Colts CB Stephon Gilmore on big plays vs. Broncos QB Russell Wilson: ‘He kept trying me, so I had to make him pay’

With Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos on the doorstep of victory twice late in Thursday night’s game, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore shut the door on each occasion.

Gilmore intercepted Wilson in the end zone late in regulation and then broke up the quarterback’s fourth-down pass in overtime to seal the Colts’ 12-9 win over the Broncos on Prime Video Thursday Night Football.

“They tried me like two times in a row the play before [the interception],” Gilmore told Prime’s Kaylee Hartung after the game. “I knew he was gonna come back and I had to make him pay. He kept trying me, so I made him pay.”

While much will be made, and rightfully so, of Wilson and the Broncos offense’s continued struggles, Gilmore served up a reminder that he’s still got some stellar play left in the tank after injuries over the past two seasons put that into doubt.

The 2019 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the New England Patriots, Gilmore had his best showing so far in his first campaign with the Colts. Wilson targeted him eight times, but Gilmore relinquished just three receptions for 18 yards, per Next Gen Stats. He added five tackles, two pass breakups and his first interception as a Colt.

The interception killed what seemed destined to be a Broncos game-concluding scoring drive.

With the Colts trailing, 9-6, deep in the fourth quarter, the Broncos looked to be riding to a touchdown drive, moving the ball better than they had all game. Denver, on 10 plays, marched to the Indianapolis 13-yard line. Facing third-and-4, Wilson went to Tyrie Cleveland deep in the end zone, but found Gilmore instead.

The takeaway gave the Colts one last gasp, and they made good thanks to a 31-yard Chase McLaughlin field goal that sent the game into OT.

Indianapolis had possession to open OT and settled for another McLaughlin three-point make to go ahead for the first time in the game, 12-9.

Once more, the Broncos’ stagnant offense found life late, only for Gilmore to snuff it out.

Wilson had his eyes locked on receiver Courtland Sutton as the Broncos went for the win on fourth-and-1 from the Indy 5. Yet again, it was Gilmore who was locked in as he made a beautiful pass breakup, stretching out his right arm to bat away Wilson’s throw and sending the Colts home with the win.

In a game that often times was difficult to watch, it seemed as though Denver (2-3), despite its pitfalls, would collect another ugly win. But it was the Colts (2-2-1) who prevailed thanks in large part to Gilmore’s histrionics.

“They may not look good all the time, but we gotta come out with a win,” Gilmore said, “and we did that today.”

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