By Ed Nason
For the Pharos-Tribune
After the Colts’ game on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, I took the elevator down to the players’ locker rooms with Pete Ward. Pete was grinning ear to ear, and rightfully so.
You see, Pete is the Colts’ chief operating officer and has control of the roof being open or closed at the stadium. Pete made the decision to open the roof Sunday, and that was a possible turning factor in the Colts beating the Browns, 17-13.
Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers was clearly beat deep by Browns rookie receiver Josh Gordon in the fourth quarter. Gordon was in the end zone for an easy TD as the football was perfectly thrown by rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. However, Gordon lost the ball in the sunlight and dropped the pass.
“In a big-time moment like that, you could definitely blame the loss on me,” Gordon stated after the game.
The Colts put a big emphasis on running the ball Sunday and Vick Ballard led the way with 84 yards on 20 attempts.
Said interim coach Bruce Arians: “I saw the back I thought I’d see: decisive, hard running, pass protected well. He’s becoming a very solid player for us, as all the rookies are now.”
Second-year back Delone Carter had 41 yards for the day on 11 attempts. This was one of the highlights for me in the game. The Colts have to have a running game and take some pressure off of Andrew Luck if they want to go far.
The Colts’ defense also looked good as it held the Browns to just 55 rushing yards. That’s the lowest yards the Colts have allowed on the ground for an opponent since the 2010 season. That is a great accomplishment with Robert Mathis, Fili Moala and Cory Redding missing from the Colts’ front five. They were out with injuries.
The Colts’ touchdowns came from quarterback Andrew Luck. He ran for a 3-yard touchdown on the opening drive and also ran in a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He is only the third quarterback in franchise history to have two rushing TDs in a game, joining Bert Jones (Oct. 20, 1974) and Ricky Turner (Dec. 4, 1988).
“I think he wanted to let RGIII know that he can run also,” Reggie Wayne joked after the game, referring to Washington rookie QB Robert Griffin III. “One thing we do have that I’m not used to is a quarterback that’s able to get out of the pocket like he has.”
I don’t think that many people picked the Colts to be where they are after just seven weeks in the season. They are now 3-3 and in second in the AFC South. This week they play a division opponent, the Tennessee Titans, on the road. The Titans are 3-4 and are coming off a 35-34 win against the Buffalo Bills last week.
This will be a great test for the Colts’ defensive line as running back Chris Johnson ran for 195 yards and averaged 10.8 a carry against the Bills last week. The game is on CBS and kickoff is at 1 p.m. And don’t forget to stop in my office for a chance to win two tickets to the next home game on Nov. 4 against the Miami Dolphins.
Ed Nason is a Colts columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He may be reached at