Indianapolis’ offense did pretty well too, outgaining the 49ers 336 to 254 in total yardage (179 yards on the ground). The Colts also held a big advantage in time of possession (36:25 to 23:35), especially in the second half.
“The most impressive thing was in the fourth quarter. If you look at time of possession, I think we had the ball over 13 minutes. Outscored them 14-0 in the fourth quarter. Defensively forced a punt, got a strip sack, recovered a fumble,” Pagano said. “[Inside linebacker] Kavell Conner recovered a fumble and gave it to our offense on the eight-yard line. And then got the pick in the two-minute drill on the tipped pass by [defensive end] Cory Redding that landed in [cornerback] Cassius’ [Vaughn] hands.”
So just how good did the Colts play?
“It was as complete game as we’ve played since we’ve been here. In all three phases. On both sides of the football and special teams. If you look at the way our [kick] coverage units played, the starting field positions for [San Francisco],” the coach said. “They brought a couple kickoffs out and they were inside the 15 [yard line] a couple of times.[Punter/kickoff specialist] Pat McAfee was outstanding on his kickoffs. He was outstanding punting the football. Three [punts downed] inside the 20. He’s a tremendous weapon. We know that.”
Template for Colts success? — When Pagano was hired, he said that his primary goals as Indianapolis head coach was to be able to run the football and control the time of possession on offense. He also wanted to be able to stop opposing teams from running the ball.
The win over San Francisco is about as close as the Colts have gotten to that game plan.
“Every game is going to be different and we are built and wired the right way to be able to pound it when we need to pound it. And if we need to throw it, obviously we have the best in the business under center that can throw it and spread the ball around. We have playmakers all over the place,” the coach said.