Written by: Christian Pagan


The Cleveland Browns defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 39-38, Sunday afternoon, at Lucas Oil Stadium to advance to 4-2. Browns QB Deshaun Watson, who’s been battling a shoulder injury, returned to action today, but it would be QB PJ Walker that would finish the game as the Browns QB. The Browns entered this matchup 3-2 after upsetting the 49ers last week, 19-17.


The Colts entered this matchup 3-3, after losing last week to the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-20. Quarterback Gardner Minshew would start his second consecutive game after 4th overall pick QB Anthony Richardson was ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.


The Browns struck first with a 69 yard house call by RB Jerome Ford to give the Browns an early 7-0 lead. The Colts would respond with a 59 yard touchdown pass to WR Josh Downs to knot the game up at 7 apiece. Colts DB Julian Blackmon would pick off Watson, who would be sidelined for the rest of the game with an injury. Late in the 1st quarter, the Colts would strike again on a 17 yard rushing TD by Minshew, giving the Colts a 14-7 lead.


The Browns would answer with a two yard rushing TD by RB Kareem Hunt, set up by a strip sack by Browns All-Pro DE Myles Garrett. Garrett would also block a 60 yard FG attempt that would be returned into Colts territory by Browns CB Denzel Ward. 


Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins would make a 44 yard FG to give the Browns a 17-14 lead. The Colts responded with a 8 play, 75 yard drive that would be capped off by a Minshew 4 yard rushing TD to put the Colts ahead again, 21-17. After the Browns would go 3-and-out, Myles Garrett would force a fumble in the endzone that would be recovered by Browns LB Tony Fields III to give the Browns a 24-21 lead. 


Dustin Hopkins would connect on a 54 yard FG to give the Browns a 27-21 lead going into halftime. Myles Garrett finished the 1st half with six tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a blocked kick.


Both teams would go 3-and-out to begin the half, before Hopkins would connect on another 54 yard FG, set up by an interception by Denzel Ward to give the Browns a 30-21 lead early in the 3rd quarter. The Colts responded with an 8 play, 75 yard drive, crowned by a 5 yard rushing TD by RB Jonathon Taylor, cutting the deficit to 30-28. 


After the Browns failed to convert a 4th down, Colts kicker Matt Gay would convert a 27 yard FG to retake the lead for the Colts, 31-30. The Colts would regain possession after DB Rodney Thomas would intercept QB PJ Walker, but their drive would stall with a 3-and-out. 


Midway through the 4th quarter, Hopkins would convert a career long 58 yard FG to give the Browns a 33-31 lead, but Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr would strike right back with a 75 yard touchdown reception, putting back in front 38-33. After both teams exchanged punts, the Browns would go on a 12 play, 80 yard drive in 2:20, ending with a one yard TD run by RB Kareem Hunt with 15 seconds left in the game. 


QB PJ Walker completed a huge 30 card completion to WR Elijah Moore on 3rd & 10 from their own 20 yard line to keep the drive alive. The Colts committed back-to-back penalties late in the drive, which set up the ball at the 1 yard line for the Browns. 


To seal the deal, Browns DE Za’Darius Smith would force a Minshew fumble that would be recovered by DE Ogbo Okoronkwo to end the game, the fourth turnover of the day for Indianapolis.


Facts and Stats: 

  • The Colts would outgain the Browns in total yards with 456, compared to the Browns 316 yards
  • The Colts 456 yards was the most since Week 1 2022, where they had 517 yards 
  • This is the first win for the Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium since Week 2 2011
  • Dustin Hopkins became the first NFL kicker in history to convert a 50+ yard field goal in five consecutive games during a single season.
  • QB PJ Walker: 15/32, 178 yards, 1 INT. Browns leading rusher: Jerome Ford – 11 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD. Browns leading receiver: Elijah Moore – 4 catches, 59 yards.
  • Colts QB Gardner Minshew: 15/23, 305 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. Colts leading rusher: Jonathan Taylor – 18 carries, 75 yards, 1 TD. Colts leading receiver: Josh Downs – 5 catches, 125 yards, 1 TD.


The Browns will play at Seattle next Sunday (10/29) at 4:05pm, on FOX. The Colts will host the Saints next Sunday (10/29) at 1:00pm, on CBS.

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