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Insider Stephen Holder and columnist Gregg Doyel focus on the Indianapolis Colts loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Clark Wade/IndyStar

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) is pressured by Cincinnati Bengals defensive finish Chris Smith (94) at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017.(Picture: Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar)

CINCINNATI – The Indianapolis Colts discovered a brand new method to lose Sunday, fading within the fourth quarter (but once more), blowing one other golden alternative to seal their first highway victory of the season.

It’s who they’re, it’s what they’ve turn out to be: A group that’ll tease for a half, perhaps even three quarters, however hasn’t discovered how you can end. Sunday would possibly show the toughest of all to swallow, contemplating it was this group’s finest effort on each side of the ball for a superb chunk of the afternoon.

Ultimately, irrespective of. The Bengals escaped with a 24-23 victory, and the Colts fell to 2-6, furthering their worst begin to a season since 2011.

The Colts have now led within the fourth quarter of 5 of their eight video games this season, and Sunday’s loss marks the third time this season the Colts have held a fourth-quarter lead on the highway that has evaporated. Jacoby Brissett’s last-gasp, fourth-down toss fell in no man’s land, ending the Colts’ remaining drive and remaining likelihood.

They held Bengals QB Andy Dalton (largely) In verify. They obtained profession days from Jack Doyle and Henry Anderson. They obtained Tarell Basham’s first profession sack.

They usually nonetheless discovered a method to blow it within the fourth quarter.

THE BIG PICTURE: The Colts (2-6) at the moment are on a three-game shedding streak, tied for the longest of the Chuck Pagano period. Overlook the playoffs. The Colts face Houston on the highway subsequent week earlier than internet hosting Pittsburgh every week later, then will benefit from the bye week earlier than the season’s remaining stretch.

The Colts’ file on the midpoint of the 2017 season is healthier than solely three NFL groups: the winless 49ers and Browns and the one-win Giants.

HOW THE COLTS LOST IT: The Colts outplayed the Bengals within the first half and notched their first offensive landing in eight quarters when Brissett hit Jack Doyle within the nook of the tip zone halfway by way of the second quarter. Defensive finish Henry Anderson additionally continued his stable play alongside the road, blocking a Bengals’ subject objective try within the first quarter and including a deal with for loss.

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The three-and-out blues this Colts’ offense has slogged by way of on the primary sequence of the second half this season vanished Sunday. Heading in, this offense had punted after three performs in six of seven third quarters this 12 months. They blended it up Sunday, driving 88 yards in 13 performs and discovering the tip zone once more on a sneaky catch-and-run down the sideline for rookie operating again Marlon Mack.

The Colts compelled their second turnover of the day on the Bengals’ subsequent sequence when security Darius Butler pulled the ball unfastened from Joe Mixon. Colts linebacker Jon Bostic recovered, and 9 performs later Adam Vinatieri tacked on his third subject objective of the day to offer the Colts a 23-17 lead with 11:21 left.

Colts rookie Tarell Basham recorded his first profession sack to power a Bengals punt on their subsequent possession, however then catastrophe struck. Brissett’s second-down move was tipped up by Bengals defensive finish Carlos Dunlap, who then snared the ball out of the air and returned it 16 yards for the landing. It turned out to be a game-turning blow for a Colts group that had put itself in prime place to drag off its first highway victory of 2017.

However after one other large play from Henry Anderson – a key sack on third down – the Colts took over on their very own 24-yard-line with 2:40 left.

The Colts’ last-gasp drive late within the fourth quarter ended at midfield, when Brissett’s fourth-down move fell incomplete. Dunlap’s pick-six is what received it for the Bengals.

KEY PLAY: A sport that the Colts had each proper to win was snatched from their fingers within the fourth quarter by a defensive lineman who delivered his group a much-needed win. On the Colts’ second-to-last drive, with Indianapolis nursing a 23-16 lead halfway by way of the fourth quarter, Carlos Dunlap flipped the sport. His tip-drill, pick-six interception return was the game-turning blow the Colts couldn’t overcome.

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Jack Doyle, Darius Butler, Jacoby Brissett and Chuck Pagano focus on the Indianapolis Colts’ 24-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals 24-23.
Clark Wade/IndyStar

KEY STAT: Tight finish Jack Doyle recorded his best outing as a professional, catching 12 pbades for 121 yards and a landing. The Bengals had completely no reply for him all afternoon. They usually had lots for the Colts’ prime two receivers: T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief mixed for 2 catches and 15 yards.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Colts are on the highway subsequent Sunday in opposition to AFC South rival Houston.

Name Star reporter Zak Keefer at (317) 444-6134 and comply with him on Twitter: @zkeefer.