BALTIMORE (AP)Indianapolis Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was warming up before facing the Ravens when suddenly he felt a twinge in his hip that would last the entire night.
”It was kind of a stabbing pain every time I cocked my leg back to swing,” he said.
His angst – and that of the Colts – extended well beyond the final whistle of their 31-25 overtime defeat Monday.
Blankenship missed a conversion, had onefield goal try blocked and was wide left on a 47-yard attempt at the end of regulation. The misfires were just part of an overall collapse by Indianapolis, which held a 25-9 lead with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter before fading to defeat.
”It would have been nice to make that (47-yard) kick and win the game, but it just didn’t happen,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship expected to have his leg examined on Tuesday, and the rest of the Colts (1-4) will spend much of the week trying to put this painful defeat behind them.
”Not a fun loss,” said quarterback Carson Wentz, who threw for a career-high 402 yards and two touchdowns. ”I talked to everybody after the game and just said, `We’ve got to have a killer instinct.’ That goes for me, it goes for all of us, We’ve got to be able to put teams away when we’ve got them on the ropes.”
The Colts gave Baltimore (4-1) everything it could handle in building a 16-point cushion, even though Blankenship botched an extra point that would have put Indy up 17-3 in the third quarter. It was the 13th missed conversion across the NFL during Week 5 – the most in the Super Bowl era.
Still, with Carson piercing the Ravens secondary and Jonathan Taylor amassing good yardage on the ground, it appeared an upset was inevitable.
But the Colts couldn’t contain Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who went 37 for 43 for 442 yards to rally the Ravens from a 22-3 deficit in the third quarter.
”It’s very frustrating to give your all and come up short,” Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said. ”I don’t know what went wrong.”
Leonard called it his toughest loss as a pro.
”When the game was on the line, the defense didn’t step up,” he lamented.
The Colts were seeking to build on a win over Miami, which followed three close losses to Seattle, the Rams and Tennessee. A second straight win seemed certain as Indianapolis kept ripping through the Baltimore defense in the second half, but the Colts could not sustain the momentum and could not cap the surge with a knockout punch.
”We’re making progress, but that’s not good enough in this league,” coach Frank Reich said. ”I know we have the right players and the right coaches in there; we’ve just got to keep fighting to get better, learn from our mistakes and learn how to finish games.”
Losing to the Ravens on the road on Monday night is not embarrassing, unless that defeat features a shoddy kicking game and a late collapse. That’s that the Colts must fight to forget as they prepare for Houston on Sunday at the end of a short work week.
”No one is going to feel sorry for us,” Reich said. ”We’ve got to learn from it and get better. All of us.”
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