The playoff picture in the AFC has been close with Indianapolis, Baltimore, Miami, and Cleveland all vying for the final 3 playoff spots. Week 17, the Colts needed one of the 3 other teams to lose and for the Colts to beat the Jaguars in order to get into the playoffs. With help from Buffalo the Colts were able to secure the 7th seed in the AFC as the Colts beat the Jaguars 28-14.
Week 17’s match for the Colts was a must win against AFC south division foe Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts dominated the first half of play through the run game as rookie Jonathan Taylor had a career day with 253 rushing yards and 2 rush touchdowns. Taylor is the second Colts to rush for 200 rushing yards in a single game. The other being Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James. The Colts would take a 20-7 lead in the first half vs the last place Jaguars. But the Colts would fall back into their normal routine of having a great first half and a non existent second half. The Jaguars would make it a 6 point game until the final 3 minutes in the fourth quarter as Taylor would make a last rushing touchdown to seal this game for the Colts.
This is a problem that the Colts have faced under Head Coach Frank Reich tenure. The team would be well prepared for the first half and all of a sudden be lost in the second this shouldn’t happen to this team as they are playing the last place team in the NFL. This has happened in many big games for the Colts. Against the Baltimore Ravens earlier this season the Colts had a 10-7 lead but would be scoreless in the second half and give up 17 points to the Ravens. Last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers the team would have a 21-7 lead but give up that lead to the Steelers as they would be outscored 21-3. Adjustments is a weak part of Frank Reich coaching abilities and something needs to be worked on if the Colts want to take the next step.
Quarterback Phillip Rivers who threw for 164 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Rivers had a decent game but failed to close out this important game as he underthrew T.Y. Hilton went to Jaguar defender Andrew Wingard for an interception. Throughout this season Rivers has failed to drive this offense down the field to win games and is something needed to be looked at for next year’s team if they decide to move in a different direction.
This team has a big challenge ahead of them with the second seed Buffalo Bills as they face them next Saturday at 1pm est.
E.J. Bryan of Spotlight Sports Network