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Reich, Rivers, Leonard talk close wild card loss to Bills

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts fell just short of beating the Bills on Saturday afternoon. After trailing 27-10 in the fourth quarter, Rivers and the offense orchestrated two straight touchdown drives, cutting the Bills’ lead to just three points.

With a chance to either tie the game or take the lead in the final minutes, the offense came up short. Too many missed opportunities — including the failed 4th and goal attempt before the half, the missed 33-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship, and seven drops — ultimately led to Indianapolis’ defeat.

The players will be the first to tell you where they came up short.

Rivers, who played about as well as the Colts could’ve ask for, got emotional when discussing how special this team was and whether he’d be returning next season.

“If it’s God’s will that I’m in Indy with the Colts next year, then I’ll be here. If not, I’ll be on the sideline with a ballcap, coaching the heck out of high school football down in South Alabama,” Rivers said.

“It’s a really neat team. I know personally, for me, to develop the type of bond and the camaraderie that we had, it was pretty special for sure. It was a heck of a team to be apart of,” he continued.

Frank Reich said how proud he was of Rivers for playing as well as he did.

“Philip played lights out. Really proud of him today and all year,” Reich said.

Reich also mentioned being open to bringing Rivers back, but understands that it’s not entirely up to the Colts

“Those things will work themselves out, but he exceeded expectations in my mind in terms of what he was bringing to the team on and off the field,” he continued.

Darius Leonard, who suffered his second playoff loss in his third season, mentioned how disappointed he was over today’s outcome, too.

“It hurts worse than the first time...it’s Super Bowl or nothing. This offseason, you gotta work like it’s your last season. You gotta work when everybody’s sleeping,” Leonard said.

“Thinking about all the work you put in during the offseason, coming into the playoffs and losing is just something you get tired of. You just get tired of losing. Being a competitor and just knowing you (have) a good team and just not finding a way to get the job done,” he continued.

Yes, the loss stings. Maybe even more for some players. But it’s important to maintain perspective. This Colts team has a lot of young and talented players, and they’re only going to get better as time goes on.

Regardless of today’s outcome and the questions that remain to be answered in the offseason, Indianapolis has a very bright future ahead of them.