The Indianapolis Colts, who have become this week the most sympathetic team in football, erased a 21-3 halftime deficit and beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, 30-27.
The victory comes as Colts head coach Chuck Pagano receives treatment for leukemia, and it matches Indy’s entire win total for 2011.
The victory came due largely to the efforts of the draft pick the Colts “earned” with that 2-14 season, quarterback Andrew Luck. And he hooked up repeatedly with the team’s first-round pick from 2001, receiver Reggie Wayne.
Wayne, whose relationship with Pagano goes back 16 years to their time together at the University of Miami, caught 13 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. The yardage is the most for any Colt since Raymond Berry in 1957.
The victory wasn’t secured until Packers kicker Mason Crosby badly missed a 51-yard field goal attempt that would have forced overtime. He had missed a 52-yarder earlier in the half.
We assume it’s only a matter of time before Wayne, Luck, interim head coach Bruce Arians, and others personally deliver the game ball to Pagano.