The Bucs won the toss to start the game and elected again to receive. The offense got a promising start on the heels of running back Ronald Jones who got an immediate first down on the ground. The next play wouldn't end up so well as quarterback Jameis Wnston was pickd off by linebacker Darius Leonard. The Colts were hit with a personal foul penalty, backing them up to midfield. They'd capitalize on the turnover, as quarterback Jacoby Brissett evaded pressure on third-and-6 to heave the ball downfield where wide receiver Marcus Johnson would haul it in the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown, giving Indianapolis an early 7-0 lead with 12:45 left in the first quarter.
The Bucs got the ball back but didn't fare any better on their next drive. A third-and-11 saw a checkdown pass to running back Dare Ogunbowale, who started to go down short of the line of gain but coughed up the ball in the process. The Colts then took over again around midfield.
Indianapolis would end up being stopped on third-and-eight but even though Colts' starting kicker Adam Vinatieri is sidelined, the Colts threw new addition Chase McLaughlin out there to attempt a 50-yard field goal. He drilled it, increasing Indy's lead to 10-0 in the first quarter.
The next possession would finally prove fruitful for Tampa Bay. They drove down the field on a well-balanced drive, helped into the red zone by a long completion to wide receiver Breshad Perriman. It was followed by a 13-yard pass to tight end Cameron Brate to get the Bucs to the goal line where Winston would take it in himself on the next play. It cut the Colts' lead to 10-7 with 1:47 left to go in the first quarter.
The Tampa Bay defense held up its end of the deal on Indy's next possession, forcing a three-and-out. The very first play of the Bucs' next possession was all they'd need to take the lead. Winston hit wide receiver Mike Evans for 61 yards as Evans made his way into the end zone. After the successful extra point, the Bucs went up 14-10 just before the expiration of the first quarter.
Another Indianapolis possession resulted in another stop for the Bucs' defense, who forced the punt after just three downs. The Bucs would trade a punt back and surrender the ball back to Indianapolis.
The Colts drove down the field, mostly by the will of quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who got them into the red zone and two yards out from the goal line. Running back Marlon Mack would take it from there and punch it in to put Indy back up 17-14 halfway through the second quarter.
Despite getting right outside the red zone, the Bucs' next drive again ended at the hands of the Colts' Darius Leonard who intercepted Winston and took 80 yards it to the house. The Indianapolis extra point was good and the Colts extended their lead to 24-14 just before the two-minute warning.
The Bucs would cut the Colts' lead on the next drive, employing their two-minute offense. A three-yard strike from Winston to tight end Cameron Brate put the Bucs within three with 1:54 left in the half.
From there, Brissett delivered a long ball to Johnson with a roughing the passer penalty tacked on to the end of the play. It set the Colts up inside the red zone. After bringing up fourth down at the three-yard line, the Brissett would take the ball across the line of gain himself, setting the Colts up for a field goal with three seconds left. The 19-yard try was good and extended the Colts' lead to 27-21 as the half expired.
The Colts started the second half with the ball but would come up empty behind a big sack of Brissett on first down. It was outside linebacker Shaq Barrett and defensive lineman Will Gholston who split the takedown, increasing Barrett's league-leading total to 15.0 sacks on the season. Indy would end up punting.
Quarterback Ryan Griffin came in for an injured Winston, who suffered an injury to his throwing hand. The drive would come up empty after a third-down pass went wide and the Bucs were forced to punt.
Indianapolis took seven plays to get 76 yards down the field, ending in a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Zach Pascal. The Colts would go for two and get it again at the hands of Pascal, putting Indy up 35-21 with 5:59 to go in the third quarter.
The Bucs would answer this time, with Winston back in and leading the charge. Big-time completions to Howard for 33 yards then Godwin for 11 were followed by a 17-yard strike in the end zone to wide receiver Justin Watson. It was the second-year receiver's first touchdown of his career and put the Bucs within a score, 35-28, with 3:18 left in the third quarter.
The defense forced a three-and-out by the Colts on their ensuing drive. Despite getting to fourth-and-one, Indy elected to punt, surrendering the ball back to the Bucs with 1:43 to go in the third.
The Bucs tacked on an extra three on their next drive, cutting the lead to 35-31 as kicker Matt Gay connected on a 44-yard field goal.
The Colts were helped into the red zone on their next drive by a defensive pass interference call on rookie cornerback Jamel Dean. However, rookie inside linebacker Devin White forced his third fumble of the season as rookie safety Mike Edwards scooped it up to give the Bucs' defense their first takeaway of the game.
Unfortunately, the Bucs gave it right back as Winston's pass was tipped and then caught by cornerback Malik Hooker for the interception. It put the Colts right back in Tampa Bay territory. However, the Bucs' defense would come up with a huge stop, forcing Indy to attempt a field goal. This time, McLaughlin would doink it off the upright, giving Tampa Bay the ball back at their own 37-yard line.
The Buccaneers didn't waste their next possession and spanned the entire field, at one point going for it on fourth down. Winston would complete it to Ogunbowale for the pickup and a few plays later, the Bucs were in the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Breshad Perriman to retake the lead. With 3:51 left in the game Tampa Bay was on top 38-35.
After forcing the Colts into a fourth-down-and-one situation, the Bucs batted Brissett's pass at the line. Brissett caught it but then tried to throw the ball again, resulting in a penalty and turnover on downs for Indianapolis.
One first down later and the Bucs were able to run the clock out as they escaped with a 38-35 victory at home for their third-straight win.