Indianapolis Colts (3-4-1) – Washington Commanders (4-4): 16-17
In a duel of quarterbacks substitutes who became starters, it was no surprise that the defenses dominated the match between the Commanders and the Colts from the first to the last minute. And it was in that last minute that it all happened, Washington winning the game on a touchdown 22 seconds from the end by Taylor Heinicke on the ground (23/31, 279 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 29 yards at ground and 1 TD).
However, it was the Colts who thought they would win, taking advantage of a good start to the second half to capitalize and score the points necessary for victory. If Jonathan Taylor (76 yards, 1 fumble) had a decent game, it’s good Nyheim Hines (49 yards, 1 TD) and Paris Campbell (71 yards) who unlocked the game when necessary.
But the game changed thanks to the talents of two men: Taylor Heinicke and his composure, Terry Mclaurin (113 yards) and his talent. It was these two men who led the winning drive as the match seemed to have swung to the other side.
Washington is still in the race for the NFC playoffs, while the Colts make a bad coptable operation, since the division now seems promised to the Titans.
Washington is less bad
In a defensive start to the match, Sam Ehlinger (17/23, 201 yards) tries to find his bearings with his receivers, in particular Michael Pittman (53 yards), but fails to bring back more than 3 points after a soporific first quarter of the two sides.
It is finally the star of this match who will unlock the meeting: Terry McLaurin. Originally from Indianapolis, the receiver transforms an innocuous pass into a gain of 42 yards. Antonio Gibson (77 yards) finished the job on a pass from Taylor Heinicke to give Washington the lead (7-3).
Indianapolis is back to the wall, and finds an identity on the ground to walk the field. Parris Campbell and Jonathan Taylor advance, but in vain as Sam Ehlinger loses the ball after a sack by Jonathan Allen. Washington goes back to the locker room with a meager advantage, which is however logical.
The awakening of the Colts
The second half begins more promisingly for Indy. After a stop on the first drive, the attack finds the resources to advance and give a new field goal opportunity. The Colts are getting closer (7-6).
The attack of Indy wakes up while that of Washington is out of fuel. The Colts miss the opportunity to regain the advantage following a fumble from Jonathan Taylor, but catch up quickly. Sam Ehlinger unrolls, well helped by Parris Campbell, and Indianapolis is at the gates of the endzone. Unfortunately for Frank Reich’s men, they are still inefficient to score a touchdown and are content with a field goal (7-9).
Under pressure, Taylor Heinecke wants to make the difference, but under pressure he throws an interception for Shaquille Leonard, which gives another opportunity to score. The Commanders defense is getting tired and starting to make mistakes, giving the Colts the chance to definitely gain momentum. Nyheim Hines did not miss the opportunity, and scored the Colts’ first touchdown of the evening (7-16).
Paradoxically, it is by being at its lowest that Washington finds the resources to react. Taylor Heinicke dissects the Colts defense and crosses the field, helped by Curtis Samuel and Antonio Gibson. But like this match, the transition to redzone is more complicated. Washington is content with a field goal (10-16). But after a defensive stop, the Commanders have a match point.
That’s when Washington managed the perfect drive: 9 plays, 89 yards and a touchdown. Checkmate, on the wire, the Commanders found the resources to win.