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The Colts fall in heartbreaking fashion against the Browns, losing 39-38

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 22: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It was an incredible battle on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Browns came out on top, beating the Colts in come-from-behind fashion with a 39-38 win.

The day started with fireworks for both offenses and the explosions continued throughout the day.

First, the Browns scored a touchdown on the opening drive with a 69-yard run by Jerome Ford.

Then, Gardner Minshew and the Colts responded with a 59-yard touchdown pass to Josh Downs.

Minshew continued his magic all afternoon, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for two as well, including that first drive bomb to the rookie wide receiver.

The Browns’ star quarterback Deshaun Watson started the game after missing the last few weeks with injury, but sustained an apparent head injury early in the game.

He would miss the rest of the contest, forcing former Colt PJ Walker to finish the game at quarterback for the Browns.

The Colts were down by 6 heading into the second half, and after a Garnder Minshew interception to Denzel Ward, Cleveland kicked a field goal to go up by 9.

Then the Colts’ offense went to work, taking an 8-play drive across the length of the field, resulting in Jonathan Taylor’s first touchdown of the season.

That put the score at 30-28 in Cleveland’s favor, but both the offense and defense continued to play well.

The Indy defense forced a stop on 4th and 2, giving Minshew and the offense the ball in plus territory.

Then, a 27-yard Matt Gay field goal gave the Horseshoe the one-point lead.

The defense again came up big, as Rodney Thomas picked off a PJ Walker deep ball at the Colts 2-yard line.

After an Indy punt, Dustin Hopkins made his sixth 50+ yard field goal of the year with a 58-yarder to retain the lead for the Browns.

Two plays later, Michael Pittman Jr. went streaking down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown, giving Indy a 38-33 lead.

Each team swapped three-and-outs, giving Cleveland the ball at their own 20-yard line with less than 4 minutes to go in the game.

8 plays and 79 yards later, the Browns had the ball first and goal from the one-yard line with 38 seconds to go after a pair of questionable defensive penalties.

Three straight incomplete passes set up the Browns’ final chance on fourth down.

And Kareem Hunt delivered.

A one-yard rushing touchdown ended the Colts’ hopes, giving Cleveland a one-point win at Lucas Oil Stadium.


Garnder Minshew went 15/22 for 305 yards and 2 passing touchdowns with one interception. The veteran QB added 3 carries for 29 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson completed 1/5 passes for 5 yards, throwing an interception before his exit.

In relief, PJ Walker completed 15/32 for 178 yards and an interception.

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor took 18 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown, adding three catches for 45 yards.

Backup Zack Moss also carried the ball 18 times, running for 57 yards himself.

Josh Downs led the game in receiving with 5 catches for 125 yards and touchdown.

Michael Pittman added two catches for 83 yards including that 75-yard touchdown in the final frame.


The Colts will host the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. next Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Browns head to Seattle for a 4:05 p.m. game on Sunday against the Seahawks.

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