The Indianapolis Colts had such a long layoff between their first and second preseason games, and with football just getting back we needed our fix soon.
Unfortunately, the Colts came out a pretty cold early in this one. Aside from a pass breakup by Matthias Farley on the Baltimore Ravens first offensive play of the night, and a big stick on the next, Joe Flacco largely had his way with the defense.
Flacco started the night 7-9 for 72 yards and a 7-yard touchdown pass to John Brown on his three series of the game before handing the quarterbacking duties over to Lamar Jackson.
Andrew Luck and the Colts offense didn’t come out with any sort of energy either in their home opener. Luck threw an interception early on after leaving the pocket with good protection, still wasn’t able to find any sort of chemistry with Ryan Grant and struggled to get rid of the ball on time resulting in 2 sacks on his first five drives.
Christine Michael was uninspiring, Josh Ferguson was injured early and didn’t return, and the receivers struggled to get separation with any consistency. Unfortunately, after starting out solid in protection, Le’Raven Clark began to have a tough time with the left tackle role.
Luck finished his night 6-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception, and I don’t even know if you could say it looked that good.
Jacoby Brissett would, however, put the ball in the end zone on his first drive of the night... sort of. Colts’ rookie running back Jordan Wilkins got 4 carries for 21 yards, and Chester Rogers caught Brissett’s first completion which ate up a quick 28 yards up the gut of the Ravens’ defense.
The Colts tried to punch it in with Wilkins following several successful runs, but Wilkins coughed it up, but it squirted into the end zone — right into the waiting hands of Rogers.
Largely the Colts’ defense did a nice job of keeping Lamar Jackson contained early on in his night. Jackson started 0-4 and when trying to make something happen with his legs almost cost the Ravens the ball with 4:40 left in the first half.
Quincy Wilson stepped up to get underneath Jackson as he began to turn upfield and he nearly fumbled the ball. After review, he was said to have been down by contact and he would live to make another play.
Fortunately for the Colts, though, on that very next play Hassan Ridgeway busted through the Ravens offensive line and sacked Jackson forcing another punt.
The Colts, up 10-7, would get another drive under Brissett before the end of the half. A penalty on the punt return set the Colts back inside their own 10-yard line, but Michael came back into the game and became a contributor.
Brissett extended his drive after the 2-minute warning by picking up 9 yards on a third-down conversion, then hit Michael for a short gain across the middle, but couldn’t convert on third down as Kasen Williams got crossed up with Stanley Jean-Baptiste and wasn’t able to get his eyes back on the ball as it hit him in the chest.
Jackson earned his first completion to tight end Kenneth Dixon as he now had a chance to lead his own 2-minute drive. Jackson was able to get the ball to mid-field with a little help of the running game, then hit Hayden Hurst along the boundary for a big third-down conversion. Jackson’s wheels got the Ravens to the 32-yard line and Dixon was able to churn out a 12-yard run to get into scoring territory.
The Colts defense ended up doing enough, though, forcing three straight incompletions with a little added pressure to force a field goal to tie the game at 10 apiece.
Colts leaders at the half:
Chester Rogers | 2 catches for 36 yards
Jack Doyle | 2 catches for 32 yards
Jordan Wilkins | 4 carries for 21 yards
Christine Michael | 7 carries for 21 yards
Darius Leonard | 7 total tackles
Skai Moore | 4 total tackles
Hassan Ridgeway | 3 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss
John Simon | 1 tackle, 1 sack