INDIANAPOLIS —Winston Guy pointed to the sky as he headed back to the sideline after picking off a Baltimore Ravens pass in the third quarter of Saturday night's preseason matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Two weeks to the day that Guy's mother, Renessa, passed away at the age of 48, the Indianapolis Colts safety got the sign he was looking for to know that everything was going to be all right.
"I said a prayer for her before the game," Guy said of his mother. "And she definitely protected me."
It was a heads-up — and timely — play for the fourth-year safety out of Kentucky, who was originally supposed to be blitzing on the play. But based on the personnel that he saw from the Ravens' offense on that particular play, Guy had to make a pre-snap adjustment to instead cover tight end Darren Waller.
Guy jumped Waller's route, and from there all he had to do was catch the ball from Ravens quarterback Jerrod Johnson, go to the ground and maintain possession in bounds to earn the interception.
Guy said he had actually been preparing to defend that exact play all week leading up to Saturday's game.
"In my mind, I felt like they were going to throw that play, especially when I had outside leverage on the tight end, and running those deep over routes, it's an easy throw and catch for the tight end," he said. "So it was just good defense, man, and I anticipated the throw and the ball fell in my hands."
The play also came right when the Colts needed it.
Down 14-6 to open the third quarter, the interception gave the Colts' offense the ball at the Baltimore 47-yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Scott Tolzien, on 4th and goal, found receiver Tevaun Smith for a one-yard touchdown pass. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, Indianapolis — thanks to Guy — had cut the Baltimore lead to 14-12 with 11:34 left in the third quarter.
The Colts would eventually just miss out on a dramatic victory, as punter Pat McAfee's 62-yard field goal attempt to win the game fell short as time expired, allowing the Ravens to escape with a 19-18 win.
But Guy knows that come regular season time, making plays like he did Saturday night will be key.
"Even though it was a preseason game, I treat every game like it's the same," he said. "Unfortunately we weren't able to get the win, but that definitely put us in the position to win the ballgame by getting a turnover. That's exactly what we needed at that time in the game."
What's even better is that Guy's father, fiancée and two sons were in the stands to watch him make a splash play for the Indianapolis defense.
But Guy said he knew his mother was there in spirit, too.
"I wish my mom was here to see me make that play," he said. "I know she's watching over me. It meant a lot, man."