Tragedy or Disney? One way or the other it figured to play out that way.
After all in this football theatre there has never been a backup whose more of a divisive character that Curtis Painter.
He's got potential some say. Others go the complete opposite. Its warrented since the Vincennes, Ind. native's play has been to those extremes as well since taking the spot behind number 18 two-and-a-half years ago.
So in his first NFL start, it figured that either complete success or failure would be the storyline for Painter. Instead, the quarterbacks "Painted" (Some pun intended) a picture of both in his first half of starting-then the drama developed around him.
While the story had at times the feel of an underdog epic, in the end it was the Bucs who turned a potential feel-good moment upside down with a 24-17 win at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night.
LeGarrett Blount's 35-yard touchdown run with 3:26 sends the Colts to their first 0-4 start since the 1998 season in a game where the lead for a majority of the contest.
Things seems moderately good on Painter's first drive, as he led the Colts to a 53-yard drive on 11 plays to set up a Adam Vinatieri 45-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
But the next drive caused Colts fans to cringe when Painter fumbled a snap that was recovered by the Buccaneers' Michael Bennett. Luckily for the offense, the Colts defense yielded little in that stretch to maintain an early three-point lead.
Midway through the first quarter, Painter completed an attention-grabbing 98-yard drive with the highlight an 87-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. He grabbed the pass and then took off down the Colts' sideline, tiptoeing his way to the score.
Josh Freeman responded to that with his own 81-yard drive that was capped off by his own quarterback sneak to cut it to 10-7.
Bad news came for the Colts on the final drive of the half when Eric Foster went down with a serious dislocation of his right ankle. Many players from both teams went to a knee as trainers quickly worked to get Foster off the field.
When being carted off, Foster pumped his chest and tried to root on the defense on the final drive. They were inspired by the jesture, as a Robert Mathis sack deep in Colts territory helped to run the remaining time in half off the clock to maintain the lead.
Tampa got it back on the first drive of the second half, going 52 yards to set up a Connor Barth 46-yard field goal to even the game at ten. The duo of Painter and Garcon responded in kind, as the receiver took a pass and cut across the field, utilizing a series of solid receiver blocks to score the 59-yard touchdown for the 17-10 lead.
Preston Parker did the same for the Bucs before the end of the third quarter, catching a pass from Freeman and squeezing the ball inside the pylon for the 13-yard tying score.
The Colts had their chance to pull ahead in the fourth after a 52-yard drive by the Colts, but Vinatieri sent a 43-yard field goal wide to the left to keep the drive from yielding points.
Tampa Bay wouldn't miss their chance later in the quarter, grabbing the lead on a shifty run and endzone pylon dive by Blount that covered 35-yards.
With one last chance