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Brissett's fast start helps Colts hold off Falcons 27-24

Sun Sep 22 4:30pm ET
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer

Players: Adam Vinatieri, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, T Y Hilton, Jack Doyle, Jacoby Brissett, Austin Hooper, Marlon Mack

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) reacts after making a touchdown reception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen (37) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn shouts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts safety Khari Willis (37) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron (85) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen (37) and strong safety Keanu Neal (22) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) celebrates after making a touchdown reception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) is congratulated after kicking a field goal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (15) breaks out of a tackle from Atlanta Falcons strong safety Damontae Kazee (27) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes in the first half Sunday, and Marlon Mack scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter to lead the Indianapolis Colts past Atlanta 27-24.

Indianapolis (2-1) has won two straight overall and seven in a row at home.

The Falcons (1-2) rallied from a 20-3 halftime deficit to get within three on Matt Ryan's 10-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 4:11 to play. But the Falcons opted to kick deep and never got the ball back.

Brissett closed it out with an 11-yard pass to Jack Doyle on third-and-4. He finished 28 of 37 with 310 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. T.Y. Hilton caught eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but missed the second half after aggravating a quad injury that slowed him in practice this week.

Ryan was 29 of 34 with 340 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He passed John Elway for ninth on the league's career completion list and broke a tie with Elway for No. 11 on the career TD passes list. Ryan now has 4,143 completions and 303 touchdown passes.

Brissett played brilliantly, completing his first 16 passes and leading the Colts to scores on all four of their first-half possessions, including two 90-plus yard drives.

But the Falcons flipped the script in the second half.

Ryan capped a 75-yard drive to open the third quarter with a 13-yard pass to Austin Hooper, making it 20-10. Then, after the Falcons forced a three-and-out and Indy's only punt of the game, Ryan led Atlanta on a 16-play drive that consumed nearly 10 minutes. It ended with a 2-yard TD pass to Hooper to get the Falcons within 20-17.

Brissett answered by capitalizing on two Atlanta defensive penalties, ending the drive by watching Mack's score extend the lead to 27-14.

Ryan hooked up with Julio Jones on a 14-yard pass to get the Falcons within 27-24, but never got a chance to force a tie or take the lead.

Jones had eight catches for 128 yards.

AUTOMATIC ADAM

After missing five of his first eight kicks and dealing with two weeks of questions, 46-year-old Adam Vinatieri reverted to his traditional form.

The Colts kicker drew gasps then cheers when he banked in a 49-yard field goal off the left upright to start the game. But the NFL's oldest player later added a 21-yard field goal and made all three extra points without any problems.

UP NEXT

Falcons: face a second straight AFC South foe, Tennessee, next Sunday in Atlanta.

Colts: stay home to face Oakland next Sunday.

Player Notes
Jordan Richards Oct 22 6:13pm ET

New England Patriots S Jordan Richards was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Vernon Davis Oct 22 6:03pm ET

Washington Redskins S Deshazor Everett (ankle), LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring), OG Wes Martin (chest), S Montae Nicholson (ankle), CB Josh Norman (thigh, hand), Adrian Peterson (ankle) and RB Chris Thompson (toe) did not practice Tuesday, Oct. 22. WR Steven Sims Jr. (toe) and TE Vernon Davis (concussion) were limited. LB Ryan Kerrigan (elbow) and QB Case Keenum (shoulder, foot) participated fully in practice. OT Donald Penn (non-injury) was not given a practice designation after being limited one day earlier.

From TheHuddle

Sylvester Williams Oct 22 6:03pm ET

Free-agent DL Sylvester Williams (Saints) was signed to an undisclosed contract by the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Kyle Rudolph Oct 22 5:53pm ET

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 22. DE Everson Griffen (quad), DT Linval Joseph (knee), DE Hercules Mata'afa (neck), CB Xavier Rhodes (hip), TE Kyle Rudolph (thumb), OT Riley Reiff (ankle), LB Eric Kendricks (hip), LB Ben Gedeon (concussion), OG Josh Kline (foot) and DT Shamar Stephen (knee) each participated in full.

From TheHuddle

Justin Bethel Oct 22 5:43pm ET

Updating a previous report, free-agent DB Justin Bethel (Ravens) signed an undisclosed contract with the New England Patriots shortly after meeting with the team on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Jerell Adams Oct 22 5:23pm ET

Free-agent TE Jerell Adams (Texans) was signed to the practice squad of the Houston Texans on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Zach Zenner Oct 22 5:13pm ET

New Orleans Saints RB Zach Zenner was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Justin Bethel Oct 22 5:03pm ET

Free-agent DB Justin Bethel (Ravens) visited with the New England Patriots on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Quandre Diggs Oct 22 4:53pm ET

Detroit Lions S Quandre Diggs was traded along with a 2021 seventh-round draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Alfred Morris Oct 22 4:43pm ET

Free-agent RB Alfred Morris (Cowboys) signed an undisclosed contract with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Kerryon Johnson Oct 22 4:23pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on his injured knee Tuesday, Oct. 22, and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Matt Patricia.

Fantasy Spin: Initial reports had Johnson missing "some time," but an IR designation would pretty much knock him out for the rest of the season. Sixth-round rookie Ty Johnson should handle the majority of snaps in his absence and should be added in all leagues, while J.D. McKissic figures to take the bulk of the work in the passing game. It's also entirely possible the Lions bring back C.J. Anderson to assume at least part of the early-down workload after cutting him earlier in the season.

From TheHuddle

Ramik Wilson Oct 22 4:13pm ET

Arizona Cardinals LB Ramik Wilson was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Deone Bucannon Oct 22 4:03pm ET

Free-agent LB Deone Bucannon (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Adam Thielen Oct 22 3:53pm ET

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Logan Paulsen Oct 22 3:43pm ET

Houston Texans TE Logan Paulsen was released Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Deebo Samuel Oct 22 3:40pm ET

The San Francisco 49ers expect wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) to return in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. Samuel missed Week 7 but appears ready to practice and play against a tough Panthers pass defense this Sunday. Despite showing exciting flashes this season, the rookie is averaging just 4.4 targets and 33.6 yards per game. His fantasy value will be further impaired with the acquisition of veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders. With the Niners leaning heavily on their running game and tight end George Kittle dominating target share, Samuel is gradually fading from redraft relevance. Hell be a desperation WR5 if he suits on in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Sherels Oct 22 3:23pm ET

Minnesota Vikings CB Marcus Sherels was released on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Malik Hooker Oct 22 3:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts S Malik Hooker (knee) told reporters he expects to play in Week 8 versus the Denver Broncos. Hooker has been sidelined since Week 3 with a torn meniscus.

From TheHuddle

Emmanuel Sanders Oct 22 3:20pm ET

The San Francisco 49ers traded for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. Reported by ESPNs Adam Schefter, the Niners will ship 2020 third and fourth round picks to Denver for Sanders and a 2020 fifth rounder. The 10-year pro should instantly upgrade a Niners receiving corps that have been anonymous outside of stud tight end George Kittle. However, Sanders should be downgraded fantasy-wise as he enters a run-heavy offense while competing for looks against Kittle, a versatile backfield and an amalgam of wideouts. Hell be a risky WR3 in Week 8 against a tough Carolina Panthers pass defense. Other losers in the deal are receivers Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel (groin) and Marquise Goodwin who all continue to slide outside of fantasy relevance.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Oct 22 3:20pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will make his Patriots debut in Week 8 against a Browns Defense that is allowing the 14th fewest fantasy points to receivers. Sanu was acquired via trade from the Falcons and immediately brings size and physicality to a banged up wide receiving group in New England. Sanu caught 66 passes last season for 838 yards and four touchdowns but has been held to only 313 yards with one touchdown this season. Sanu is an excellent addition as a player that can bring the kind of size in the red zone that the Patriots have been lacking due to a banged up Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski's retirement in the preseason. Sanu should be thrown right into the mix against a Browns defense that has allowed 10-plus fantasy points to eight different receivers this season. He may lack the amount of targets, however, to garner anything higher than a WR4 play in Week 8.

From RotoBaller