INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts three-game winning streak is over after losing to the Browns 32-23 in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon.
Philip Rivers made two critical mistakes in the second half. The veteran quarterback threw an interception Ronnie Harrison Jr. returned 47-yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, then was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety early in the fourth.
Kicker Cody Parkey iced the game for the Browns, banking in a 46-yard field goal off the upright.
The Colts led 7-3 after the first quarter after a gamble by Frank Reich. Facing fourth and two at the Cleveland four yard line, they bypassed points and went for it. Jonathan Taylor walked into the end zone for an easy touchdown.
The Browns took control in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run from Kareem Hunt and a Baker Mayfield to Rashard Higgins 15-yard scoring strike for a 20-10 halftime advantage.
Colts’ rookies provided bright spots on special teams. Isaiah Rodgers returned a kickoff 101-yards for a touchdown and Rodrigo Blankenship went three-for-three on field goals.
Indianapolis played without defensive stalwart Darius Leonard (groin) and left tackle Anthony Castonzo (rib) who were out nursing injuries.
The linebacking corps decimated by injuries after the Bears’ game, forced two turnovers on interceptions by Bobby Okereke and Anthony Walker Jr.
The Colts (3-2) now return home to host top draft pick Joe Burrow and the Bengals (1-3-1) next Sunday at 1:00 p.m.