Colts 17, Browns 13

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- A battle of rookie quarterbacks on rebuilding teams came down to the final few minutes, and the Indianapolis Colts defense delivered the stop it needed.

Colts defensive back Jerraud Powers managed to disrupt Brandon Weeden's pass to Josh Cooper on fourth down in Colts territory with 1:54 left to help seal Indianapolis' 17-13 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts evened their record at 3-3, while the Browns fell to 1-6.

Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck finished 16-for-29 passing for 186 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Weeden was 24-of-40 for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

The Colts were surprisingly effective on the ground, with rookie Vick Ballard carrying 20 times for 84 yards and second-year back Delone Carter added 41 yards. Cleveland managed only 55 yards rushing, and rookie Trent Richardson played only the first half, carrying eight times for eight yards.

The Colts took a 7-0 lead on their first possession, with Luck directing an 11-play, 80-yard drive that lasted more than seven minutes. It was a mix of run and pass, starting with a 30-yard Luck-to-Reggie Wayne pass and ending with Luck's three-yard run for the score. Luck was 4-for-4 passing for 67 yards in the drive.

Cleveland answered with a 16-play, 90-yard drive on its first possession. Weeden was 6-of-8 passing for 69 yards, hitting Greg Little in the back of the end zone for a score from 14 yards out. Browns holder Reggie Hodges bobbled the snap, causing a missed extra point attempt. The Colts led 7-6 early in the second quarter.

Luck ran five yards for his second score, capping a 76-yard drive, on the Colts' second possession to make it 14-6 with 7:41 left in the half. Luck converted on third-down passes to three receivers (Donnie Avery, Coby Fleener and Wayne) in the drive.

The Colts led 14-6 at the half, but Cleveland wasted no time in opening the third quarter with a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive, Weeden hitting Josh Gordon for a 33-yard score to cut Indianapolis' lead to 14-13.

Another long drive by the Colts (81/2 minutes) ended with an Adam Vinatieri field goal and a 17-13 lead for the Colts with 3:19 left in the third.

The teams punted on the next five series (Browns three, Colts two) before the Browns forced a sack and fumble from Luck. But the Browns didn't capitalize and punted again. Again, the Browns forced another Colts punt, setting up the final drive.

Notes: The Colts were without five starters due to injuries: running back Donald Brown, outside linebacker Robert Mathis, guard Joe Reitz, defensive end Cory Redding and defensive tackle Fili Moala. Starters out for the Browns were wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, guard Jason Pinkston and linebacker Scott Fujjita. . . . Browns running back Richardson started the game, but did not play in the second half. He has been dealing with a rib injury. . . . Luck became the third Colts quarterback in franchise history to rush for two touchdowns in a game.
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