Most folks at first glance, knowing that the San Francisco 49ers were going to visit Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts, probably wrote this game off as another notch in the Colts’ belt. Yet, it didn’t exactly happen like that.
True enough, quarterback Peyton Manning got his numbers, but it took a 22-yard touchdown pass from running back Joseph Addai early in the fourth quarter which allowed Indianapolis to remain undefeated as they edged the San Francisco 49ers 18-14.
And interestingly enough, I am not convinced that the Colts deserved to win this game as their running game was non-existent and even Manning, despite his numbers was not his usual accurate self, at times. It certainly was promising for San Francisco early in the first quarter as Frank Gore broke loose for a 64-yard TD run, giving the 49ers a 7-0 lead.
A 38-yard field goal by Matt Stover would put the Colts to within 7-3 as both teams entered the second quarter. Stover would add another field goal 10 seconds into the period to narrow it further to 7-6; But with 33 ticks left on the clock, 49ers QB Alex Smith connected with tight end Vernon Davis on a 8-yard TD pass, extending San Francisco’s lead to 14-6, yet Manning led a lightning-quick drive which allowed Stover to convert a 31-yard Fg with 1 second left in the half, allowing the Colts to go to their locker room down by only 14-9.
The third quarter was uneventful, with the only scoring being yet another Stover FG which got the Colts to within 2 points at 14-12. The winning score for Indianapolis was of an unconventional nature, courtesy of a 22-yard TD pass from Addai to Reggie Wayne with 14:53 remaining in the game making it 18-14 Colts. And as usual, the Colts defense, namely their secondary, shut down Smith and the 49ers passing attack the rest of the way, sealing the victory.
Manning, despite going 31-of-48 for 347 yards with no TD’s or interceptions, was not exactly efficient; meanwhile, Smith went 19-of-32 for 198 yards with a TD and an INT. Addai accounted for the vast majority of the Colts’ rushing yardage as he gained 62 yards on 20 carries while Gore rushed for 91 yards and a score.
Wayne had a career day for the Colts as he caught 12 passes for 147 yards and a TD while Dallas Clark caught 8 passes for 99 yards; Austin Collie chipped in with 6 catches for 66 yards while Pierre Garcon caught 4 for 53 yards. Rookie Michael Crabtree caught 6 balls for 81 yards to lead all 49ers receivers while Isaac Bruce caught 4 passes for 51 yards.
Indianapolis (7-0) hopes to keep their undefeated streak alive when they host the Houston Texans while San Francisco (3-4) returns home to host the Tennessee Titans – also next Sunday.