NFL Game Summary - Indianapolis at Baltimore|
(Sunday, November 22nd)
Final Score: Indianapolis 17, Baltimore 15
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - An interception of Joe Flacco by Colts
linebacker Gary Brackett snuffed out a deep Ravens drive late in the fourth
quarter, as Indianapolis remained unbeaten by outlasting Baltimore, 17-15, at
M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens (5-5), who had moved the ball consistently on Indianapolis (10-0)
for much of the day but had to settle for five Billy Cundiff field goals,
moved within range of a sixth Cundiff field goal when Flacco led them to the
Colts' 14-yard line with 2:49 to play.
But on a 3rd-and-7 play, Brackett stepped in front of Flacco's short pass
attempt to running back Ray Rice, and a subsequent first-down by the Colts,
coupled with some questionable end-of-game management by the Ravens, helped
Indy move to 10-0 for the second time in four seasons.
"It was a bad job going to Ray in that situation, but I didn't see
[Brackett]," said Flacco. "That's a big play right there. We were in field
goal range already, and we wanted to convert on third down, but at the same
time, we've got to hold on to the ball, and score some points to take the
lead. I did a bad job of doing that."
The Colts have won 19 consecutive regular-season games since a loss at
Tennessee last October 27, the second-longest streak in NFL history behind the
Patriots' 21-game run from 2006-08.
Just after the Brackett interception, a critical 3rd-and-1 completion from
Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne was followed by a quick timeout for Baltimore
-- its second of the half -- but Ravens head coach John Harbaugh opted to
challenge the first-down spot. Baltimore lost the challenge, and was charged
with its third timeout, allowing the Colts to run additional time off the
clock inside of two minutes to play.
"I was trying to flip the timeout into a challenge, and [the officials]
wouldn't let me do it," said Harbaugh of the maneuver. "They were right in not
letting me do it. I tried to get too much done in that situation. That was a
bad job by me, in that situation."
The Ravens would get the ball back on a Colts punt with 28 seconds left, but
an errant lateral attempt by Baltimore return man Ed Reed was recovered by the
Colts' Freddy Keiaho to effectively end the contest.
The win marked the seventh consecutive time, including playoffs, that the
Colts have won in their former home of Baltimore.
Manning completed 22-of-31 passes for 299 yards and a first-quarter touchdown
to keep Indianapolis unbeaten, but also threw a pair of interceptions and
finished with fewer than 300 yards for just the second time this season.
"We scored touchdowns, they scored field goals, that was kind of the
difference," said Manning. "Gary's interception was huge. They probably would
have gotten a field goal there, and then it was a matter of how much time
would have been left."
The quarterback led the Colts to their only second-half points on a nine-play,
60-yard drive in the fourth quarter that culminated in a Matt Stover 25-yard
field goal to provide the final 17-15 margin.
Stover, the Ravens' all-time leading scorer who was playing against his former
team for the first time after not being re-signed in the offseason, made his
lone field goal attempt and two point-after tries versus the franchise that
employed him from 1996 to 2008.
"He's a true professional," said Colts head coach Jim Caldwell of Stover.
"He's been through it and certainly he's been kicking for 18 years. Nothing
really gets him upset. Not too high, not too low. He wasn't too overly
excited, he just came in and did his job, and I'm certain he felt some
kinship. These guys love him around here."
But Stover was upstaged in part by Cundiff, who was signed on Wednesday after
the team released the erratic Steve Hauschka the day before, and made good
on 5-of-6 field goal tries, though a critical 30-yard miss in the third
quarter would be another strike against Baltimore's bid for a victory.
Flacco was 23-of-35 for 256 yards and the key interception, with six of the
completions for 104 yards coming in the second half to wideout Derrick Mason,
who starred with nine catches for 142 yards on the day.
The afternoon did not start well for Baltimore, as Indianapolis put the Ravens
in an early hole.
Manning marched the Colts downfield on the team's first possession, with a
three-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark capping off a seven-play, 87-yard
drive. A 66-yard pass play down to the Baltimore six-yard line, on which
Pierre Garcon beat cornerback Fabian Washington, helped set up the score.
Garcon would finish with six catches for a team-high 108 yards, marking his
first career 100-yard outing.
But Baltimore would chip away after the Colts' initial score, managing Cundiff
field goals on each of its next three drives, while forcing Manning into a
pair of interceptions that sandwiched a punt, to take a 9-7 lead with 4:43 to
play in the first-half.
Indianapolis took the lead just before halftime, as Joseph Addai plunged in
from five yards out to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive and give the Colts a
14-9 advantage with 1:23 to play.
Cundiff's fourth field goal of the first half, a 36-yarder, cut the lead to
14-12 at the break.
Indianapolis threatened to build on its advantage during its first drive of
the third quarter, as Manning drove the offense deep into Baltimore territory.
But Colts tight end Tom Santi fumbled following a hit by Ravens linebacker Ray
Lewis on the one-yard line, with the ball recovered by defensive lineman Dwan
Edwards to snuff out a prime Indianapolis scoring chance.
The Ravens would eventually re-claim the lead, when Cundiff atoned for his
lone miss of the day by connecting on a 20-yarder from 20 yards away to cap
off a 15-play, 65-yard drive and give Baltimore a fleeting 15-14 advantage
with 10:12 left.
Baltimore has now lost five of seven games since a 3-0 start.
With his lone catch of the game, which came on his first-quarter touchdown
reception, Clark passed former Baltimore Colts legend John Mackey for the most
receptions by a tight end in franchise history with 321 over his seven-year
NFL career...Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was inactive due to a knee injury
suffered Monday night against the Browns, with Sunday ending the three-time
Pro Bowl pick's consecutive games played streak at 105...Cundiff's five field
goals tied a Ravens franchise record set by Stover on four occasions, most
recently in an October 14, 2007 win over the St. Louis Rams...Washington
suffered a sprained knee late in the fourth quarter and had to be helped from
the field before reaching the Baltimore sideline and being carted off.
11/22 17:32:47 ET