4 blown games that have drastically altered Colts’ playoff fate
By Mike Luciano
The Indianapolis Colts are poised to end up in the postseason barring some unforeseen bad luck. Carson Wentz, Jonathan Taylor, and the offense rebounded from a slow start and took advantage of a below-average division to start piling up the victories.
After an 0-3 start, Indy won 10 of their next 13 games. Wentz is playing efficient football, Taylor is making a run at Offensive Player of the Year, and Matt Eberflus has the defense playing well despite plenty of major injuries at several key positions.
The Colts need to either defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars in order to secure a postseason spot or hope that the Los Angeles Chargers end up losing. A Ravens-Steelers tie or a Steelers loss/Dolphins win could help Indianapolis make the postseason for the third time in four years under Reich. All in all they just have to beat the Jaguars and the job is done. Only problem? They haven’t won in Jacksonville since 2014.
If the Colts took care of business in these four winnable games during the regular season, though, they wouldn’t have had to play such a stressful Week 18. They could’ve been better positioned to make a deep run in an AFC that’s absolutely wide open given the lack of dominance at the top.
4 games that could’ve changed the Colts’ playoff fate.
4. Week 2 vs. Los Angeles Rams
LA started the year white-hot on offense, as Matthew Stafford was lighting defenses on fire. The Colts were no exception, as he threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns in his first road game in with the Rams. Wentz wasn’t at his best, and his inaccuracy came up at inopportune times.
This was before Taylor went off on his insane 100-yard streak. In this one, he mustered just 51 yards against Aaron Donald and didn’t rip off a play longer than 13 yards. The Colts still had a chance to win the game, but a Wentz injury forced a since-departed quarterback to attempt to save the day.
The Indianapolis Colts needed to come back against the Rams.
Jacob Eason got his first NFL experience down the stretch. He completed two of his five passes, yet was intercepted on the final drive and lost the game for Indy. The Colts were handed a tough home loss, and Eason, who has since linked up with Seattle, would be cut in favor of Sam Ehlinger.
The Colts would not only be a better seed with this victory, but they would have an impressive home win against one of the best teams in the league. If only Wentz didn’t land awkwardly or throw that shovel pass INT at the goal line…