The Indianapolis Colts are a juggernaut of a team when they don’t have to rely heavily on Carson Wentz.
The Indianapolis Colts have been on a roll, winning four of their last five games entering Week 15. To continue their push towards a playoff berth, they had to defeat the New England Patriots, a team looking to retake the top seed in the AFC. But the Colts showed up and made a huge statement on Saturday.
Indianapolis defeated New England 27-17 to improve to 8-6 on the year. The Colts dominated the Patriots with their star running back in Jonathan Taylor, with quarterback Carson Wentz taking a backseat on the offense.
If Week 15 showed us anything, it is that the Colts could be a dangerous team in the playoffs when Wentz does not have to do much.
Colts dominate Patriots with running game
Frank Reich took a page out of Bill Belichick’s playbook on Saturday night. Remember when the Patriots called just three passing plays and ran 46 running plays in their 14-10 win over the Buffalo Bills back in Week 13? Well, Indianapolis ran the ball 39 times and threw it 12 times.
While Wentz has had a relatively good season, he does have the tendency to make some costly throws at the worst possible time. Sure enough, that happened in the fourth quarter. Wentz threw an interception to defensive back Devin McCourty which, luckily for the Colts, resulted in the Patriots settling for a field goal to cut their lead to 20-10.
Ever since that pick, Reich did not call a single passing play, running the ball for the remainder of the game. When the Patriots cut their deficit to 20-17 with a little over two minutes remaining, Taylor ended things with a 67-yard run up the middle to clinch the victory for Indy.
Making a case for NFL MVP, Taylor ran the ball 29 times, where he picked up 170 yards and scored the aforementioned touchdown. He has now recorded 1,518 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 270 carries through 14 games.
Wentz completed just five of his 12 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.
The Colts have shown that they can win football games with their running game and defense. The less the team has to rely on Wentz, the better Indianapolis’ chances are.