Rivers throw 3 TD passes as Colts rally past Bengals 31-27

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Indianapolis Colts' Zach Pascal (14) makes a touchdown reception against Cincinnati Bengals' LeShaun Sims (38) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

INDIANAPOLIS – Philip Rivers never flinched with the Indianapolis Colts facing a 21-0 first-half deficit Sunday.

He went back to work and joined MVP quarterbacks Bert Jones and Peyton Manning in the Indianapolis Colts' record book.

Rivers responded by throwing three touchdown passes, including the 14-yard go-ahead scoring throw to Jack Doyle on the first play of the fourth quarter, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 31-27 victory over Cincinnati to match the greatest regular-season comeback in franchise history.

“I wasn’t feeling any panic," Rivers said. “We'd only run about eight snaps, I think, offensively. So personally what I drew on was, it was early in the game and I drew on 2006 at Cincinnati, my first year starting. We were down 28-7 at the half and came came back and won kind of similarly.”

Fourteen years later, Rivers found a way to do it again — marking the fifth time in Colts history and the first on the franchise's home turf. Indy's only larger comeback was a 28-point deficit against Kansas City in the 2013 playoffs.

The last time Indianapolis rallied from such a deep hole was 2003 at Tampa Bay. Indy missed a field goal to force overtime, but the Bucs were called for leaping and then MIke Vanderjagt made the kick. The Colts won in OT.

Rivers also has done it twice against the Bengals (1-4-1), who have only blown leads of 21 five times, including a team record 24-point lead in 1979 against the Houston Oilers.

“It’s a tough one to swallow for sure," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “Then again, we didn’t earn it. You’ve got to challenge the team. Everybody could have done one more thing.”