The Eagles quickly erased a 14-point deficit in the third quarter, overcame another seven-point margin and prevailed 30-27 on Cody Parkey’s 36-yard field goal as time expired.
It's the first time the Colts have lost back-to-back, regular-season games in a stretch of 33 games, dating back to 2012.
The Colts seemingly had everything going their way as a sellout crowd of 64,871 at Lucas Oil Stadium roared its approval early and often. But the Eagles persevered in the final minutes, whereas the Colts misfired on their chance to go ahead when the game was tied.
Running back Darren Sproles eluded the Colts all night on short passes, finishing with seven receptions for 152 yards. His 17-yard catch in the final minutes set up the winning kick.
After Philadelphia opened with an early field goal, the Colts dominated to build a 20-6 lead midway through the third quarter. Running backs Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw chewed up chunks of yardage while Andrew Luck threw TD passes to Bradshaw and Indianapolis native Jack Doyle.
Richardson, the focus of so much scrutiny since he was acquired from Cleveland for a first-round pick a season ago, ran strong early. By halftime, he had 57 yards rushing on 13 carries, with a long of 15 yards. Bradshaw added 45 yards on just five carries, including a 29-yard burst he bounced outside on third-and-1 early.
All that remained to be seen was if the Eagles could mount a comeback. LeSean McCoy scored on a 1-yard TD run with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter to make it a one-score game.
Richardson then coughed up the ball, and the Eagles quickly tied it. McCoy converted a third-and-15 draw play for a 21-yard rush. Then Sproles — who has victimized the Colts while with New Orleans and San Diego — did it again with a game-tying, 19-yard TD run. Game tied with a little more than a quarter to play.
But the Colts showed resolve once again as Luck drove them back and threw a 7-yard TD pass to Bradshaw, again uncovered as he floated out of the backfield.
Then it was the defense’s turn, as it stuffed McCoy on a third-and-1 rush to force a punt. Just when it seemed as the Colts put this one away, Luck was intercepted — T.Y. Hilton complained that he got held as the pass sailed wide, and replay confirmed contact.
The Colts (0-2) hit the road for an AFC South game at Jacksonville Sunday. The Eagles (2-0) return home to face NFC East rival Washington.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.