Colts Lose Close One to Panthers 27-19

After a back and forth game, the Colts choked at the end once again, with Panthers safety Sherrod Martin getting an interception in the back of the endzone with 40 seconds left.

The Colts were down 13-24 with under 9 minutes left in the game, when Reggie Wayne scored on a 56 yard pass from Curtis Painter (although the TD was all Wayne). The two point conversion though was no good, as Painter underthrew an open Austin Collie.

On the ensuing kickoff, Kealoha Pilares ran for 76 yards before Pat McAfee ran him out-of-bounds, setting the Panthers up for another field goal. So, down 27-19, the Colts got the ball with under six minutes to go. After a completion to Garcon, a 12-yard run by Donald Brown (aided by a hit out of bounds penalty), and a 9 yard pass to Jacob Tamme, the Colts were on the Panthers' 33 with 4 1/2 minutes to play.

And Painter threw an interception deep on the right sideline as he underthrew Pierre Garcon.

But, after a defensive three and out, the Colts got the ball on their own 28 with 3:09 left to play.

Then Painter found his inner Tim Tebow and led a drive to the Panthers three yard line, hitting Collie, Garcon, and Brown for big gains.

Of course, with Donald Brown averaging 5.7 YPC on the day, facing the worst run defense in the league, the Colts had the perfect opportunity to pound it four times from the 3, right? Wrong.

After an awful missed defensive holding call on first down, Painter's pass was tipped on second down, resulting in Martin's game clinching interception. This was the Colts best chance at a win all season, and it doesn't look like they're going to get too many chances with five games left.

Tennessee at home and Jacksonville on the road will be their final two games, and the final two shots at a win. The next two weeks at NE and BAL will be ugly.

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.