INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday afternoon 39-38. Gardner Minshew, starting for Anthony Richardson, threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns; he was intercepted once.
The game began with both teams making explosive plays. Cleveland’s running back, Jerome Ford, ran for a 69-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. On the next possession, the Colts answered with a 59-yard TD pass from Minshew to wide receiver Josh Downs, tying the game at 7.
With 4:28 left in the first quarter, Minshew sprinted 17 yards for a touchdown to give the Colts a 14-7 lead. Minshew ran for another touchdown with 3:51 left in the second quarter to give Indy a 21-17 lead.
Later in the quarter, Tony Fields II recovered a fumble in the end zone to give the Browns a 24-21 lead. They led at halftime 27-21 when Dustin Hopkins kicked a 54-yard field goal.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett had a dominant performance, recording nine tackles, two strip-sacks, and blocking a 60-yard field goal attempt.
Deshaun Watson, the quarterback for Cleveland, made his first start in over two months on Sunday. In the first quarter of the game, he took a hard hit that left him on the ground for several minutes.
Although he was evaluated for a possible head injury and cleared to continue playing, Watson decided not to return to the game to avoid further injury to his already-injured right shoulder.
Both teams exchanged field goals in the third and fourth quarters until Michael Pittman Jr. caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Minshew with 5:38 remaining, giving the Colts a 38-33 lead.
The Colts were penalized twice on their defensive plays, with two questionable calls being made. One of the calls was for illegal contact, and the other was for defensive pass interference on cornerback Darrell Baker Jr.
As the fourth quarter ended, these penalties allowed Kareem Hunt to score on a 1-yard run.
During the first half of the game, Rookie CB JuJu Brents suffered a quad injury and couldn’t continue playing. In the second half, Receiver Isaiah McKenzie was evaluated for a concussion.
Up next, the Colts host the New Orleans Saints.
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