NOT SHARP ENOUGH

The Colts rallied from a 14-point deficit to tie the Carolina Panthers in the second half before losing, 23-20, in overtime at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said despite some good individual performances, the loss was disappointing.

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Dungy Disappointed in Preseason Loss to Panthers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This time, Tony Dungy wasn't so pleased.

Dungy, in his seventh season as the Colts' head coach, liked a lot about the preseason opener a week ago despite a 14-point loss. Entering the second preseason game, he said his hopes were fairly clear: to see improvement and efficiency from the starting units.

Afterward, he said that didn't quite happen.

The Colts, after falling behind by two touchdowns in the first quarter, rallied to tie the game in the third, but lost to the Carolina Panthers in overtime, 23-20, when Panthers kicker John Kasey kicked a 46-yard field goal with 3:53 remaining in the extra period Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium.

There were good individual performances, Dungy said, and there were positives:

The return of wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

An impressive performance by reserve quarterback Jared Lorenzen.

And an impressive game by rookie tight end Jacob Tamme, too.

But overall, Dungy said it wasn't what he wanted from the second preseason game.

"I thought our second group did a good job of bringing us back and making things close and getting some things done," Dungy said. "Our first group on either side of the ball wasn't really sharp and that was disappointing.

"We wanted to play better than we did last week and I didn't think we did that."

The Colts, after falling behind 14-0 early in the second quarter after two turnovers deep in their own territory, rallied with two second-quarter touchdown passes from Lorenzen to Tamme.

The Colts then tied the game with a 34-yard third-quarter field goal by Adam Crossett, and after a scoreless fourth quarter, Kasey had a short field goal to win the game on the final play of regulation.

After a bad snap sent the game into overtime, Kasey missed from 51 yards with 13:27 remaining in the extra period.

A little less than 10 minutes later, his kick from 46 yards was successful.

Jim Sorgi, making his second consecutive start at quarterback in place of injured starter Peyton Manning, completed 6 of 9 passes for 65 yards and no touchdowns with an interception. After losing a fumble and being intercepted on the Colts' first two drives, Sorgi drove the Colts' for a field goal on the third drive.

On that possession, Sorgi completed 6 of 8 passes for 65 yards.

"We'll have to watch the film and see," said Sorgi, who left the preseason opener after leading the Colts to a field goal on the opening drive. "The third drive went well. We put some points on the board. The first couple of drives, it was tough. We'll have to watch the film and see what happened.

"It was the same game plan as last week. We were hoping it would be just like last week: one drive, knock it out, do well and go home. It didn't happen that way this week. We had some things out there, but we didn't capitalize and we have to see why."

Lorenzen replaced Sorgi, playing a quarter and a half and completing 12 of 23 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, with each touchdown pass going to Tamme.

Tamme caught touchdowns of nine and 14 yards in the second quarter.

"I wish we could have found a way to finish it off," Tamme said. "It is the preseason, but you have to keep working to get better."

The Colts committed turnovers on their first two series, with defensive end Julius Peppers forcing and recovering a fumble by Sorgi on the game's first drive.

The Panthers took a 7-0 lead five plays and 19 yards later on a 1-yard run by running back DeAngelo Williams.

Williams scored on a 10-yard run on the Panthers' next series, a touchdown that came one play after Panthers linebacker Adam Seward returned an interception 14 yards to the Colts 10.

"That's a good defense," Sorgi said. "They had a lot of good players on their defense. It was just a rough start. All you can do is watch the film and see how you can improve and what you can do better."

The Colts drove 56 yards on 12 plays on the ensuing possession, with kicker Adam Vinatieri converting a 42-yard field goal with 6:33 remaining in the first quarter.

Harrison, making his first start of the preseason, caught three passes for 22 yards in the first quarter – all on the field goal drive.

The Colts fell behind by two touchdowns early in the second quarter before the first Lorenzen-to-Tamme touchdown pass, a nine-yarder with 12:08 remaining in the second quarter. The play capped a 65-yard, eight-play drive.

A 38-yard field goal by Kasay pushed the lead to 10 before the Colts again cut into the lead.

With 1:55 remaining in the half, Lorenzen found Tamme in the right corner of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass that made it 20-17, Panthers.

Crossett, a reserve kicker signed late this past week, kicked a 34-yard field goal with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter to tie it, 20-20.

"We still had some good individual performances, especially with our young offensive guys, so we'll get a chance to get on a normal week next week," Dungy said. "Hopefully, we can play better."

Said Colts tight end Dallas Clark, "That's the bad thing about it. We had plenty of opunities to go out there and win the game and we didn't. We have to figure out how to close it."

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