Colts fail first big test of November in second half vs Ravens
The Indianapolis Colts handled the Detroit Lions last week, but couldn’t maintain that pace against the Ravens.
Much like in 2019, it was a tale of two halves for the Colts in Week 9 against the Ravens.
And when this thorough dissection in the second half was officially over, Indianapolis and Philip Rivers had fallen to 5-3, the type of record that places a team squarely in the playoff race, but hardly favored to get over the edge.
In essence, we’re back to the Brissett days, which isn’t where you want to be.
After holding Baltimore down in the first half and maintaining a 10-7 lead into the break, with the only purple points on the board due to a Jonathan Taylor fumble replete with a little physical comedy, you had to be feeling good. Lamar Jackson looked flummoxed. Darius Leonard was swarming, preening and begging for a standing ovation. Everything was executed to perfection, with just one blemish.
Then, the second half unfolded. From that point on, Baltimore drove to the Colts’ three-yard line before a Gus Edwards fumble gave Rivers new life, which was promptly squandered. The next two Ravens drives? 10 plays, 54 yards, TD. 14 plays, 75 yards, 8:23 of clock, TD. Ballgame.
Of course, there was a hidden bit of adversity, which no Colts fan will soon forget. Plainly, we’ll never know what would’ve happened in this game if the referees hadn’t awarded Marcus Peters an interception on a play he juggled all the way to the ground.
When the whistles were swallowed inexplicably, it was a 10-7 Colts lead. From that point on, Jackson found a new gear, Rivers never came close to getting on track, and Frank Reich had to attempt to stumble through the NFL’s terrible explanation for the call in the postgame scrum.
While this game did get away from the Colts for nefarious reasons, they still had plenty of opportunities to make Lamar Jackson uncomfortable in the second half the way he had been in the first. It never came close to materializing, while the offense took their foot so far off the gas pedal it might as well have been in a different car.
November’s schedule is a different beast for Indianapolis, which we also experienced in 2020. After a brief introductory reprieve against the Lions last week, nothing about the team’s performance against Baltimore would make you confident they can hang with the rest of their upcoming schedule.