NFL: The greatest wildcard weekend ever? Only if Luck was on your side as the Indianapolis Colts pull of a record comeback win

The Colts came back from 28 points behind to become the first team to win in the post-season from such a deficit since 1993

With the first weekend of the post-season now consigned to memory it’s hard to think of a more action-packed weekend.

Green Bay, to their credit, were superb in defeat and considering their losses, defensively, making a game of it with the 49ers deserves a heap of credit. The Colts were so bad and then so good they completely outshone the Chiefs, the Chargers won in Cincinnati and New Orleans snuck out of Lincoln Field with a narrow win.

However, the Bengals probably don’t deserve a share of the plaudits. Andy Dalton struggled again, in somewhat of a repetitive theme, and with recent reports emerging that their owner, Mike Brown, wanted Colin Kaepernick and not Dalton in the 2011 draft, the Bengals signal caller’s week can’t get too much worse.

However, the main talking point must be Andrew Luck and his improbable comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs as he, and his teammates, pulled out the unlikeliest of victories that only serve to enhance Luck’s burgeoning reputation as something of a comeback master.

Down 28 points at the half, to a Chiefs team missing Jamaal Charles (whose unfortunate concussion on the games very first possession left Andy Smith’s men without their most dynamic player) the Colts tied a playoff record with their, at times, unfathomable comeback.

To put the scale of their comeback victory into perspective, the last time anyone had rallied from such a deficit was in 1993, when the Buffalo Bills trailed by 32 before beating Houston 41-38 in overtime.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though; Luck struggled initially, forcing the ball at times, before finding his rhythm in the second half on his way to over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Summed up as “One for the ages” by Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, the teams combined 1049 total yards to set an NFL post-season record.

Pagano, clearly relieved at the whistle, also made light of his side’s yo-yo performance as they secured their pass to New England.  Somewhat significantly, the win also marked the franchise’s first post-season victory without Peyton Manning, a streak stretching back to January 7, 1996.

“I think somebody said that it was the second-largest comeback or whatever in the history of whatever.

“I guess 21 wasn’t large enough at the half, so we thought we’d give them another seven, you know, just to make it interesting.”

Elsewhere, and as we now know, Colin Kaepernick has morphed into a/the face of the 49ers franchise and, when he plays as electrically as he has been of late, there aren’t many teams that can contain him, as the Packers proved on Sunday.

The reigning NFC Champions escaped Lambeau Field’s wintery conditions (it was the fourth coldest post season game at the stadium) with a superb, and typical, playoff performance from their third-year man. Finishing with 16 completions from 30 attempts for 227 yards, as well as leading the Niners’ ground game with 98 yards on only seven carries, Kaepernick’s best play of the night came with the game on the line.

Escaping the blitz on third-and-eight, the leggy quarterback’s 11-yard dart to the 27 yard line left Phil Dawson with a 33 yard chip-shot to wrap up the win that propels them into a re-match with the Carolina Panthers in a weeks’ time.


Patriot woes

It’s remarkable that New England have made it this far, it’s even more remarkable when you consider the injuries they’ve had.

Reading like a ‘who’s who’ of the Patriots best players, Bill Belichick has had to get by – for large chunks of the season -  without Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Rob Gronkowski, Sebastian Vollmer and Aquib Talib, although Talib has returned to lineup of late while also struggling with host of new players on offense.

Now, you can add Brandon Spikes to that list.

The inside linebacker, who has been playing on a dodgy knee for a few weeks now, was placed on Injured Reserve yesterday.

Spikes, a second-round pick out of Florida in the 2010 draft, is a big loss for a team already woeful against the run and, with the decision coming before the clash against Chuck Pagano’s Colts, many are wondering if the big-hitting Spikes, who hits free agency at the seasons’ end, has played his last game in Patriot colours.

Ranked as the games’ 6 highest inside linebacker, pass coverage has never been Spikes’ strongpoint and we should look for the Colts to test New England’s resolve early, and often, on Saturday – especially as Dane Fletcher and rookie linebacker, Jamie Collins figure to get the nod in his absence.


Foles the future in Philadelphia

In 1948 and 1949, the Eagles’ Tommy Thompson led the NFL in passer rating and, until now, no subsequent Eagle had achieved anything similar.

Then along came Nick Foles who, after replacing the oft-injure Michael Vick, not only finished this year as the League’s highest rated passer (with a rating of 125.2), but also set a new standard in touchdown-to –interception ratio with 27:2.

Unsurprisingly, Chip Kelly confirmed on Monday, following his sides’ narrow loss to the Saints, that next season, and the foreseeable future, is likely to be built around the Texas native.

“He’s the starting quarterback for the next 1000 years he’s here” Kelly said, according to

His tounge-in-cheek answer should, naturally, be taken with a pinch of salt, especially as quarterback performances can vary like the weather. (Think Josh Freeman in his time in Tampa)

“I’m a big supporter of him, I think he does fantastic job, but we also know that injuries occur in this game and that’s why I always qualify what I say.

“I love the kid and think he’s playing outstandingly” Kelly said, via CSN Philly.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Virtualisation / Cloud Infrastructure Engineer (VMware, Cloud)

£38000 - £44000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Virt...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Android App Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum