Though two games, all the doom and gloom of a Peyton Manning-less era seems to have come true.
Even the struggling Cleveland Browns we're not enough to give the team a much needed pick me up.
Instead it was the visitors who pick and chose the moments throughout Sunday's game at Lucas Oil Stadium, taking advantage of a offensively sputtering Colts team. The Browns' 27-19 win was decided midway through the fourth quarter, dropping the Colts to 0-2 on the season.
Its the first time that's happened since Manning's first two NFL games back in 1998.
"I told them that we obviously did some things better, but that’s not what we are measured by around here," said head coach Jim Caldwell. "We are measured by winning and we failed to do so."
Thirteen straight points in the fourth quarter helped the Browns to pull away in the final minutes. The used a late drive to get a touchdown but failed to recover the onside kick to seal their second straight loss.
“It is a situation you have to deal with. The situation is what it is. We are 0-2," said safety Antoine Bethea. "The only thing we can do now is to continue to try and get better."
During 20 minutes, it seemed as if the Colts might be working their way back to normal with a pair of sustained drives under quarterback Kerry Collins. But each of them stalled as the red zone approached, with the Colts settling for a pair of Adam Vinatieri field goals and a 6-0 lead.
Cleveland broke through after that, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Colt McCoy to Evan Moore. Vinatieri connected on another field goal of 52-yards to give the Colts the lead back at 9-7 but a Peyton Hillis rushing touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half put the Browns up 14-9.
Again in the third quarter the Colts got inside the Cleveland 20 only to stall and have to take a 36-yard field goal from Vinatieri to cut the lead to two.
From then on, it was the Browns that took control of the game. A Phil Dawson field goal extended the Cleveland lead to five early in the quarter following a long drive. They wouldn't have to go as long a little later, taking over at the Colts 21-yard line following an interception of Collins.
On that drive, Hillis took it in from 24-yards out on third down to push the lead to 24-12.
Another fumble by the Colts led to another Dawson field goal, which cleared out most of the sellout crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium. In front of the few fans that were left, Collins led a 12-play 84-yard drive that ended on a touchdown toss from Collins to Clark from a yard out.
Pat McAfee's onside kick, however, was recovered by the Browns, and ended the game.