The NFL's Indianapolis Colts, which features Estonian Defensive Tackle Margus Hunt, managed a consolation victory in the final home game of the 2019 season at the Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, dominating the lowly Carolina Panthers 38-6.
The Colts missed out on the playoffs after losing for games in a row, most crucially against divisional AFC South Rivals the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans, with the defeat at the New Orleans Saints, who had already clinched their division, last Sunday, sealing the Colts' fate.
With two Touchdowns in the First Quarter, followed by third in the Second Quarter, which the visitors could only answer with a Field Goal, The Third and Fourth Quarters were almost a mirror image scoreline – the Panthers managed one more Field Goal in the Third Quarter, the Colts, a Field Goal in the Third and two more Touchdowns in the fourth to bring the final scoreline to 38-6
The Colts' domination was such that they managed nearly double the amount of passing yards (199 to 106) and nearly three times as many rushing yards (218 to 87) in the game, as well as throwing zero interceptions to the Panthers', who lie bottom of the NFC South, three.
Nonetheless, they did not manage similar performances where it mattered this season, as the team slipped to third place in the tightest division in the league and one which they had earlier led.
This is evidenced by the fact only five wins separate the conference winner, the Houston Texans, and last placed team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, with second placed team the Tennessee Titans still in the hunt for a wildcard spot.
The Colts reached the playoffs last season, ironically defeating divisional rivals the Houston Texans in the opening round, only to crash out to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. However, they will not be repeating the feat this season. One more game remains in the regular season, with the Colts at least keeping out of the cold in visiting the Jaguars for the wooden spoon prize.
Defensive Tackle Margus Hunt, 32, from Karski-Nuia in South Estonia, started as a field athlete at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, switching to gridiron when SMU cut its athletics program. He was drafted by the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals in the second round in 2013, and traded to the Colts in March 2017. While he has not been getting many full games this season, the Colts re-signed Hunt for two seasons in March this year. He plays on special teams as well as defense.
ERR's sports portal recently interviewed Margus Hunt (in Estonian).
Editor: Andrew Whyte