- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: The Colts did something no other team in the NFL has been able to do this season -- beat the Broncos. On a night that was supposed to belong to Peyton Manning and his return to Indianapolis, it was Colts quarterback Andrew Luck who made the plays, and the defense did enough to keep the highest-scoring team in the league below its season average. Luck was 21-of-38 for 228 yards and three touchdowns. He got a lot of help from his defense. The Colts held the Broncos to 11 points below their season average. They did it by sacking Manning four times and forcing three turnovers. Manning finished 29-of-49 for 386 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Stock watch: The Colts suffered a blow at receiver when veteran Reggie Wayne's knee buckled while trying to come back for a ball thrown short by Luck with 7:15 left in the game. Wayne remained on the ground for several minutes as Luck, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Antoine Bethea, Coby Fleener, Trent Richardson and Robert Mathis stood around their teammate. With chants of “Reggie, Reggie, Reggie” ringing from most of the sold-out crowd, Wayne finally got up and made his way to the sideline and didn’t return. He finished with five catches for 50 yards. Wayne has played in 189 straight games, the most among active players.
Mathis finally gets to Manning: Mathis got in trouble for almost sacking Manning when the two were teammates during his rookie season in 2003. The two aren’t teammates anymore, and Mathis took advantage of the opportunity. Mathis sacked Manning not once, but twice. Mathis’ first sack caused Manning to fumble, and linebacker Erik Walden tried to recover the ball in the end zone, but he couldn’t gather it before going out of bounds in the second quarter. Mathis got his second sack on Manning in the third quarter. Mathis leads the league with 11.5 sacks.
What’s next: The Colts have their bye next weekend. They play at the Houston Texans in their third straight nationally televised game on Nov. 3.