INDiANAPOLIS — The good news for the Indianapolis Colts' offense on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals is that Jack Doyle continues to develop a strong rapport with quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The bad news on Sunday: despite Doyle's best efforts, and despite the Colts putting themselves in a position to win, Indianapolis headed home with a one-point loss, 24-23, at Paul Brown Stadium.
Doyle would end up having the most productive day of his five-year career, as the pass-catching tight end was targeted 14 times during the game and established career-highs in receptions (12) and receiving yards (121), while also scoring a touchdown.
"The ball was finding me," Doyle said. "That's the way it goes sometimes. I just try to catch the ball when it comes to me."
Doyle's 13-yard touchdown catch midway through the second quarter put the Colts up 10-3. Working his way to the left side of the end zone, Doyle beat the man-to-man coverage of Bengals safety Shawn Williams and then reached back for the ball to secure it as Williams attempted to recover.
Brissett said the Cincinnati defensive scheme on Sunday allowed him to find Doyle, often wide open, time after time, and he knows how important the Western Kentucky product is to the offense's gameplan moving forward.
"They gave us the opportunity to get him the ball," Brissett said. "He made good plays. You know, he's a good player. He's going to be a part of the process of us winning."
Those good plays included converting five first downs to keep drives alive and a seven-yard reception with less than 20 seconds remaining in the first half, setting up Adam Vinatieri's 33-yard field goal and a 13-10 halftime lead on the road.
But Doyle, an Indianapolis native who played his high school ball at Cathedral, knows that regardless of the numbers he puts up, it doesn't matter unless they're happening in wins.
"Yes, it's very frustrating," Doyle said. "It's tough. We'll keep working. That's all we can do."
As for his teammates and him continuing to work hard and fight together, especially with a trip to AFC South Division rival Houston this Sunday, the tight end feels the Colts know what they need to do.
"I'm not worried about that. I know we will [keep working together]," Doyle said. "We have the right guys in the locker room."