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Colts win as Pagano watches from home

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The coach was released from hospital Sunday morning

Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 6:02 pm

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts walked into their locker room spent and somewhat satisfied after a sluggish win over the Cleveland Browns. Then came a jolt of energy.

Colts owner Jim Irsay told the team that coach Chuck Pagano watched the game from home after being released from the hospital Sunday morning.

"I'm more thrilled about that than the win," Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said.

Pagano had been in the IU Simon Cancer Center since Sept. 26 being treated for acute promyelocytic leukemia. He will continue to receive treatment and is not expected to return to the team this season.

"I'm sure he's feeling great right now," Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said. "Hopefully, he didn't get too daggone exhausted coaching from the bedroom."

Arians also called Pagano's release "probably as big as the win today."

The Colts offense looked strong early, with 80- and 76-yard drives leading to a 14-6 lead at halftime. Luck ran for both scores. They added a 38-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal in the third quarter to boost it to the final 17-13 margin.

Luck completed 16 of 29 passes for 186 yards and the Colts got 84 yards rushing from rookie running back Vick Ballard.

Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden completed 25 of 41 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns (to Greg Little and Josh Gordon). The Colts held the Browns to 55 yards rushing as rookie back Trent Richardson played only a half due to his lingering rib problems.

Colts defensive back Jerraud Powers stopped a late fourth-down Weeden pass to keep the Browns from a possible late win.

The Colts improved to 3-3 heading into a road game at Tennessee. The Browns fell to 1-6.

"A lot of mistakes today that can be corrected, myself included, and we'll go from there," Arians said. "But (it's) a pretty happy locker room to get to 3-3. That was our goal no matter what."