Former NFL veteran Geoff Schwartz broke down why the Colts running a toss on third and goal was the right play.
Fans are probably still reeling from the Indianapolis Colts’ gutting loss to the Buffalo Bills in the opening round of the playoffs. After all, they had more than enough chances, especially in the first half, to impose their will on the scoreboard.
Perhaps no drive was more important than the one towards the end of the first half with Indy leading 10-7. After a string of completed passes, the Colts found themselves set up with 1st and Goal inside the five that quickly turned into a third and goal from the one-yard line.
Given how much success running back Jonathan Taylor has enjoyed on inside handoffs in short yardage situations, almost everybody was anticipating a power run between the tackles. In truly shocking fashion, however, the Colts called a toss play that was blown up before he could even make a cut and force a missed tackle.
This call really drew the ire of the fan base, and understandably so given how it never really had a chance of panning out. However, former NFL veteran Geoff Schwartz took to social media after the game with an in-depth breakdown of why that play was the right call by the coaching staff.
Objectively speaking, Schwartz did an excellent job of breaking down this play for his audience and in the end we were left with this takeaway: in normal circumstances, Taylor barrels into the end zone fairly easily. The Bills’ defense, specifically cornerback Taron Johnson just made a great play to sniff it out, and that simply sums up why they finished the season 9-1 over the final two and a half months, ultimately nabbing the AFC’s No. 2 seed.
In the moment and given the stakes, it made sense why so many of those tuned in to the game were left thinking that a different play should’ve been called — a touchdown would have put the Colts up by 10 points with less than two minutes remaining in the first half and it preceded the failed fourth down attempt that saw Philip Rivers miss wideout Michael Pittman Jr. for a TD.
Blame missed opportunities all you want. The fact of the matter is that head coach Frank Reich was right to run a toss while facing man coverage at the goal line. It was undoubtedly a turning point in the game and the Bills stepped up and made a play. As gut-wrenching as it was to watch unfold, that’s nothing fans should hang their head about.