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Colts defense shines in 10-6 win over the Patriots in Germany

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: Indianapolis Colts players celebrate after the team's 10-6 victory over the New England Patriots during the NFL match between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots at Deutsche Bank Park on November 12, 2023 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

FRANKFURT, Germany (WISH) — In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon fell backward in the endzone on third-and-goal with the ball in his grasp, but couldn’t hang on.

The Patriots would kick a field goal to stay within four points of the Colts.

Next New England drive, quarterback Mac Jones would drive down the field, throwing a ball to the endzone that would give the Patriots the lead with around 4 minutes to go.

But Blackmon had other plans.

The third-year safety out of Utah got his hands on the ball and made sure not to let go, giving the Colts the ball inside their own 5-yard line, and effectively benching Mac Jones.

2nd-year pro-Bailey Zappe came in to replace the former Alabama product after the Colts punted at the 2-minute warning, giving the Patriots another chance to drive down the field and win the game.

Zappe quickly went to work, moving the offense down near midfield after converting on a fourth-and-short.

Then, he faked a spike and threw the ball down the field for his wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, but Colts safety Rodney Thomas had other plans, jumping the pass and pulling down the game-sealing interception.

Indianapolis entered the game on Sunday as the only offense with 20 or more points in every single game this season, despite facing a gauntlet of top-ten defenses over the last month.

That streak comes to an end as the Colts win 10-6 over the Patriots at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany.

This also marks the Colts’ first regular-season win outside of the country, as their only other international game ended in a 2016 loss against the Jaguars in London, England.

Box score

Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew completed 18 of his 20 passes for 194 yards, throwing an interception.

Mac Jones completed 15 of his 20 passes for 170 yards, throwing that late-game interception before being benched. Jones was sacked four times by the Colts’ defense, the most for him this season.

Bailey Zappe played the final drive in relief for Jones, going 3/7 for 25 yards before throwing the game-sealing interception.

Running back Jonathan Taylor carried the ball 23 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, adding one catch for six yards.

Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson had 20 carries for 88 yards, while Ezekiel Elliot carried the ball 13 times for 54 yards.

Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman tied for the game lead in receiving with eight catches for 84 yards.

Patriots WR Demario Douglas also finished with 84 receiving yards.

On defense, Zaire Franklin had 15 total tackles, while Julian Blackmon and Rodney Thomas caught late-game interceptions.

Up Next

The Colts (5-4) head into their bye week, and will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Nov. 26 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Patriots (2-8) also have a bye week coming up, with a road trip to New York to face the Giants on Nov. 26.

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