Colts follow an old formula to fight for the playoffs

Indy boasts the NFL’s leading running back and boasts a defense tied for the league lead in steals

INDIANAPOLIS – Frank Reich, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, challenged his players to show everyone that they are more than just a playoff-contending team.

Saturday’s impressive victory over the New england patriots made it clear that Colts they were worthy postseason contenders.

Now comes the tricky part, doing it again the next two weeks against opponents who have playoff aspirations.

“We have a lot of faith and a lot of conviction that we have the staff, we have the coaches and we have the progress,” he said. Reich on Sunday. “If that is actually true, then we will play at our best in November and December. We will continue to improve, learn from our mistakes, and play our best football in November and December. “

Certainly the Colts They have shown their best in recent times.

After starting the season 1-4, they have won seven of nine games. Both losses were at home, in overtime against the leaders of the South of the AFC, the Tennessee Titans, and in the last minute against the defending champions of the Super Bowl, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both defeats came after Indianapolis he wasted advantages in the second half.

But if the Colts can replicate what they did against New england in the next two weeks, visiting in front of the Arizona cardinals and at home against Las vegas raiders, they will finish the season against Jacksonville Jaguars, perhaps with a place already secured in the playoffs.

Indianapolis It was raised from an uncertain start thanks to a formula with proven results.

Jonathan Taylor (1,518 yards) is the solo leader in rushing yards in the NFL. Your closest pursuer is Joe mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals with 1,094. Taylor He also leads the league with 19 total touchdowns, the most recent being a 67-yard breakaway that sealed a 27-17 victory over the Patriots with 2:01 to play.

The defense of the Colts continues to set the league standard with +14 in delivery differential and is tied with the Dallas cowboys with more robberies (31).

To this must be added an offensive line that has only allowed 94 quarterback sacks since 2018, and a team that week after week gains in confidence.

All they have to prove is that Saturday’s victory was not the work of chance.

It works?

Block kicks. Indianapolis has blocked two punts in the last five games and linebacker EJ Speed he returned both for a touchdown. He is the first player to do so since Ed reed in 2003, and there are still three games on the regular schedule.

What is not working?

The air attack. While Taylor has shown that it can carry the offense, the Colts they probably need that Carson wentz be more effective than it was against New england. He completed 5 of 12 passes for 57 yards with a touchdown and an interception on Saturday.