Brissett’s first start with Colts spoiled by costly interception

A late interception tainted Jacoby Brissett's otherwise encouraging first start with the Colts.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — Jacoby Brissett showed the Indianapolis Colts he’s a pretty quick learner.

They’re hoping he’s an even better rebounder.

After leading the Colts to 10 points on their first two drives Sunday, the offense bogged down and Brissett made the biggest mistake of the game by throwing an interception on the first play of overtime. The result: Arizona 16, Indianapolis 13.

“I saw it as soon as I let it go,” he said. “You know a dumb decision. You can’t make those types of plays, especially down the stretch when you need it the most.”

If Brissett picked up anything last season and this summer in New England, it was the importance of ball security.

But at the precise moment the Colts (0-2) needed their new quarterback to be on top of his game, he made a crucial blunder.

That single play spoiled what was an otherwise promising start for Indy’s newest quarterback.

Since being acquired from the Patriots in a Sept. 2 trade, Brissett has been cramming to learn the playbook.

Apparently, Pagano saw enough of Scott Tolzien during a season-opening 46-9 blowout that he opted to go with Brissett against the Cardinals (1-1).

The decision energized Indy’s offense.

Indy opened the game with a 14-play drive, capped by Frank Gore’s five-yard touchdown run to give Indy its first lead of the season.

Brissett followed that with another long drive to set up Adam Vinatieri’s first field goal of the game for a 10-0 lead. And after going 0 for 10 on third down in Week 1, Brissett converted his first three third down chances against Arizona.

It didn’t last.

Indy finished the first half with 96 total yards and 266 for the game.

The Colts ran 29 times for 76 yards and struggled to get their wideouts involved. Tight end Jack Doyle caught eight passes for 79 yards while the only three wide receivers to catch a pass combined for nine receptions and 98 yards.

Pagano wouldn’t say how limited the play-calling was given the circumstances, but Arizona’s defense clearly adapted to what Brissett was doing. Brissett wound up 20 of 37 with 216 yards and the one interception.

“We made adjustments at halftime and came back out and played,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “It’s a resilient bunch.”

Resilient enough to fight back from Indy’s early lead.

The Cardinals allowed just one more field goal, a 29-yarder with 11:42 to play for a 13-3 lead, and the Colts’ inability to seal the win gave Arizona a chance to come back.

Carson Palmer took full advantage.

He finally got in sync by throwing a 45-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson to make it 13-10. He followed that by setting up Phil Dawson for a 40-yard field goal on Arizona’s next possession, tying the score at 13. And Palmer thought he had done it again when he positioned Dawson for a 42-yarder as time expired.

Palmer was 19 of 36 with 332 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

But Dawson pushed the kick wide right after the Colts called timeout.

“It was so loud I didn’t even hear it,” Dawson said. “I saw it (the first kick) go in and thought we won the game. That was a little bit of a whirlwind of emotions to come off that and realize I had to regroup and try to do it again.”

That gave Brissett another chance for the win.

Instead, he threw it right to Tyrann Mathieu, who undercut Colts receiver Kamar Aiken. Four plays later, Dawson hit the 30-yarder for the win.

“It was just a bad play all the way around,” Brissett said. “I take credit for that and I just have to know, which I do know, make a better decision.”