Eleven-minute drive spells doom for Colts
When you let a team go on an 11:18 drive in the fourth quarter, chances are no team regardless of level is going to win a football game unless your the team that is conducting the drive. That is what happened with the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles went on a seventeen play seventy-five-yard drive that included three penalties on the drive for defensive holding and offsides.
The Eagles converted on second and two when Wendell Smallwood barreled up the middle to score the winning touchdown with 3:06 left to go in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, the Colts drove the length of the field. On fourth down and three from the Eagles four, Philadelphia dialed up an all-out blitz which Andrew Luck initially escaped, but was tripped up by Derek Barnett at the twenty-yard line with 1:13 left to go.
It was a rainy and very tedious game to start out for the Colts as they went three and out on their initial series to start the game. After a Rigoberto Sanchez thirty-nine yard punt, the Eagles started out on their twenty-one-yard line after a holding penalty during the return.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 23, 2018
On the first series for Philadelphia, it was a successful one as they drove twelve plays when Carson Wentz hooked up with Dallas Goedert for thirteen yards putting the Eagles on the board at seven nothing with 7:14 left in the quarter.
When asked about his first career NFL touchdown, Goedert commented, “That was really cool, you know, the first drive of the game. Nothing better than getting the first one out of the way. It felt really good.”
After the Colts went three and out again for the second time, the Eagles drove all the way to the Colts thirty-seven yard line but came out with no points as Jake Elliott misfired on a fifty-five yard field goal giving the Colts decent field position at their own forty-five yard line. Indianapolis drove fifty-five yards in six plays when Luck connected on a five-yard pass to Ryan Grant in the back corner of the end zone to even the score at seven with 24 seconds left in the quarter.
That was the only time the Colts were able to convert for a touchdown in the game inside the red zone. Colts head coach, Frank Reich, commented about that after the game. He said “we really pride ourselves on practicing to be one of the better red zone teams in the NFL, that’s our goal. So one for five is unacceptable and we have to learn from it and get better.”
After both teams traded punts in the second quarter, the Eagles got back on the scoreboard again this time as Elliott booted a thirty-three-yard field goal to make the score ten to seven with 3:09 left before halftime.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 23, 2018
After another Colts punt, the Eagles didn’t muster much as poor clock management cost them a chance to add to the score as time ran out to end the first half.
With both teams making adjustments the Eagles came out with the ball but were stymied as the Colts forced a three and out. The Colts were able to tie the game up after driving forty-eight yards as the legendary Adam Vinatieri hit a thirty-five-yard field goal to tie the game back up at ten. The field goal was Vinatieri’s first of the day. He would hit two more later in the game tied Hall of Famer Morton Andersen for the most field goals in NFL history at 385.
The Eagles next possession was short lived as Wentz was intercepted by Anthony Walker who returned it eleven yards to the seventeen-yard line giving the Colts their best field position of the day. However, they couldn’t get it into the end zone as Vinatieri hit a thirty-one-yard chip shot to give Indianapolis their first lead of the day at thirteen to ten with 8:23 left in the third quarter.
Philadelphia didn’t trail very long as they drove seventy-five yards when Elliott tied the game back up with a twenty-four-yard field goal to make it squared at thirteen with 2:53 remaining in the third. The ensuing series for the Colts ended up with another three and out. However, it would not be long before they got the ball back.
Philadelphia got the ball back and it was short-lived as on third down Wentz was stripped sacked by Margus Hunt who also recovered the ball at the Eagles thirteen-yard line.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 23, 2018
Having excellent field position proved to be disconcerting as Indianapolis couldn’t capitalize on the Wentz fumble and had to settle for Vinatieri’s third field goal of the day this time from twenty-eight yards out to make the score sixteen to thirteen with 14:20 left in the game.
Unfortunately, the field goal would be the last time the Colts were able to put points on the ball as the Eagles went on the aforementioned drive. After the Eagles took the lead and sacked Luck on fourth down, the Colts were able to get the ball back but Jacoby Brissett’s hail mary attempt fell short, thus giving Philadelphia the 20-16 win.
Having suffered the hard luck loss, the Colts drop to 1-2 and play their first division game next week as the Houston Texans come into Lucas Oil Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff. As for the Texans, they fell to 0-3 after losing to Tennessee nine to six.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 2-1 and travel to Nashville to face the Titans for a 1 p.m. kickoff.