Week 4 ended with another loss for the Colts, this time by 24-17 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a game that shocked Monday Night Football with Eric Foster's gruesome injury.
Curtis Painter and the Indianapolis Colts were looking for their first victory of the season in their visit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Monday Night Football. It was the 26-year-old quarterback first career start, who was filling in for veteran Kerry Collins, and he had the pressure of preventing the Colts first 0-4 start since 1998.
With an 87 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon in the second quarter Painter shook away the pressure and helped the Colts reach a 10-point lead, after Adam Vinatieri's 45 yard field goal in the first half. The QB's strike had just surpassed by one yard Peyton Manning's longest scoring pass, which seemed like a prelude to their first win of the season.
A response from the hosts was expected, and it came with 3:54 minutes to go in the second quarter through Josh Freeman, who at 1st and 1 went up the middle to the first points of the night for Tampa Bay.
Late in the second quarter one of the worst injuries ever seen in NFL football took place: Eric Foster's ankle suffered gruesome dislocation, when his foot was trapped underneath teammate Tyler Brayton. The injury was as severe as Foster's pain, who had to be hospitalized and undergo surgery.
At 9:43 in the third quarter a 46-yard field goal from Connor Barth evened the score to 10 apiece, but then, and for the second time in the night, Painter connected a TD pass with Garcon, this time a 59-yard one. Vinatieri got the extra point and the Colts were again up in the game 17-10.
The Buccaneers were going to appeal to Freeman's reputation as a second-half quarterback, and the 23-year-old player stepped up for the team with a shotgun pass to Preston Parker for a 13-yard TD, which tied the game at 17.
Late in the fourth quarter, on 3rd-and-6, Freeman (287 yards, 1 TD) was going to scramble up the middle to for a first down, setting the stage for the winning play: on 2nd-and-6 LeGarrette Blount ran for a 35-yard TD that condemned the Colts to a 0-4 start. It was 24-17 for Buccaneers that recovered from Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions with three victories in a row, and are now No. 1 in the NFC South Division.
Besides losing to the Buccaneers, that Colts also lost that night the already mentioned Foster, Drake Nevis with a back injury, starter Anthony Castonzo with an ankle injury and Ben Ijalana accused a knee injury.
The Colts next game will be on Sunday 9 at home versus the 1-3 Kansas City Chiefs, and Collins could be starting if he is recovered from Week 3 concussion, relegating Painter to the bench again, despite throwing for 281 yards with two TDs and no interceptions against Tampa Bay.
And the Buccaneers will be traveling to San Francisco to face the 49ers on Sunday 9, team (3-1) that is on the rise after two road victories in a row.