INDIANAPOLIS -- Crazy. Dramatic. Embarrassing.
The list of words to describe the Indianapolis Colts' 2015 season could go on and on. All 32 NFL teams enter the season with Super Bowl aspirations. But the Colts truly did believe they were good enough to make a Super Bowl run after reaching the AFC Championship Game in 2014.
That obviously didn’t happen, as the Colts are at home watching the playoffs. So let's take a look back at the season. We’re down to the top three defining plays of the Colts' season.
No. 10: The fumble
No. 9: Fake field goal
No. 8: Strip sack
No. 7: The overtime interception
No. 6: Early interception
No. 5: Brandon Weeden beats Indy
No. 4: Jim Irsay denies coach-GM rift
No. 3: Andrew Luck's season-ending injury
What happened: Luck spent his first three seasons consistently getting back up after taking hard hits. He bounced up off the ground in the fourth quarter against Denver in Week 9, only to end up paying the price later with a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle. With nobody to throw to on second-and-9, Luck took off scrambling. Instead of going down, he took the first hit from Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan and then defensive end Vance Walker came from behind to sandwich. Luck didn’t show any signs of being hurt. He never left the game. He even threw a touchdown pass to running back Ahmad Bradshaw on the very next play. Luck was 5-of-7 for 64 yards and the touchdown pass to Bradshaw after suffering the injury.
The impact of the play: The Colts announced on Nov. 10 that the injury would sideline Luck two to six weeks. That two-to-six-week time frame turned into him missing the rest of the season. “He knows full well that he can’t do that,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “He can’t put himself or this team in jeopardy by doing that.” The Colts used four other quarterbacks -- Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley -- in their final seven games of the season. The Colts would have likely won the AFC South if Luck didn’t get injured. The injury also capped off Luck’s worst season (15 TD passes, 13 turnovers in seven games) in his four-year NFL career.