Colts lose to Commanders 17-16 in Sam Ehlinger’s first career start

Dominic Campbell

Following the Colts’ loss to the Titans, Sam Ehlinger was made the starting QB for the rest of the season. The Colts hoped that by putting in Ehlinger they could kickstart the offense which had been near the bottom in points per game so far this season. In the preseason, Ehlinger had been able to complete 24 passes on 29 attempts for 289 yards and 4 touchdowns without throwing a single interception (FOX SPORTS). Against the Commanders Ehlinger’s stat sheet seemed similar as he managed to complete 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards (YAHOO SPORTS). 

However, the Colts’ prayers to get the offense moving had been largely unanswered through the first 3 quarters as the Colts had only scored 6 points. This lack of scoring had largely been caused by two crucial fumbles on long Colts drives, the first by Sam Ehlinger happened in the red zone with 2:43 left in the second quarter. The second fumble by Jonathan Taylor also happened in Washington territory at about the 20-yard line during the third quarter; these turnovers kept the Colts down 7-6 entering the fourth quarter.

Entering the fourth quarter the colts had the ball and despite the fumbles, they had managed to stay in the game due to strong defensive play. Sam Ehlinger had also avoided throwing costly interceptions and was able to successfully drive the ball downfield on several drives. He also was able to complete deep passes which included a 47-yard pass to Alec Pierce and a 38-yard pass to Parris Campbell.

Then in the fourth quarter, the Colts managed to rally off 10 straight points to go up 17-6 but would ultimately lose as commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed a 33-yard pass to Terry Mclaurin before punching the ball into the endzone on a QB sneak. This is the colts’ second loss in a row and it was largely caused by their own mistakes, if either of the Colts’ fumbles hadn’t happened they likely would have won the game.