INDIANAPOLIS —Lucas Oil Stadium is open for business.
The Indianapolis Colts open up the home portion of their 2017 regular season schedule today, when they play host to the Arizona Cardinals.
Here are some of the major plays as they happened each quarter:**FIRST QUARTER
The Cardinals won the opening coin toss, and, with Bruce Arians as their head coach one might not be surprised to learn they elected to receive to start the game. Rigoberto Sanchez's opening kickoff goes for a touchback, and we're under way.
13:39: **That didn't take long. John Simon, on 2nd and 8, wrecks the Cardinals' right tackle and brings down quarterback Carson Palmer for a sack and a loss of seven. Then, on 3rd and 15, Palmer's pass attempt to John Brown falls incomplete, and the Indy defense has the exact start it could've wanted to this game.
13:23: Jacoby Brissett comes in at quarterback for his first start with the Colts, replacing Scott Tolzien, who got the start last Sunday in the team's season opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
7:42:Thanks to a huge blunder by the Cardinals, the Colts find the end zone on their opening possession. First off, Brissett does a tremendous job charging the offense down the field on his first drive, particularly on third down; after going 0-for-10 on third down attempts last week against the Rams, the Colts open up by converting three of their first four on their first drive, including a 3rd and 12 in which Brissett found wide receiver Kamar Aiken for a 14-yard completion. The Colts got all the way to the Arizona 11 before their first drive appeared to stall, and Adam Vinatieri came on and hit what would've been a 29-yard field goal. But a leverage call on the Cardinals' kick block team would give the Colts a huge boost, setting them up with 1st and Goal from the 5. Two plays later, Frank Gore ran it it from five yards out, and after a 14-play, 53-yard drive that took 5:45 off the clock, Indianapolis took a 7-0 lead. One has to imagine that, coupled with the three-and-out forced by the defense, this is the exact start Chuck Pagano could've wanted out of his guys today.1:33:
Adam Vinatieri connects on a 46-yard field goal to extend the Colts' lead to 10-0. Brissett and the Colts' offense got to the Arizona 28, but stalled from there. But, so far, Indianapolis has converted 4-of-6 third down opportunities, and Brissett has completed 5-of-9 passes for 56 yards. **
SECOND QUARTER:13:05: **
The Cardinals are going for it on 4th and Goal from the Indianapolis 1-yard line. But Carson Palmer's fade pass to Larry Fitzgerald, who was looking over the wrong shoulder, fell incomplete — also, credit Rashaan Melvin for good coverage on the play — and the Colts' defense has an ultimate "bend-but-don't-break" moment.
5:56:The Cardinals cut the Colts' lead to 10-3 on a 27-yard Phil Dawson field goal, but the drive features another impressive "bend-but-don't-break" moment for the Indianapolis defense, which keeps the opposing offense out of the end zone for the second time today in a goal-to-go situation. On 2nd and Goal from the 9, it appeared Palmer connected with wide receiver J.J. Nelson for an impressive tip-toe touchdown in the back of the end zone, but a review — all scoring plays are reviewed, remember — showed Nelson got his first foot down, but his second foot was half in and half on the end line. Out of bounds; no touchdown.1:34:
Malik Hooker, making his first-career start, also gets his first-career interception, nabbing an overthrown Palmer pass at the Indianapolis 3-yard line and taking it 35 yards to the 32. Hooker was as advertised on the play from his college film; he showed a quick read to run to his right over the top of the defense as its "center fielder" and make the big play.
0:00: At halftime, the Colts lead the Cardinals, 10-3.**
The Colts' defense is doing its part — particularly in the back end. First, on 1st and 10 from the Arizona 41, defensive coordinator Ted Monachino brings the house, and rookie cornerback Nate Hairston brings down Palmer for his first-career sack. Then, two plays later, on 3rd and 16, Palmer tries to find Jaron Brown, but Melvin muscles the ball out of the wide receiver's grip as they go to the ground, to force another punt. 0:00:
At the end of the third quarter, the Colts still lead the Cardinals, 10-3.
11:42:** The Colts' lead is 10 again, as Vinatieri connects from 29 yards out this time to make it 13-3. It's actually a record breaker for Vinatieri, now has the NFL's most field goals converted between 20 and 29 yards (176), surpassing Morten Andersen. Though it didn't end in a touchdown as it would've hoped, the Colts' offense did a good job chewing up time on that scoring possession, going 76 yards in 16 plays and taking 9:18 off the clock.
7:38: Palmer and the Cardinals' offense finally find the end zone. They convert a huge 3rd and 20, and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Jabaal Sheard on top of it gives the Cardinals 15 extra yards. That set up a 45-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to Nelson, and now things have gotten interesting, with the Colts' lead trimmed to 3, 13-10.
3:28: The Colts' defense gets a huge stop, batting down a Palmer pass on 3rd and 4 from the Indy 22. Dawson ties it up at 13 from 40 yards out.
0:00: Dawson's 42-yard, game-winning field goal sails wide right, and we're heading to overtime. The Colts' offense had two chances to try to win the game in the final 3:28 but couldn't capitalize.
9:47: **After getting the ball to start overtime, Brissett's pass is picked off by safety Tyrann Mathieu, who takes it to the Indianapolis 21-yard line.
8:00:Dawson gets redemption, hitting from 30 yards out to win the game for the Cardinals, who move to 1-1. The Colts are 0-2.
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