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.
Broncos: Right tackle Ja’Wuan James left in the first half with what appeared to be an injured right knee. He limped to the sideline then was carted to the locker room. He did not return. Left guard Dalton Risner hurt his ankle, but did return. Tight end Jeff Heuerman also injured his knee.
Colts: Rookie safety Khari Willis was ruled out after hurting his foot in the third quarter. Defensive tackles Grover Stewart and Denico Autry both left.
Broncos: Host Cleveland next Sunday.
Colts: Visit Pittsburgh next Sunday.