The Indianapolis Colts have now won-back-to-back road games with Sunday’s 22-19 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The Colts improved to 2-1 on the season and will now turn their attention to next Sunday’s home matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
MATT GAY MAKES NFL HISTORY AND COMES UP CLUTCH IN OT WIN FOR COLTS
What a performance from Indianapolis Colts kicker, Matt Gay. On Sunday, Gay earned every bit of his record-breaking, $22.5 million contract Indianapolis handed him in the offseason, becoming the first kicker in NFL history to have four made field goals of 50-yard-plus. Gay made kicks from distances of 34, 54 and 53 yards on three separate occasions, including the game-winning field goal in overtime.
Baltimore’s defense did a nice job of stalling a few different promising drives from the Colts’ offense. When it was needed, Gay delivered in the most crucial moments during Sunday’s win against a very tough Ravens team. It’s not often a kicker leads their team in total points scored, but Gay accounted for 16 of the team’s 22 points on the day, including an extra point on Indianapolis’ only touchdown of the afternoon that went to running back Zack Moss.
THE COLTS’ DEFENSE STEPS UP IN BIG WAY FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE WEEK
Once again, credit should be given to Indianapolis’ defense. The unit stepped up in a major way Sunday, holding a red-hot Ravens offense to just 19 total points on the afternoon. Indianapolis’ defense struggled a bit on Baltimore’s first few possessions of the game, with quarterback Lamar Jackson and co. marching down the field and taking an early 7-0 lead on their opening possession. A timely forced fumble inside Indianapolis territory from rookie cornerback JuJu Brents, stifled Baltimore’s next drive and helped set the tone for Indianapolis’ defense for the rest of the game. Brents, who made his regular-season debut Sunday, played about as well as you could ask for if you’re Indianapolis, recording four solo tackles to go along with his forced fumble.
In total, the Colts’ defense forced four fumbles and recovered two of them, including a key strip by defensive tackle Taven Bryan, which was recovered by defensive end Kwity Paye and led to a field goal and a 10-7 lead for the Colts early on. Jackson was under heavy duress for much of the game, as the Colts came away with four sacks, four quarterback hits and six tackles for loss. Veterans Julian Blackmon and Zaire Franklin had impressive individual performances as well. Franklin had 15 total tackles (11 solo), one sack and one tackle for loss. Blackmon recorded 12 total tackles (six solo) and a tackle for loss.
Additionally, not a single Ravens’ wideout surpassed the 50-yard mark through the air on Sunday, which is a testament to how much better Indianapolis’ secondary performed compared to the rough outing the unit had just a week prior against the Houston Texans. Rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers led Baltimore with eight receptions for just 48 yards. Indianapolis opted to go with a much younger group in their secondary for the season, and that unit played such a key role in a close road victory.
Indy’s rush defense did struggle at times and surrendered 186 rushing yards between five different ball carriers. Jackson led the way with 101 yards on 11 attempts and two rushing touchdowns. Outside of that, though, Indy’s defense deserves major props for stepping up in such a crucial way. Through three games, there’s a lot to like about the progression and improvements the Colts are showing and making on defense. If their front seven continues to play like they have, they’re going to help keep Indianapolis in a lot of games going forward.