MINNEAPOLIS (AP)Matt Ryan has won an NFL MVP award, been named Offensive Rookie of the Year and risen to seventh in the league in all-time passing yards over a standout 15-season career.
Ryan also came out on the wrong side of history for a second time in Indianapolis’ 39-36 loss at Minnesota on Saturday. The 37-year-old quarterback couldn’t help the Colts stop the Vikings in what became the biggest comeback in NFL history – rallying from a 33-point halftime deficit.
Ryan was also on the losing side of the biggest blown lead in Super Bowl history, a 28-3 advantage for his Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 that ended in a 34-28 loss to the New England Patriots.
”I don’t think anybody had, at least from my perspective, that it was over,” Ryan said. ”I’ve played in this league a long time to know that a lot of different things can happen, anything can happen. You just have to keep your head down and keep going and find ways to make plays when they present themselves.”
Ryan and the Colts didn’t make the plays in the second half. Indianapolis had just 132 yards after halftime, scoring only on a 52-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin following a 48-yard kickoff return.
Minnesota scored five touchdowns in a span of seven possessions to complete the comeback and won in overtime on a 40-yard field goal by Greg Joseph after both teams had the ball without scoring.
”It’s on the football team,” Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday said, when asked if the offense is to blame. ”Listen, everybody in that room knows it’s on everybody. We don’t point fingers. We don’t place blame. Again, you’re up big in the first half. You have opportunities throughout the game to close the game on both sides of the ball. We didn’t make plays.”
Ryan was efficient in the first half as Indianapolis capitalized on numerous Minnesota mistakes. Ryan was 9 of 15 for 118 yards passing and a short touchdown to Deon Jackson on a swing pass.
Ryan, back as the starter after being benched for Sam Ehlinger earlier this season, finished 19 of 33 for 182 yards. He had just 64 passing yards in the second half and overtime.
Indianapolis has been outscored 72-9 after halftime in the past two games.
”Tough one to swallow,” Ryan said. ”A lot of really good in the first half, but it’s more of the same when you have opportunities to finish drives with touchdowns, speaking from the offensive perspective. Even early in games, when you get those chances, you’ve got to be opportunistic. Ultimately, we didn’t make enough plays to get the job done.”
Ryan was stopped short on a fourth-down quarterback dive in the fourth quarter in Minnesota territory. On the very next play, Dalvin Cook took a screen pass 64 yards for a touchdown. Then the Vikings converted a 2-point attempt to tie the game.
”We’ve converted a bunch this season and I felt like we had the matchup we wanted,” Saturday said. ”Would have closed the game out and ended the game. I’m in. Everybody’s in. We didn’t convert.”
But there were plenty of other chances, as well.
The Colts went three-and-out three times in the second half. Their longest drive covered 26 yards in six plays.
”We were still putting the ball up in the air,” Saturday said, when asked if the team was too conservative in the second half. ”We still felt like there were shots to be had. We just didn’t convert them. There was nothing about the game or the way the game played out other than, again, we don’t make the plays and they continue to make them that I look back in disappointment.”
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