roared out to a 21-3 halftime lead, but CHUCKSTRONG was real, and the Colts rallied behind a career day from Reggie Wayne. A TD catch with 35 seconds left pushed the Colts to an emotional 30 – 27 win.
“The team was feeling pain at half, but I wasn’t, remembered Pagano. “Different team, it was a great win, it was one of the great comebacks by this team, in that locker room for those players that are still here, but that’s what it is. it’s a great memory.”
Pagano is hoping the team will have many more good memories as the season unfolds.