Andrew Luck threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns and the Indianapolis Colts responded to criticism by owner Jim Irsay 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).
New York wide receiver Victor Cruz (bruised heel) and starting center David Baas (sprained knee) left the game and the Giants did little on offense.
Not seeing much pressure, Luck 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.
Backup kicker Brandon McManus added a 50-yard field goal 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 on the previous play for coming down the sideline and yelling at the side judge for a supposed non-call. Brown added a 47-yard field goal with 8:43 to play to close out the scoring.
Luck, who led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in his rookie season, completed 9 of 13 passes, but the one most will remember will be the gift touchdown 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 lost his balance, had the ball slip out of his hands and then hit his leg and pop up into the air. Wayne came down with it in the end zone for a 7-3 lead.
An interception by new cornerback Greg Toler on Eli Manning's third-down pass on the ensuring series gave the ball to the Colts at the New York 41. Vinatieri made his 52-yarder with about 10 yards to spare after three plays moved the ball to the 34.
Luck finished off his night, leading the Colts on a seven-play, 60-yard drive that featured two third-down conversions on passes to Hilton and a 15-yard facemask penalty against Ross. Both passes to Hilton covered 18 yards, with the second one coming on a third-and-11 from the New York 18. Hilton beat Jayron Hosley to the right corner of the end zone and Luck floated a perfect pass over the outstretched hands of the cornerback. The play was reviewed and the touchdown ruling confirmed.
Without Cruz, the Giants showed flashes on offense. Manning finished 8 of 17 for 91 yards and halfbacks David Wilson and Andre Brown did OK, gaining 34 and 36, respectively on eight carries apiece.
Brown provided the offense with his kicking with most coming after New York failed to take advantage of scoring position.
Cruz bruised his heel on the opening series, falling heavily to the turf at MetLife Stadium going up to catch a deep pass. Pass interference was called on the play.
Bass sprained a knee in the opening quarter and the Giants announced late the defensive end and captain Justin Tuck had a hamstring injury.
Colts tight end Coby Fleener mildly sprained his right knee.