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Rivers throw 3 TD passes as Colts rally past Bengals 31-27

Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, including the 14-yard go-ahead scoring throw to Jack Doyle on the first play of the fourth quarter, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 31-27 victory over Cincinnati to match the greatest regular-season comeback in franchise history.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 8:52 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 9:19 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Philip Rivers never flinched with the Indianapolis Colts facing a 21-0 first-half deficit Sunday.

He went back to work and joined MVP quarterbacks Bert Jones and Peyton Manning in the Indianapolis Colts’ record book.

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Rivers responded by throwing three touchdown passes, including the 14-yard go-ahead scoring throw to Jack Doyle on the first play of the fourth quarter, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 31-27 victory over Cincinnati to match the greatest regular-season comeback in franchise history.

“I wasn’t feeling any panic,” Rivers said. “We’d only run about eight snaps, I think, offensively. So personally what I drew on was, it was early in the game and I drew on 2006 at Cincinnati, my first year starting. We were down 28-7 at the half and came came back and won kind of similarly.”

Fourteen years later, Rivers found a way to do it again — marking the fifth time in Colts history and the first on the franchise’s home turf. Indy’s only larger comeback was a 28-point deficit against Kansas City in the 2013 playoffs.

The last time Indianapolis rallied from such a deep hole was 2003 at Tampa Bay. Indy missed a field goal to force overtime, but the Bucs were called for leaping and then MIke Vanderjagt made the kick. The Colts won in OT.

Rivers also has done it twice against the Bengals (1-4-1), who have only blown leads of 21 five times, including a team record 24-point lead in 1979 against the Houston Oilers.

“It’s a tough one to swallow for sure,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “Then again, we didn’t earn it. You’ve got to challenge the team. Everybody could have done one more thing.”

Rivers was sensational: 29 of 44 with 371 yards and one interception. Once he got rolling, the Colts (4-2) kept scoring.

Things sure didn’t start well for Indianapolis. The Bengals converted Doyle’s fumble on the second play of the game into a 2-yard touchdown run from Giovanni Bernard.

After forcing a punt, Burrow plunged in for a 2-yard score on fourth down to make it 14-0. And when Joe Mixon added a 7-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter the Bengals looked like they might run away.

Instead, tight end Trey Burton took a direct snap and scored on a 1-yard run. After Cincinnati added a 47-yard field goal, Rivers threw TD passes of 10 yards to Burton and 17 yards to Zach Pascal with 15 seconds left in the half to make it 24-21. .

Then after another Bengals field goal, Rivers hooked up with Doyle.

Cincinnati could have retaken the lead with a 48-yard field goal with 8:02 to play, but Randy Bullock hit the right upright.

Rodrigo Sanchez made a 40-yard field goal and Julian Blackmon picked off Joe Burrow with 39 seconds left to seal it.

WHAT A RELIEF

The on-time kickoff came as a relief in Indianapolis after Friday morning’s scare.

Four people inside the Colts’ facility initially tested positive for COVID-19. Second tests performed on the four proved to be false positives.

But for a few uncertain hours, coach Frank Reich, his staff and players scrambled to concoct backup plans in case league officials needed to move the game. The Bengals changed nothing Friday, going about business as usual.

INJURY REPORT

Bengals: Carl Lawson and Christian Covington both started Sunday, replacing DE Sam Hubbard and DT D.J. Reader. Both went on injured reserve this week. ... Mixon left in the first half with a right foot injury but returned at the start of the second half. ... DT Christian Covington and CB William Jackson III both got hurt in the second half and returned later.

Colts: Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard (groin) missed his second straight game. ... CB Xavier Rhodes and WR Marcus Johnson also were shaken up in the second half but returned.

STAT PACK

Bengals: Burrow was 25 of 39 with 313 yards and one interception. ... Bernard extended his league-high streak of consecutive carries without a fumble to 764, dating to 2013. ... A.J. Green had eight catches for 96 yards after being shut out last week at Baltimore. ... Rookie receiver Tee Higgins had six receptions for a season-high 125 yards. ... Mixon rushed 18 times for 54 yards and one score.

Colts: Rivers started his 230th consecutive game, breaking a tie with Bruce Matthews for No. 4 in league history. ... Marcus Johnson caught five passes for a career-high 125 yards. It’s the second 100-yard game of his career. ... Jonathan Taylor had 12 carries for 60 yards and four receptions for 55 yards. ... Burton had four receptions for 58 yards.

UP NEXT

Bengals: look for a season split when they host Cleveland next Sunday.

Colts: take next week off before visiting Detroit, their third NFC North opponent, Nov. 1.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
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Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
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Ohio4977
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
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Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
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