The Colts fell to 0-2 after losing 30-27 against the Philadelphia Eagles in their second consecutive prime time game on Monday night. Despite the loss, it was a great game inside Lucas Oil Stadium and was very entertaining.
The Colts offense looked absolutely horrific on their first drive and went 3-and-out. It looked like it was going to be a very rough game even as the defense took the field. The Eagles waltzed down the field on their opening drive with little resistance until they approached the red zone – that’s when the Colts’ D kicked it up a notch. After a third down stop the Eagles settled for a 31-yard FG. Limiting the Eagles to 3 points was a moral victory based on how LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles moved the ball at will.
The running game finally came alive on the Colts’ next drive which seemed to be the story of the night. The Colts marched down the field with ease and was capped off by a 1-yard TD pass from Luck to Ahmad Bradshaw.
Early in the second quarter Adam Vinatieri knocked down a 46-yard field goal to extend the Colts lead to 10-3.
Many times during Monday night’s game the Colts defense was very unimpressive; that was until the Eagles neared the red zone. They may bend, but did not break. The Eagles were held to another 3 points and trailed 10-6. The Colts ended the first half with an imposing drive that had notable runs by both Richardson and Bradshaw. Andrew Luck finished the drive with a 2-yard TD pass to TE Jack Doyle – the first of his career.
Colts lead 17-6 at halftime.
Both teams looked sluggish to start the second half until midway through the third quarter when Vinatieri kicked another FG to give the Colts a comfortable 20-6 lead.
And then the wheels began to fall off. The Eagles answered by marching down the field, but this time the Colts showed little fight and McCoy finished the drive with a 1-yard TD run to give the Eagles their first touchdown of the game. The Colts continued to be loyal to the running game which led to a T-Rich fumble on the ensuing possession which was recovered by the Eagles. The Eagles silenced the raucous home crowd with a 19-yard TD run by Darren Sproles, who lit up the Colts yet again.
The Colts’ 14-point lead is now gone in the blink of an eye. With the score tied at 20, the Colts answered with an inspiring drive to start the 4th quarter in which Bradshaw caught his second touchdown pass of the night from Luck – this time from seven yards out. Vinatieri’s extra point extended the Colts lead to 27-20 with 11:49 left in the game.
The Colts defense stepped up and provided a stop to ignite the crowd, but things went all downhill after that. With 5:15 left on the clock and a 7-point lead, the Colts were faced with a 3rd-down-and-9 at the Philly 22-yard line. A simple run play or incomplete pass and the Colts would have still been within Vinatieri’s range to ice the game. But that was not the case. Luck went to the air trying to hit T.Y. Hilton but instead was intercepted. Now, I hate to blame officials for changing a game and I’m sure fans do as well, but this one has a valid argument. Hilton was clearly held as he was running across the field which resulted in the turnover. I don’t know if Hilton would have caught it but it would have been close. There was no penalty and the Eagles regained the momentum.
Several plays later on the Eagles’ ensuing drive the Colts were flagged for a horse-collar on what appeared to be a clean tackle considering only the back of the jersey was grabbed and not the collar. The Eagles tied it up with 3:25 left after a 6-yard TD pass from Foles to Jeremy Macklin.
3 minutes, 25 seconds – plenty of time for Luck to lead his team down the field and win the game on a national stage, but the Colts finished the game how they started – another 3-and-out. Philly then marched down the field and then with 3 seconds remaining, former Colts kicker (cut during preseason) Cody Parkey nailed a 36-yard FG to win the game.
Final score: Eagles 30 Colts 27
Things to take away from this game:
The Colts were remarkable with running the ball awesome Monday night. Both Richardson and Bradshaw had great games (79 yards and 70 yards rushing, respectively) due in part to the fact that the offensive line would stack the side of the run which allowed big plays to break loose. In my opinion, Pep Hamilton’s play calling was very questionable. Luck had a less-than-memorable performance but put together a nice scoring drive in the 4th quarter in which he went 4-4 for 40 yards and a TD. As for the Eagles, they are proving to be a second-half team. In their first two games they have put together some amazing up-tempo 4th quarters to win. Also TrueBlueFans, we must realize that our Colts could just as easily be 2-0 instead of 0-2. The Colts, even after a horrible first half, fell just short of an incredible come from behind victory against the Broncos. In my mind, if the play calling was a little different and some officiating calls had gone in our favor, the Colts would have been victorious in their Monday night home opener.