INDIANAPOLIS —The Indianapolis Colts are taking the field tonight for their final preseason action of the 2017 season, as they play host to the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts (1-2) are coming off a 19-15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Saturday at Heinz Field, while the Bengals (1-2) fell to the Washington Redskins, 23-17, on Sunday.
Photo from the final preseason game of 2017
Here's a look at the major highlights as they happened in each quarter:
15:00: **The Colts won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. Rigoberto Sanchez — who won out the punter/kickoff specialst job earlier in the week after the release of Jeff Locke — put the opening kickoff to the end of the endzone for a touchback.
12:31:The Colts' defense has now forced a takeaway on the first drive in three of its four preseason games. This time around, Jeremiah George poked the ball out of the hands of wide receiver Kermit Whitfield, and safety Lee Hightower was there to pick it up and tip toe in bounds before stepping out at the Cincinnati 39-yard line. It's the sixth takeaway by the Indianapolis defense so far this preseason.
5:30:Indianapolis is going for it on 4th and 2 for the second time in its first drive of the game. The first time, Scott Tolzien hit Quan Bray for 11 yards on the slant. This time around, however, Cincinnati brought a big-time blitz on 4th and 2 from the Bengals' 5-yard line, and Tolzien's rushed pass fell incomplete. The Colts already know what they have in Adam Vinatieri, so perhaps no one would blame Chuck Pagano for trying to go for it in this situation.
0:00:The Colts and Bengals are scoreless after the first quarter.
15:00: **The Bengals strike first with a Randy Bullock 31-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. It was a 12-play, 83-yard drive that took 5:35 off the clock and featured some shaky tackling from the Indy defense at times, both up front and in the secondary.
14:51: **Tolzien's night is done after one series. He completed 4-of-5 passes for 24 yards on the night. His replacement, Stephen Morris, didn't take long to get adjusted, however. On his first play, he found speedy rookie JoJo Natson — the team's leading receiver this preseason — for a 51-yard reception down the sideline. Natson got lucky, however, as he fumbled as he was being brought down; the ball scooted out of bounds, however.
13:42:Wide left for Adam Vinatieri, who misses his first field goal of the preseason from 48 yards out. Still 3-0 Bengals.
9:36:Jake Elliott's 50-yard field goal is good, and the Bengals extend their lead to 6-0. The Colts' defense used a huge sack by cornerback Corey White for a loss of 12 yards on 1st and 10 from the Indianapolis 28 to cut into Cincinnati's momentum.
5:23:Takeaway No. 7 for the Colts' defense this preseason. This time, David Parry stripped the ball from running back Jarveon Williams, and Josh Boyd pounced on it at the Indianapolis 47. Are all these turnovers a coincidence? With all the competition at practice for them, one would imagine they aren't.
4:40:The Bengals strike back. With rookie Phillip Walker now in the game at quarterback, his first pass was off the mark to Natson and picked off easily by cornerback Tony McRae, who took it to his own 48-yard line. Tough start for Walker, who might've been champing at the bit after playing only a couple series to end the game last week against the Steelers. The end result wasn't all bad for Indy, however: its defense forced a Cincinnati punt.
0:00:At halftime, the Bengals lead the Colts, 6-0.
6:38: Barkevious Mingo breaks through and brings down quarterback AJ McCarron. That's the third sack of the preseason for Mingo, the former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns, who continues to make a strong case for a final roster spot come 4 p.m. Saturday.
3:57: Daryl Richardson, on 3rd and 3, pulls off an eight-yard run for the Colts. The result? The team's first first-down conversion of the night in eight tries. Not exactly what the team wanted after improving in that aspect on Saturday against the Steelers.
0:00: At the end of the third quarter, the Bengals remain on top of the Colts, 6-0.FOURTH QUARTER
Natson shows off his jets again, but, again, is bailed out. On a punt to open the quarter, the fearless Natson takes the kick 31 yards to the Cincinnati 44, but he fumbles. Fortunately, Tyson Graham was there to recover for Indianapolis.
12:30:Justice Liggins, ladies and gentlemen. On 3rd and 9, Walker delivered a dime down the sideline to the speedy Liggins, who made an impressive catch in the corner of the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown reception. Great play by both Walker and the rookie Liggins, a Stephen F. Austin product. Colts lead, 7-6.4:47:
Elliott's kick from 46 yards out is wide left. Still 7-6 Colts.1:50:
Facing a 4th and 2 from the Indianapolis 29-yard line, the Bengals bring on Bullock to attempt a 47-yard go-ahead field goal. But it also sails wide left, to the delight of the home crowd. All three field goal attempts to the north side of the stadium have been missed to the left tonight.0:00:
Elliot's 60-yard attempt is no good, and the Colts complete their 7-6 victory to finalize a 2-2 preseason record.The Colts have teamed up with Uber and ICJI to help fans ride responsibly on game day! Drive sober or get pulled over. Download the Uber app and enter code IndyColts16 for a free first ride up to $15. Make the right call - get home safe with Uber!