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(Sunday, October 7th)
Final Score: Indianapolis 30, Green Bay 27
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - During a time of crisis for Chuck Pagano, the emotionally-jarred Indianapolis Colts gave him a reason to smile.
Reggie Wayne caught 13 passes for a career-high 212 yards, which included the go-ahead touchdown with 35 seconds remaining, and the Colts downed the Green Bay Packers, 30-27, on Sunday.
Mason Crosby had a chance to force overtime, but his 51-yard field goal with eight seconds to go hooked wide left.
The Colts disclosed head coach Pagano's diagnosis of leukemia on Monday and the first-year head man is expected to be hospitalized six to eight weeks while undergoing treatment.
Pagano, who turned 52 on Tuesday, will be treated with chemotherapy and medication, according to his physician Dr. Larry Cripe.
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, will coach Indianapolis for the foreseeable future, although Pagano most likely won't resume his coaching duties this season.
"It seemed like a long week," Wayne said. "As a team, we were able to just keep fighting, fighting, fighting."
Andrew Luck threw for 362 yards on 31-of-55 efficiency with two touchdowns and an interception for Indianapolis (2-2), which trailed 21-3 at the half, but outscored the heavily-favored Packers 27-6 over the final 30 minutes.
Aaron Rodgers completed 21-of-33 passes for 243 yards with three scores and an interception for the Packers (2-3), who defeated the New Orleans Saints last Sunday.
"We talked about the fundamentals and I'll stop right there because that's as far as it went for me in the second half," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. "The number of penalties we had. We're just not doing a very good job of handling the football ... Give credit to the Colts. They battled back."
Green Bay lost three key players in the setback.
Running back Cedric Benson had gained 20 yards on seven carries before leaving the game in the second quarter with an apparent left foot injury. Tight end Jermichael Finley departed in the third stanza with a shoulder injury and nose tackle B.J. Raji hurt his left ankle.
After Adam Vinatieri's 28-yard field goal gave the Colts their first lead of the game with 8:04 left, Green Bay regained the advantage two possessions later.
Following an Indianapolis three-and-out, the Packers got prime field position at the Colts' 49-yard line and needed just two plays to get into the end zone.
Filling in for the injured Benson, Alex Green broke off a 41-yard run and Rodgers flipped an 8-yard TD pass to James Jones in the back of the end zone on the next play for a 27-22 Green Bay margin with 4:30 on the clock.
The two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
Luck, though, had the answer and led his team 80 yards in 13 plays for the go- ahead score.
The rookie quarterback hadn't picked up a third-down conversion in six pass attempts heading into the march, but moved the chains on two critical third- down passing occasions during the trek.
Facing a 3rd-and-9, Luck found Wayne over the middle for a 15-yard reception and then hit him again for another 15-yard completion on a 3rd-and-12 to put the ball at the Green Bay 32-yard line.
On a 3rd-and-7 at the Packers' 11-yard line, Luck lowered his head and bulled his way for a 7-yard scramble up the middle. On the very next play, he flipped a quick slant to Wayne, who caught the ball at the 1-yard line, spun to his right and powered past Tramon Williams before stretching the ball across the plane of the goal line for the score. Donald Brown ran it in for the two- point conversion and a 30-27 edge.
"I saw that end zone right there, got a grip on the ball and stuck it in there," Wayne said of the touchdown.
Wayne caught five balls for 64 yards on the drive.
Rodgers had completions of seven and 26 yards, respectively, to Randall Cobb before finding Donald Driver for a 14-yard gain to set up Crosby for the game- tying kick.
But his boot was badly hooked.
Earlier, the Packers tallied the first 14 points of the contest. John Kuhn ran for a 2-yard score late in the first quarter, and Jones hauled in a 6-yard TD pass early in the second.
After Vinatieri split the uprights from 24 yards out midway through the frame, Rodgers hooked up with Cobb for a 31-yard score and an 18-point halftime advantage.
Luck found Dwayne Allen for an 8-yard score, then set up Vinatieri for a 50- yard field goal and ran in from three yards out with 18 seconds to go in the third to pull Indianapolis within 21-19.
Wayne has recorded a reception in 100 straight contests ... The Colts outgained the Packers, 464-356 ... Indianapolis was penalized nine times for 100 yards, while Green Bay committed nine penalties for 89 yards.
10/07 19:54:46 ET
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