Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts look good. It’s week 12. It’s about time. The 40-year old Matt Hasselbeck carried the Indianapolis Colts to a nice victory over 21-year old Jameis Winston. Now, the Colts are playing with a winning record 6-5. Finally.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play a fast game, and in this case, the Colts were up to the challenge. This might not have been the most exciting game of the Colts season, but that’s fine. It’s a win. It’s still possible to get that 11-5 season that has defined Chuck Pagano’s tenure.


The Colts are starting to play their best football with their backup QB. Hasselbeck is accurate and getting rid of the ball quickly. But, he is also equally good at showing his experience in the decisions he makes while in the pocket. He will take his time, when he knows he has it, and make the right throw. His experience shown through this game, especially in comparison to the young’un Winston, who had trouble converting late in the game. Hasselbeck stayed in control, and late in the game, knew he was in control. He was familiar with the protection he was getting and comfortable with the sort of defense the Bucs presented.


There were few errors, or what Hasselbeck calls his “Favre Moments.” He may not have wanted the weight of the team resting on his shoulders, but he seems comfortable with it. He’s 4-0 as a 40 year old starter. The media has made a lot of his age, but really. That’s impressive. It deserves the attention. The Colts themselves also didn’t shoot themselves in the foot, as has been usual this season. They didn’t rack up a high number of costly penalties. Instead the Buccaneers had that issue with 12. Without these penalties, it could have looked like a very different game.


The game opened with exchanges of field goals. There were no three-and-outs. Both teams were exchanging points for points, but having trouble once it came to the red-zone. After the Bucs late second-quarter touchdown, the Colts came back after halftime. They made adjustments and played a better game. And it led to a great win. If this is what the Colts look like playing in a rhythm, it’s amazing to think of what they could look like if they get in gear with Andrew Luck.


Hasselbeck found WR Donte Moncrief to make those tough, but necessary conversions on third down. And as always T.Y. Hilton had a good game too. The run game had trouble, which is why Hasselbeck had to step up. They were getting anywhere, so Matt turned to passing. Hasselbeck seems to find one go-to receiver a game. Someone he clicks with. In this game it was Moncrief. Maybe this sudden surge came from Reggie Wayne’s appearance in Lucas Oil Stadium. Maybe the Colts WRs wanted to show off. Whatever it was, it’s nice to see the Colts in motion again. All in all, it was a nice Sunday for Colts fans.


Looking forward, the Colts face something of a threat next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Heinz Field on December 6th (that’s next Sunday) at 8:30 p.m. The Colts sometimes have trouble against the Steelers, but, this is a winnable game. You can buy tickets for the Colts vs. Steelers game, if you want to watch the game in person. Just remember to bring your coat! For those of us not there the game will be broadcast on NBC. Can’t wait!

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