On this rainy and windy Week 16 matchup at M&T Bank Stadium the Indianapolis Colts very first drive of the game proved to suffer due to the weather conditions. Following a short run by Frank Gore on 2nd-and-10, Jacoby Brissett targeted a wide open Chester Rogers that was dropped killing any possibility of sustaining the team’s early drive.
Much of the opposite was true for the Baltimore Ravens on their initial possession of the game as they converted a 4th-and-inches situation inside field goal range and looked to have the early momentum. The Ravens couldn’t get into the end zone and the Colts ended up yielding only 3 points via a Justin Tucker 30-yard field goal on the back end of a 14-play drive that took up 7:30 of the first quarter.
The Colts second possession of the game was significantly more effective as they took more than 5 minutes off the clock, were successful on early downs and converting a third down midway through the drive to get back inside the red zone for a shot at some points. But, just as the Colts have broken our hearts so often already this season Adam Vinatieri’s field goal attempt was blocked by Tony Jefferson allowing the Ravens to hold on to their 3-0 lead.
The Ravens carried their following drive into the second quarter and things nearly turned around for the Colts as Kenny Moore forced an Alex Collins fumble, but it was scooped up immediately by the Ravens’ Nick Boyle. Naturally this came back to kill the Colts as the Ravens continued to march down the field.
The possession was capped off with a 6-yard touchdown pass across the middle to Michael Campanaro despite the Colts dropping 8 defenders into coverage with 3 of those sitting in the middle of the field putting the Ravens up 10-0 with 12:16 left in the second quarter.
The Colts were able to extend their next drive as Frank Gore converted on a 3rd-and-3, then followed it up with a 12-yard jaunt. Marlon Mack collected some significant yardage with an 11-yard run getting the Colts inside the red zone which hasn’t been a productive place for them this season. This time was different as Gore took a screen pass 14 yards leaping over a Baltimore defender for the touchdown and getting the Colts back within 3 at 10-7 with just under 8 minutes to go in the first half.
Despite finding a bit of momentum the Colts allowed the Ravens to, again, drive inside the 20-yard line threatening to put up another score before the end of the half. Well, they still put points up, but the Ravens were forced to bring out Tucker again for a field goal instead of them getting into the end zone. A sack by Barkevious Mingo — for a loss of 17 yards — was ultimately forced by the pressure from Jabaal Sheard and kept the Colts within striking distance as it crept inside the 2-minute warning.
Now down 13-7 the Colts had 1:55 to find a way to gain the lead before halftime with all 3 timeouts in their pocket. Brissett was forced to throw the ball away on first down, but connected with Jack Doyle on the next two plays to convert a third-down opportunity and extend the drive.
Now with just 58 seconds left Brissett threw a beautiful ball to Kamar Aiken near the sideline, but another drop put the Colts behind the 8-ball at 3rd-and-10 from their own 40-yard line. On the following play Brissett, attempting to go downfield, sidestepped one rusher but couldn’t escape Willie Henry dropping him for an 8-yard loss and forcing the Colts to punt.
The Colts nearly got another break as Campanaro muffed Rigoberto Sanchez’s punt, but that too was recovered by the Ravens allowing them to get away with one as the Colts could have taken over at the Ravens’ 30-yard line. The Ravens couldn’t do anything with it and were forced to punt the ball back to the Colts giving them 12 seconds to produce some offense.
Brissett connected with T.Y. Hilton along the sideline for a 15-yard gain — play was reviewed and overturned after initially being ruled incomplete — and the Colts actually realized a break when Terrell Suggs lined up offsides putting the Colts close to field goal range. Vinatieri attempted a 60-yard field goal with the wind, but came up just short keeping the halftime score at 13-7.
Brissett ended the first half going 9 of 17 passing for 108 yards and a touchdown, while Flacco went 16-22 for 157 yards and a touchdown of his own. Gore leads all rusher with 42 yards on 8 carries and Hilton leads all receivers with 3 catches for 51 yards.
Defensively Kenny Moore leads the Colts with 6 solo tackles and Mingo has added 5 with a sack and 2 tackles for loss.