Things felt different for the Indianapolis Colts early in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team scored its first touchdown on an opening drive of the season and held a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The only two times the Colts have possessed leads at the conclusion of the third quarter this season are the two games since Jeff Saturday became head coach.
But then, all of a sudden, things again turned to disappointment for the Colts. The offense didn’t reach the end zone in the second half, and the defense yielded two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, allowing the Eagles to escape with a 17-16 victory.
“That’s a tough one to swallow,’’ quarterback Matt Ryan told the media after the game. “We did a lot of really good things. We made too many mistakes along the way.
“Yeah, that one feels like, you know, we let it get away.’’
‘Woulda, Coulda, Shouldas’ for Colts Against Eagles
Indianapolis was in prime position to pick up a huge upset victory against Philadelphia in Week 11. It was a potential win the Colts badly needed with the difficult schedule still remaining down the stretch.
But the Colts failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities to take a bigger second-half lead. They never put the Eagles away, and it cost them.
“It just sucks,’’ center Ryan Kelly said. “We knew we were so close to having a chance to win that game. Games are ultimately lost, not won in the NFL.’’
Indianapolis’ first possession of the second half started at Philadelphia’s 22-yard line. Because of another takeaway and turnover on downs, the Colts also began drives after halftime at their own 47 and 34-yard lines.
But those drives yielded only 6 points.
Furthermore, the Colts started another drive at their own 45-yard line after the Eagles punted from the 13. That possession resulted in a missed field goal, which was obviously costly in the 1-point loss.
“A lot of woulda, coulda, shouldas, right? But the NFL’s not like that,” said Kelly.
Jeff Saturday Credits ‘Too Many Mistakes’ With Loss
For a lot of Week 11, it looked like Saturday was going to continue silencing his critics with an even more shocking victory than his NFL coaching debut. But that hope fell apart in the fourth quarter.
Offensive line was a bugaboo for the Colts once again. Rookie Bernhard Raimann had a particularly rough afternoon with multiple penalties and blown assignments.
On both of the final two third-down attempts of the game for Indianapolis, the Eagles sacked Ryan. Right guard Will Fries also committed a false start that turned a fourth-and-16 into fourth-and-21 at the end of the game.
“We had everything in front of us. Didn’t execute enough to get the win. Disappointing loss, obviously,” Saturday said. “Just too many mistakes, too many penalties, too many negatives plays, missing kicks.
“You can’t play a team that good and give them that many opportunities. We just left them in the game, and ultimately, they made one more play than we did.”
The Colts finished Week 11 with 8 penalties for 90 yards. They also allowed 4 sacks.
“It’s frustrating because everyone is giving it their all,” defensive tackle DeForest Buckner told the media. “But at the end of the day, the execution is what gets us beat.”