Much like the Jacksonville game one week ago, the Eagles struggled early, with missed opportunities in some instances, while getting overpowered in others.
In the end, it took yet another Herculean comeback, with a sprinking of improbable moments, for the Eagles to snatch the win in the final seconds.
RED ZONE STRUGGLES EARLY
The Eagles' early issues with scoring stemmed from being unable to punch it in from inside the red zone. Their first opportunity came on their opening drive following a Colts three-and-out, as the Eagles made it all the way to Indianapolis' ten before settling for a 31-yard Cody Parkey field goal.
The next possession followed an Ahmad Bradshaw dump-off touchdown, and kicked off with Darren Sproles going 57 yards after a completion. Despite driving down to the Colts' 20, Parkey would miss a 38-yarder, hooking the kick wide left.
Down 10-3 midway through the second quarter, the Eagles would drive down once more, getting the would-be tying drive all the way to the four-yard line before settling yet again for a Parkey field goal, this time from a paltry 23 yards.
The Colts found themselves up 17-6 following a Jack Doyle touchdown reception under the two-minute warning. The Eagles attempted to counter-strike before halftime with a long Nick Foles bomb meant for an open Jeremy Maclin, but the pass fell just short, and was picked off by Greg Toler on a beautiful leaping grab. The luckless Eagles found themselves down at the half once more, this time against a playoff powerhouse.
The Colts added another Adam Vinatieri field goal midway through the third quarter, and the Eagles had no counterpunch visible, with time becoming a factor.
On the ensuing drive, a LeSean McCoy 16-yard run brought Philadelphia near midfield. It was a 21-yard snag by Zach Ertz on third-and-11 that pumped the blood to keep the drive alive. One play later, Vontae Davis interfered with Riley Cooper in the end zone, a 35-yard penalty. Two plays later, LeSean McCoy drove his way into the end zone from behind center, bringing Philly within a touchdown.
On the first play of the Colts next possession, unsteady Trent Richardson was separated from the ball by Fletcher Cox, and DeMeco Ryans recovered. A McCoy 21-yard run was followed by a 19-yard dash from Sproles for the tying touchdown.
For the night, Sproles and McCoy combined for 105 yards on 24 carries, for a rock-solid 4.38 yards per gain.
THE BIG TURNOVER
Colts fans will debate two plays all week long, and they came as the Colts were in position to land the knock-out blow.
With under 12 minutes to go in the game, the Colts regained the lead on a dumpoff pass to Bradshaw, making the score 27-20. The Eagles went three-and-out, and the Colts began a campaign of eating up time en route to shooting for a two score lead.
From the Eagles 22-yard line, the Colts were faced with a third-and-nine, knowing that a Vinatieri field goal would create a double-digit lead. Andrew Luck dropped back to pass, was pressured by Cox and Brandon Graham, and flung a desperation pass, only for Malcolm Jenkins to intercept it with 5:08 remaining.
The controversy? Brandon Boykin apparently held T.Y. Hilton just enough for a flag to be feasibly thrown, but none were tossed. The Colts fans vociferously booed, and had even more to be angry about as LaRon Landry was whistled for a phantom horse-collar tackle two plays later, putting the Eagles in better position for the tie.
Following the penalty, two plays cut into the chest of the Colts. Foles redeemed himself for a shaky night, first by dumping off to Sproles for a 51-yard gain, and then punching the ball in with a six-yard strike to Maclin. All tied up at 27.
The Colts would then run three plays with 3:25 remaining: two runs for a net five yards, and an incomplete pass. The confounding calls led to a punt, which Sproles returned to his own 40 just under the warning.
Following the break, Foles hit Zach Ertz for 24 yards, and then Sproles on a 17-yard gainer (Sproles ended the night with 152 receiving yards on seven grabs). After McCoy gained another yard, Kelly called time-out with three seconds left.
Parkey's 36-yard field goal was nullified by a Chuck Pagano time-out, but the second attempt was right down the middle anyway.
With the win, the Eagles go to 2-0 after being down at halftime in both games by 17 and 11 points. The Colts fall to 0-2, dropping a pair of prime-time match-ups with fellow playoff teams.
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