INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Adam Vinatieri made a 51-yard field goal with 22 seconds left Sunday to help the Indianapolis Colts rally for a 15-13 victory over Denver.
The NFL’s career scoring leader overcame two earlier misses to keep Indy (5-2) atop the AFC South with its third straight victory.
Denver (2-6) has lost two in a row.
The difference this time was the Broncos settled for two short field goals on time-consuming drives in the first half. Brandon McManus made a 21-yarder to cap a 17-play drive that consumed nearly eight minutes and a 29-yarder on their next possession when the Broncos burned nearly 5½ minutes in 13 plays to make it 6-0.
Indy finally answered with Vinatieri’s 55-yard field goal that dropped over the crossbar to make it 6-3 at the half.
Denver took a 13-3 lead when Royce Freeman weaved his way through the Colts defense on a 4-yard score to make it 13-3.
The Colts thought they had tied it when Marlon Mack followed Vinatieri’s second field goal with a 10-yard TD run. Instead, Vinatieri missed his fourth extra point of the season and Indy didn’t get a chance to take the lead until Jacoby Brissett took the Colts 56 yards in 86 seconds to set up Vinatieri’s third field goal of the day.
Broncos: Joe Flacco as 20 of 32 with 174 yards. … Phillip Lindsay had 14 carries for 56 yards, and Freeman has 12 carries for 40 yards. … Courtland Sutton had three receptions for 76 yards.
Colts: Brissett was 15 of 25 with 202 yards. … Mack had 19 carries for 76 yards, and Jack Doyle had four catches for 61 yards.
Marlon Mack’s 10-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter ended the Denver Broncos’ streak of consecutive red-zone trips without allowing a touchdown at 10.
The Colts’ drive was helped when Denver defensive lineman Mike Purcell was called for roughing the passer call on the previous play.
But Adam Vinatieri missed the potentially game-tying extra point wide left to make it 13-12. Vinatieri also missed a 45-yard field goal wide right on Indy’s first drive and has now missed four extra points this season.
Vinatieri played in his 200th career game with Indy and only trails Reggie Wayne (211), Peyton Mannig (208) and John Unitas (206) in franchise history.