EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When owner Jim Irsay complains, the Indianapolis Colts listen, and respond.
Andrew Luck threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns and the Colts responded to criticism by their owner with a 20-12 exhibition victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night.
Irsay used Twitter to apologize to fans for the Colts' abysmal showing in a 44-20 loss to Buffalo last week, and the Colts (1-1) improved markedly, with some help from the bubbling and suddenly injury-concerned Giants (1-1).
"That's more like it..there r sum that shrug off losing,even at checkers;they'll never wear the HORSESHOE or touch the Diamond's of Champions," Irsay tweeted after the game in which the Giants saw wide receiver Victor Cruz (bruised heel) and starting center David Baas (sprained knee) leave early and not come back.
Luck was the Colts' catalyst. Not seeing much pressure, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft threw touchdown passes of 28 yards to Reggie Wayne and 18 to T.Y. Hilton in leading the Colts to 17 points. Adam Vinatieri added a 52-yard field goal as Indianapolis scored on three consecutive series.
"It wasn't perfect," said Luck, who completed 9 of 13 passes and finished with a 133.7 quarterback rating. "There is still a whole bunch of room for improvement but it was good to get in a rhythm, it was good to put points on the board. What a great job by our defense, holding them to three points on some short fields."
Luck admitted the team was disappointed with its effort against the Bills.
"We knew we wanted to come out here and show what the horseshoe is about," he said. "It wasn't perfect but we did some good things against a very good outfit."
Backup kicker Brandon McManus added a 50-yard field goal for the Colts in the second half.
New York's Josh Brown kicked field goals of 25, 27 and 45 yards in the first half. The last one came after Giants coach Tom Coughlin was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for leaving the coaching box, he said after the game. Brown added a 47-yard field goal with 8:43 to play to close out the scoring.
Coughlin accepted responsibility, saying he had been warned about leaving the box.
"I was wrong," said Coughlin, who did know the extent of the injuries to Cruz and Baas, although Cruz did not seem as serious. "It wasn't a smart thing but the frustration in terms of how we played was there and I am disappointed in tonight's game."
Luck, who led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in his rookie season, got a gift touchdown pass, courtesy of veteran Giants cornerback Aaron Ross, who was starting for the injured Corey Webster.
On a second-and-3 play from the 28, Luck underthrew Wayne on a pattern down the right sideline. A backpedalling Ross was in perfect position to intercept the ball, but he had the ball slip out of his hands and popped into the air. Wayne came down with it in the end zone for a 7-3 lead.