Colts fall to 0-11 after 27-19 loss to Panthers
That's the bottom line for the Colts after their latest disaster.
The Colts are 0-11 for the first time since 1986 and have lost six home games in a season for only the sixth time since moving from Baltimore in 1984.
This loss was closer than many of the others.
With his team trailing 27-19, Colts quarterback Curtis Painter completed a 12-yard pass to Austin Collie on a fourth-and-5 from the Carolina 15 to set up a first-and-goal with just over a minute remaining.
On the next play, tight end Jacob Tamme appeared to be horse collared in the end zone while attempting to catch a pass. After the replay was shown, the fans at Lucas Oil Stadium booed loudly.
''I'm not going to talk about what I feel like about it,'' Tamme said. ''I'm not going to talk about it.''
On the next play, Collie couldn't hang onto Painter's pass, and Sherrod Martin intercepted it to seal the win for the Panthers.
''It's the same story,'' Colts cornerback Jerraud Powers said. ''They made plays when they needed them, but at the end of the day, I still feel it's more us than it is them. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot, either defensively, we might not be able to get a stop here or there, or offensively we might not be able to move the ball here or there.''
The Colts produced just 1 yard of total offense in the first quarter, drawing boos from a stadium that was still nearly full despite the team's struggles. They had only 142 total yards in offense after three quarters, then turned the ball over once they started moving it.
Brown was a bright spot for the Colts. Joseph Addai started, but Brown got most of the work.
''He's been coming along,'' Colts coach Jim Caldwell said. ''As long as we've been able to get him the ball a fair number of times, he's made some things happen the last few weeks or so.''
The problem was, Carolina's running game was even better. The Panthers ran for a season-high 201 yards. Jonathan Stewart ran 10 times for 70 yards, Williams finished with 15 carries for 69 yards and Newton ran nine times for 53 yards.
The Panthers (3-8) never trailed, but they couldn't put away Indianapolis until the final minute.
Carolina broke a 10-10 halftime tie with a nifty 25-yard TD run from Williams, who sidestepped one defender in the middle of the field, then cut right and outran the Colts defense for the score.
After Indy closed to 17-13 on a 31-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri, Williams scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Painter found Wayne over the middle, and the receiver slipped a tackle, turned left and sprinted into the end zone for a 56-yard TD, his longest pass play of the season. Collie couldn't haul in Painter's 2-point conversion pass, making the score 24-19.
Carolina followed that with an 81-yard kickoff return by Kealoha Pilares that led to a 41-yard field goal. The Panthers appeared to have the game wrapped up when Chris Gamble picked off Painter's underthrown ball in the end zone, right in front of Colts receiver Pierre Garcon.
The Colts got the ball once more, but that drive ended when Painter threw the late interception.
''The guy makes a great play and gets his feet inbounds, that one didn't bounce our way,'' Painter said. ''Again, they made some plays and did a good job. We can't fault ourselves for giving ourselves a chance at the end to potentially tie it up.''
Notes: Peyton Manning joined former receiver Marvin Harrison during the induction ceremony into the Colts' Ring of Honor. ... Indy also honored three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart during the break for the two-minute warning at the end of the first half. ... Colts defensive back Stevie Brown injured his quadriceps in the first half and fullback Ryan Mahaffey left in the third quarter with a concussion. ...Pilares had a long punt return called back in the first half because of an illegal block.
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