Thursday’s Indianapolis Colts-Denver Broncos game was the first game of the season without a touchdown, and easily the ugliest game of the season thus far – and somehow, a sloppy game had quite the ending as the Colts won in overtime, 12-9.
The Colts improved to 2-2-1, while the Broncos fell to 2-3. They combined for 12 punts, eight three-and-outs, seven field goals, and zero touchdowns.
The game started off on a sour note – on just the third play of the game, Colts’ Nyheim Hines suffered a concussion and wobbled to the turf in scary fashion – similar to Tua Tagovailoa in Week 3 when he suffered what he and the team said was a hyperextended back (the NFLPA has since terminated a neurologist for making “several mistakes” in evaluating that injury). Hines’ injury came just a week after Tagovailoa then suffered a concussion that caused his hands to curl up on the field and landed him in the hospital.
The Broncos had the ball at their own 15 leading 9-6 with 6:47 left in the fourth and marched all the way into the red zone, but Russell Wilson threw his second interception in the end zone, giving Matt Ryan and the Colts one last glimmer of hope.
And out of nowhere, Ryan, who struggled all night, looked like his old MVP self, driving the Colts all the way to inside the 10-yard line. With eight seconds on the clock, Chase McLaughlin drilled a game-tying 31-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
The Colts got the ball first, and quickly got past midfield and were in field goal range. McLaughlin came back on and knocked a 47-yard field goal to put the Colts ahead 12-9 with 5:50 left.
Wilson’s first play in overtime was a 23-yard pass to Melvin Gordon, and his next was a 37-yarder to Jerry Jeudy to put Denver at the Colts’ 14 awfully quickly. On 4th-and-1, Nathaniel Hackett kept the offense on the field, and Wilson’s pass for Courtland Sutton in the end zone was broken up, giving the Colts their second win of the year.
For a long while though, it looked like the Colts had zero chance – although clearly the Broncos did themselves no favors.
The Colts’ first four drives all ended in punts, as they ran just 13 plays for a total of 22 yards. Their fifth was an interception after getting into Broncos’ territory for the first time.
Two of the Broncos’ first four drives also ended in punts – the other two resulted in field goals, giving them an early 6-0 lead. Indy was able to squeak out a field goal just before the half.
The second half was just an extension of the first half – the Broncos punted after four plays, but the Colts did kick another field goal to tie it up at six. But a big blow finally came about midway through the third quarter, when Wilson found Sutton for a gain of 51 yards. Two plays later, the Broncos had a goal-to-go situation, the first one all night for either team. However, they had to settle for a field goal…and it was blocked, keeping the game knotted at six.
But Ryan threw his second interception of the night, giving the Broncos the ball at Indy’s 27. This time, they knocked down the field goal, the fifth of the night, making it a 9-6 game with 3:19 to go in the third.
Nobody was able to do much of anything as the fourth quarter started. After the Broncos took the lead, the next six drives went like this: Colts three-and-out, Broncos interception, Colts punt, Broncos three-and-out, Colts three-and-out, Broncos interception.
The Colts will welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday, while the Broncos will head to LA to face the Chargers next Monday.
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