Indianapolis Colts kicker Matt Gay hit a 53-yard field goal in overtime Sunday, handing the wasteful Ravens a 22-19 home loss and denying the team its first 3-0 start since 2016.
The Ravens had opportunities to put the game away late, but their poor clock management and execution gave Indianapolis a ray of hope. The offense started its overtime drives at Indianapolis’ 44- and 47-yard lines, needing only a field goal to win, but it couldn’t manage a single first down. Quarterback Lamar Jackson missed wide receiver Zay Flowers on a fourth-and-3 play near midfield, the unit’s final play of the afternoon and a questionable no-call, and the Colts capitalized on the short field.
The Ravens had other opportunities. Trailing 19-16 with 1:41 remaining, the Colts got close enough to get Gay in range. A 53-yard field goal — one of four from 50-plus yards — tied the game with about a minute left.
The Ravens got to Indianapolis’ 43-yard line on the next drive, but kicker Justin Tucker’s 61-yard attempt fell short. With one second remaining, the Colts settled for overtime. Indianapolis won the coin toss but went three-and-out. So did the Ravens, who’d taken over inside Colts territory after a solid punt return by Devin Duvernay.
Jackson went 22-for-31 for 202 yards and added 14 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns. But the team needed a safety on Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew with 1:56 remaining to feel hopeful about its chances of closing out the game. That optimism soon faded.
Ball security cost the Ravens over and over in the first half. Their promising second drive ended after running back Kenyan Drake fumbled at the end of a long catch-and-run. Their third drive ended after Jackson was sacked and recovered a fumble. Their fourth drive ended with a turnover after Jackson mishandled a pocket pressure and coughed up the ball. Their fifth drive ended after center Sam Mustipher snapped the ball prematurely on third-and-5.
The Ravens turned things around somewhat after halftime. They took a 14-13 lead on a 10-play, 81-yard touchdown drive capped by a 10-yard run by Jackson. After a 53-yard field goal by Gay, the Ravens retook the lead on a 50-yard field goal byTucker.
It was a costly loss for the Ravens, though, as they lost outside linebacker David Ojabo (ankle) in the first half and running back Gus Edwards (possible concussion) in the second half.
They had their chances
The Ravens had opportunity after opportunity to put this game away. They could’ve done it late in the fourth quarter — twice. They could’ve done it in overtime — twice. But their special teams weren’t great, and Lamar Jackson’s accuracy faded, and Matt Gay was the best player on the field. It was a very un-Ravens-like game. Now they have to handle the Chicken Littles who’ll be crying after an upset loss as a crucial AFC North game approaches.
– Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens not ready
The weather forecasted a run-heavy game, yet the Ravens were caught unprepared. Zack Moss opened the game with a 24-yard run for the Colts. From there, the Ravens’ injury-riddled defense let the Colts chip away to an early lead, helped by the Ravens’ offensive blunders. While the Ravens managed the length of the Colts’ runs after the initial explosive play, the short yardage they gave up came at critical times. A couple of yards on third-and-short were enough to keep giving the Colts a fresh set of downs.
The defensive woes cleared up as the weather did, and they came up with some crunch-time plays. But when it mattered most, the Ravens gave up yet another long run, a 13-yard rush by Moss, that set the Colts up for their game-winning field goal. The losses went deeper than a blemish on the Ravens’ previously undefeated start. With injuries to David Ojabo and Geno Stone, the defense may be without even more starters.
– Giana Han, reporter
Fixes on offense needed
While conditions weren’t perfect, that doesn’t excuse the lack of ball security and sloppiness we witnessed from the Ravens against the Colts. The Ravens struggled in a game they should’ve been fully in control of, and at times, looked lost in defeat against a lesser opponent. After a 12-play, 80-yard opening-drive touchdown, the Ravens made too many mistakes, fumbling four times and failing to re-gain any offensive juice the rest of the way. With three starters missing — left tackle Ronnie Stanley, center Tyler Linderbaum and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — it feels like they finally felt the wrath of their early season injuries, struggling to give Jackson time in the pocket and create anything downfield: his longest completion was 24 yards. The Ravens need improvements on offense before their next game, an important divisional road matchup against the Browns.
– Aron Yohannes, reporter
The Ravens’ injuries were finally truly felt this week especially in the trenches. The Colts’ running game got going without some of the team’s best edge-setters, while Lamar Jackson was scrambling with iffy pass protection and coughed up a turnover on a bad snap from his backup center. The wet conditions might feel like something of an excuse for the Ravens’ lousy ball security, only the Colts didn’t struggle half as much. While Jackson’s designed runs were a huge factor for the offense, they clammed up late, wasting gifts of a safety and a critical fourth-and-short stop in overtime. Among the fundamentals the Ravens need to improve, how about clock management? The late bungles that allowed the Colts to tie the game in regulation were head scratchers.
— Kyle Goon, columnist
This loss will linger
A couple of missed calls — the pass interference call on Zay Flowers in OT and the face mask on him late in the game — make this one difficult to get over. But the Ravens made too many mistakes early and let the Colts linger. The offensive line’s struggles are a major concern; Lamar Jackson was overwhelmed for most of the game. All those weapons and a creative scheme mean nothing if there’s no time to throw.
— Chris Korman, editor