Colts react to gut wrenching loss against Lions

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WISH) — In a shootout we expected with the Colts down defensive numbers, the team came up with another slow start, their comeback started too late, and it was Detroit who was able to make the dramatic last play to pull it out, 39-34.

“Tired of talking about slow starts and tired of being a part of slow starts,” said Andrew Luck, who was remarkable in his first game back from last November. “Disappointed in myself for being a part of a slow start. That surely affected it. That’s a quality Detroit Lions team that deserved to win today.”

Matthew Stafford took advantage of one last chance Sunday and Matt Prater redeemed himself with a 43-yard field goal with 8 seconds to give the Detroit Lions the victory at Indianapolis.

Prater missed an extra point wide right with 4:04 left in the season opener, a miscue that nearly cost the Lions.  

Detroit won for only the second time in Indy, and it came just 37 seconds after it looked like Andrew Luck had rallied the Colts for an improbable last-minute victory. It just wasn’t enough to avoid Indy’s third straight opening day loss in a wild finish. The Colts were penalized for a safety on the final play of the game, for throwing an illegal forward pass in its end zone, making the final score 39-34.

“You have dug yourself a huge hole,” added coach Chuck Pagano. “Which has happened too many times. I know this team knows how to finish, but we have to figure out a way how to start.”

It’s become a real problem that’s been happening over and over again.

“Coach says he wants to eliminate the sins, self-inflicted wounds,” said linebacker Erik Walden, who came up with a sack. “So we just gotta take that out man, play better, be fast and just be better overall.”

“I’m pissed off right now because we worked too hard,” said linebacker D’Qwell Jackson.”Coaches do as well putting the plan together , we had plenty of time to prepare for these guys, they didn’t surprise us, but in the end it came down to tackling. We didn’t do a good job of that, and in the end it came down to finishing plays, and we didn’t do a good enough job of that.”

Did the Colts think they had it won after scoring that touchdown with 17 seconds left?

“We were excited and all that,” said tight end Jack Doyle, who caught two scoring passes, “but hey it’s the NFL, you leave time on the clock, and the offense has time to…NFL players get paid, it’s tough, tough way to lose, but we’ll bounce back next week.”

The good news? Any worries about Andrew Luck’s return can be put to rest, but he may have to continue to carry this team until they get healthy.”

He started slowly and finished strong, as he usually does. Luck wound up 31 of 47 for 385 yards with four touchdowns and had no turnovers — a stark contrast to his mistake-prone ways during an injury-riddled 2015 season.

Next up, the Colts head to Denver to take on the Broncos at 4:25 p.m. Sunday.

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