Andrew Luck tied a career high with four touchdown passes in the first Monday Night Football victory of his career.
Perhaps more importantly, the Indianapolis Colts’ defense bounced back from being passed into submission at Pittsburgh with a dominating performance for much of a 40-24 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
A week after allowing 51 points, the Colts’ blitz hounded Eli Manning early and often. Rookie outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome sacked the Giants passer twice and rookie defensive tackle Zach Kerr got him once. Newsome’s second sack caused a fumble that the Colts recovered to set up Luck for his fourth TD pass.
Luck threw scoring passes to tight end Coby Fleener, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dwayne Allen as the Colts (6-3) built a 27-point lead through three quarters. Allen leads the team with seven scoring receptions this season.
The third-year Colts quarterback was hounded by constant blitzes, but despite some hurried throws and a few others off target, he completed 25-of-46 passes for 354 yards. It’s the seventh consecutive game the NFL’s No. 1 passer has thrown for 300-plus yards.
Luck had lost his previous two Monday Night Football appearances, earlier this season in Week 2 at home to Philadelphia and last season at San Diego.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked field goals of 48, 31, 48, 43 yards. He’s made all 20 field goals attempted this season, 26 in a row dating back to last season.
The Giants (3-5), coming off a bye week, have lost three in a row. They continually failed to convert third downs and pass catchers dropped several passes in the first half. Manning completed 27-of-52 passes for 359 yards with two TDs.
The Colts have a bye week to get ready for the New England Patriots (7-2), who have the AFC’s top record and will visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 16. The Patriots ousted the Colts from the playoffs an AFC Divisional game at Gillette Stadium in January.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.