Fortunately for the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL, at the end of the regular season, doesn't ask: how; it asks: how many? That means no one will care about the fact that Indianapolis just played a disgusting Week 13 game against the Tennessee Titans. All that matters is the fact that the Colts are now 7-5 and still in possession of a playoff spot.
But, the game was extremely ugly. It took overtime for Indianapolis to pull off the 31-28 victory— sweeping the Titans for the first time since 2018 — but Indy may not be getting the victory Monday off after how they played.
The Colts turned the ball over twice, threw a pick-two on a failed two point conversion, gave up 381 total yards, 177 on the ground, and was 3-of-14 on third down. However, Indianapolis got the win thanks to two blocked punts, one for a touchdown, a relentless pass rush that had six sacks, and wide receiver Alec Pierce.
Along with the win, Colts fans are probably most excited about Alec Pierce finally having a statement game.
Alec Pierce finally a factor in Colts offense
Pierce, coming off a promising rookie season, entered year two with high expectations. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really been a big part of the offense. On Sunday, Pierce had the kind of day that fans have been waiting for, catching three passes for 100 yards and one touchdown. It was a 55-yard reception in overtime that set Indy up on the four-yard line for the game-winning score.
Pierce entered the game with just 22 receptions for 291 yards and and zero touchdowns. He had been surpassed by rookie Josh Downs as Indy’s No. 2 receiver. However, Pierce’s lack of production wasn’t really because he was underwhelming. It had a lot to do with his role in the offense and the quarterback’s inability to get him the ball accurately.
The Colts use Pierce as their deep-ball receiver. During the broadcast of Sunday’s game, it was pointed out that Pierce entered Week 13 having run 136 go routes, the most of any player in the league. Of those 136 go routes, Pierce was targeted on just nine. On Sunday, Pierce added three more noticeable go routes: one that was a touchdown, one that set up the game-winning touchdown, and one where Pierce was wide open but the ball was inaccurately thrown.
It was pretty much a microcosm of Pierce’s season. He’s still the talented big-play receiver that fans were excited about at the beginning of the year, but a lot has to go right for his production to show. With the Colts now sitting at 7-5, and alive in the AFC playoff race, let’s hope Pierce’s production in Sunday’s game was a turning point for the young receiver.