BALTIMORE —The Indianapolis Colts are on the road for the final time in 2017 today, as they take on the playoff-hungry Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
Last time out, the host Colts (3-11) played well for the first half, but couldn't keep up from there, as they fell to the Denver Broncos, 25-13, on Thursday Night Football.
The Ravens (8-6), meanwhile, are coming off their 27-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, and need two wins to close out the season to ensure a spot in the postseason.
So let's check out the major plays as they happened each quarter in today's game:
6:34:After the Colts go three-and-out on their opening possession, the Ravens look to take advantage of some solid field position — beginning at their own 36-yard line — and go 52 yards in 14 plays, taking 7:30 off the clock, before Justin Tucker knocked in a 30-yard field goal to give the home team a 3-0 lead. The biggest play of the drive was a two-yard run by Javorius Allen on 4th and 1 from the Indianapolis 19, though the Colts were able to bend, but not break from there.
1:10:The Colts go on a nice little drive, but can't get any further than the Baltimore 20-yard line. But Adam Vinatieri's 38-yard field goal attempt would be blocked — and then recovered — by safety Tony Jefferson at the Baltimore 29-yard line, keeping the Ravens' 3-0 lead in tact.
0:00: At the end of the first quarter, the Ravens lead the Colts, 3-0.SECOND QUARTER
The Ravens march down the field on their second drive, going 71 yards in 10 plays and reaching the end zone on a six-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to an open Michael Campanaro — on 3rd and Goal, no less — to make it 10-0 Baltimore. The Colts seemed to have pressure coming on the play, but it was too much, too late, as Flacco was able to get rid of the ball in plenty of time to find his receiver.
7:38: The Colts find the end zone for the first time on the day. Going 75 yards in nine plays, Jacoby Brissett, on 2nd and 10 from the Baltimore 14-yard line, finds running back Frank Gore on the screen play. The 34-year-old back uses a couple nifty lead blocks from his linemen and then has an impressive effort from there, making a couple nifty moves and then diving all-out for the end zone for his first receiving touchdown on the season, and cutting the Ravens' lead to 10-7. Indianapolis found success running the ball on that drive, as they had two runs of five yards and also had runs of 11 and 12 against this Baltimore defense, which is actually about middle-of-the-road against the run this season.1:55: **
Tucker connects from 39 yards out to give the Ravens a 13-7 lead. The Indy defense had actually put Baltimore in quite the predicament after a false start penalty, when Barkevious Mingo sacked Flacco for a loss of 17 yards to set up a 2nd and 32 from the Indianapolis 44-yard line, but the Ravens were able to get 23 yards combined on their next two plays to get back into field goal range.0:00:
At halftime, the Ravens lead the Colts, 13-7. A Vinatieri 60-yard field goal at the end of the half falls just short; it would've been a career-long kick by three yards.
9:29: Tucker's third field goal of the day — this time from 36 yards out — is good, extending Baltimore's lead to 16-7. It's the 200th field goal of Tucker's career, and he's in his sixth season. He's definitely one guy you can look at who could have a chance to break Vinatieri's career records down the road.
7:18:Speaking of Vinatieri, the 44-year-old wonder — turning 45 next week — connects on a 48-yard field goal to cut the Ravens' lead to 16-10. It's a quick drive for the Colts — 2:11 — but at least it results in second-half points, which have been hard to come by this season.
1:34:Another Vinatieri field goal, this time from 38 yards out, sneaks in after a glance off the right upright, and the Colts are within three points, 16-13. After an offsides call on the Ravens on 2nd and 12 from the Baltimore 26 — the Colts had gotten 11 yards on a free pass play and would've set up a 3rd and 1 — they elect to take the penalty and set up a 2nd and 7, and two run plays later, they're forced into the field goal try.
0:00:At the end of the third quarter, the Ravens lead the Colts, 16-13.
8:44:The Ravens go on a bruising 14-play, 75-yard drive that takes 7:54 off the clock; on 3rd and 2 from the Indy 4-yard line, Flacco finds tight end Maxx Williams wide open along the right side of the field for a touchdown, and Baltimore gets a crucial score to extend its lead to 23-13.
4:33:The Colts respond with a 13-play, 64-yard drive that culminates in a 30-yard Vinatieri field goal to cut the Baltimore lead to seven, 23-16. Indianapolis will need to do something now it has done pretty much all game — force a quick Ravens drive — to have a shot at possibly tying the game late.
2:36:A major break for the Colts, who get that aforementioned hold on defense. On 4th and 10 from the Baltimore 41, rookie inside linebacker Anthony Walker breaks through and blocks Sam Koch's punt, and Tarell Basham recovers at the Ravens' 27. It's the first blocked punt for the Colts since Week 8 of the 2014 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it's the first Koch punt blocked all season. Can Indy take advantage and find the end zone to potentially tie this thing up?
1:38:On 4th and 10 from the Baltimore 17, Brissett's pass attempt to Hilton is knocked down. Turnover on downs.
FINAL: The Ravens defeat the Colts, 23-16.
Photos from the week 16 game against the Baltimore Ravens