FRANKFURT, Germany – Amid the pageantry of an international stage, and in front of an electric crowd of 50,144 at Frankfurt Stadium, the Colts accomplished the thing they flew across the Atlantic Ocean to do.
A cagey, defensive-oriented evening in Frankfurt ended with the Colts beating the New England Patriots, 10-6, on Sunday in the NFL's lowest-scoring game of the season to date. The win boosted the Colts' record to 5-5; the team will return to Indianapolis for their bye week with their playoff hopes very much alive.
Safety Julian Blackmon's goal-line interception of Patriots quarterback Mac Jones with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter flipped the night's momentum. The Patriots, to that point in the second half, had efficiently moved the ball – though the Colts' defense steeled itself on third down in the red zone to hold New England to just one made field goal.
A scramble drill deep throw by quarterback Gardner Minshew, with wide receiver Josh Downs making a spectacular diving catch for 28 yards with about two and a half minutes left, wound up being the play the Colts' needed on offense to support the defense.
Bailey Zappe replaced Jones for New England's final two-minute drive, and safety Rodney Thomas II picked him off to seal the Colts' win. `
The Colts' defensive line in the first half overwhelmed the Patriots' offense, with defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo sacking quarterback Mac Jones three times and defensive ends Kwity Paye and Tyquan Lewis each adding a sack.
Odeyingbo became the first Colts player with three sacks in a game since DeForest Buckner hit that mark in Week 15 of the 2020 season against the Houston Texans. He became the 16th player in Colts history to have at least three sacks in a game.
Running back Jonathan Taylor rumbled into the end zone on the Colts' first possession, with tight end Kylen Granson clearing the way on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line with a pair of physical blocks. Those were the Colts' only points of the first 30 minutes; a 57-yard Matt Gay field goal fell short just before halftime. The Patriots were only able to manage a field goal on their first possession of the first half.
New England hit the ground running in the second half and generated two field goal attempts – kicker Chad Ryland made one – though both came after the Colts' defense steeled itself on third down in the red zone.
An Isaiah McKenzie 41-yard kickoff return following Ryland's 24-yard field goal helped set up a 51-yard field goal made by Gay, which put the Colts up, 10-6, which went on to be the final score.