CINCINNATI – The Colts' four-game winning streak ended on Sunday, as Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning completed passes of 54, 46 and 45 yards to send the Colts to a 34-14 Week 14 defeat at Paycor Stadium.
Two of those three 40-plus yard Browning completions were screens, with running back Chase Brown taking the 54-yarder to the house to open the scoring in the first quarter.
The Colts erased an early 14-0 deficit first with quarterback Gardner Minshew II connecting with tight end Mo Alie-Cox for touchdown on a fourth down near the goal line.
Linebacker Ronnie Harrison Jr. intercepted a pass that tipped off tight end Tanner Hudson's hand and ran it back for a pick-six, and Michael Pittman Jr. caught the ensuing two-point try to tie the game and erase Matt Gay's missed PAT following the Alie-Cox touchdown.
Cincinnati quickly re-gained the lead after halftime with wide receivers Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase notching explosive receptions before running back Joe Mixon ripped off an 18-yard run. Browning found Hudson for a touchdown on the next play.
After the Colts' ensuing drive stalled, the Bengals again struck with an 11-play, 71-yard drive sparked by a 46-yard deep strike to Higgins. Browning punched in a goal-to-go touchdown on a sneak to put Cincinnati up by two scores late in the third quarter.
The Colts fell behind by three scores when wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie muffed a punt, with the Bengals recovering at the Colts' 12-yard line early in the fourth quarter and followed that turnover with a short field goal.
A holding penalty assessed to left guard Quenton Nelson wiped a fourth quarter Zack Moss touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, and Minshew had a pass slip out of his hands and into the waiting arms of Bengals defensive tackle B.J. Hill for an in interception shortly after.
The loss dropped the Colts to 7-6 and was their largest margin of defeat in the 2023 season. Both the Cleveland Browns and Bengals now own head-to-head tiebreakers over the Colts, and the loss dropped the Colts to 5-4 against AFC opposition, which is the second tiebreaker used to determine playoff spots and seeding.