Colts fend off Ravens

Defense dominates as Colts secure gritty home victory.

Sometimes, NFL teams have to win ugly.

There’s no other way to describe a game with more turnovers and squandered offensive scoring chances, but the Indianapolis Colts scored just enough to fend off the Baltimore Ravens 20-13 Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts’ defense held the Ravens without a touchdown until the final quarter, which was just enough for the offense as quarterback Andrew Luck threw for one touchdown pass and ran for another.

The Colts should have scored a lot more. Luck was intercepted twice, including once on an ill-advised, third-down throw when the home team was in field-goal position. They also fumbled the ball away inside the Ravens’ 10 late and turned it over on downs in field-goal range on the opening possession.

But the Ravens also turned it over on downs inside the Colts’ 5, they lost a fumble, muffed a punt and quarterback Joe Flacco was intercepted once.

Leave it to the Colts’ defense to get the final stop in the last minute as a Flacco fourth-down deep ball went off the hands of wide receiver Torrey Smith.

Colts outside linebacker Bjoern Werner led a sack attack on Flacco with the first two-sack game of his two-year career. Cory Redding and Sergio Brown also got to Flacco.

Luck showed patience on the touchdown throw to tight end Dwayne Allen as the Colts took a 13-3 lead early in the third quarter. The Colts’ quarterback looked right, then in the middle and finally to the left and spotted Allen wide open. Allen tied running back Ahmad Bradshaw for the team lead in touchdowns with four.

The scoring drive came after Colts’ cornerback Vontae Davis came down with his second interception of the season.

Defenses dominated the first half — or perhaps it was as much a matter of the offenses squandering scoring chances. The Colts turned the ball over on downs after driving into Ravens’ territory on the opening possession. They also turned it over on an interception.

Flacco took a sack on fourth-and-1 at the Colts’ 3. The visitors also fumbled the ball away after a catch and muffed a punt that the Colts recovered.

Still, all that went on the board were field goals in the first 30 minutes. The Colts’ Adam Vinatieri had two, the Ravens’ Justin Tucker one.

The Colts (3-2) don’t have much time to enjoy their first victory over a winning team. They fly to Houston (3-2) for a Thursday night game against their AFC South Division rivals at Reliant Stadium. The Ravens (3-2) are at Tampa Bay.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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