INDIANAPOLIS — There were times Zack Moss needed a break.
On a few occasions in the Indianapolis Colts’ 22-19 overtime upset of the Ravens in Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon, an undisclosed injury sent the veteran running back to the sidelines.
But he personified the word Shane Steichen used to describe his team’s game-long performance — resilient.
“I can never quit on these guys,’’ Moss said. “So, like twice I was down, and I just had to shake it off and get back out there and try and grind this out.
“This is a big road win for us. It gives us a lot of confidence . . . and I just want to be in that role and continue to keep going.’’
That role: featured back.
And Moss will continue to be the focal point of the Colts’ ground game until the Jonathan Taylor situation is resolved. Taylor remains on the reserve-physically unable to perform list (PUP) and has missed three of the required four games. He’s eligible to be added to the active roster —once he passes a physical, of course — for the Oct. 8 meeting with the Tennessee Titans in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Until then, Indy will follow Moss’ lead.
Sunday, they followed him to a grit-it-out upset of the touchdown-favorite Ravens.
Moss set career-highs with 30 carries and 122 yards, and added two receptions for 23 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown from Gardner Minshew II on a nice wheel route against linebacker Patrick Queen.
The 17-yard TD, he insisted, was “95% Minshew.’’
Moss also credited offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for the game plan and his patchwork offensive line for giving him room to maneuver.
For perspective, consider Moss’ 122 yards — just his second career 100-yard outing — was only the fifth time the Ravens have allowed a triple-digit runner in the past four seasons. Only Tennessee’s Derrick Henry — 133 yards in another OT game in 2020 — has topped Moss’ performance during that stretch.
As is always the case, Moss ran with a purpose against a defense that ranked No. 6 against the run after two weeks.
“Yeah, I knew coming in my mindset was going to be, ‘Be physical,’’’ he said in the locker room after the game. It’s a great defense we just played, great linebackers. I’ve got a lot of respect for those two dudes (Roquan Smith and Queen).
“So, I just had to be physical and just try to wear them out all game long. Just had to do my job at a high level of consistency.’’
Moss generated the Colts’ two longest runs of the season with a pair of 24-yard gains, each around the left side.
Then, he did the dirty work in overtime with 8 carries for 25 yards.
After the defense forced a Lamar Jackson incompletion on fourth-and-3 at the Indy 47 with 3½ remaining, Moss had four straight attempts: 13, 2 and 3 yards before being stuffed for no gain on third-and-5 at the Ravens 35.
That set up Matt Gay’s game-winning 53-yard field goal.
“I did not know how many carries (or) what it was going to look like — that part is not up to me,’’ Moss said. “But when the coaches call my number, I want them to be sure they can trust me at all times.’’
Shane Steichen described Moss’ style as “unique.’’
“I think he’s got a low level of gravity just the way his body is set up,’’ he said. “I mean, he finds those creases and then he’s able to shed those tackles and make guys miss and break those tackles. He’s a heck of a player.’’
In his last six games as the Colts’ workhorse, Moss has 544 yards on 117 carries (4.6 per attempt).
This and that
Minshew made his 25th career start and just the fifth in the past three seasons. He upped his career record as a starter to 9-16. Minshew passed for 227 yards and one TD while being sacked five times.
Michael Pittman Jr. led the Colts with nine catches for 77 yards, including a critical 34-yard catch in overtime from the Indy 11-yard line that flipped field position. He went over a pair of Ravens for the catch and lost his helmet in the process.
Linebacker Zaire Franklin finished with 15 tackles, including 11 solos, and 1 sack. His 45 tackles this season are the most by a Colt in the first three games of a season. Pat Angerer had the previous mark of 42.
The defense got sacks from Kwity Paye, Samson Ebukam, Taven Bryan and Franklin.
Rookie corner JuJu Brents made his first NFL appearance after being a healthy scratch the first two games. The Warren Central High School product had a big forced fumble and recovery in the first quarter and four solo tackles.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter/X at @mchappell51.