The Indianapolis Colts won in dominating fashion Sunday afternoon, defeating division rival Houston 31-3 and earning their second win on the 2021 season. Now 2-4, Indy is finally starting to find their identity on both sides of the ball.
Here are three things that we learned from the Colts’ much-needed win over the Texans.
- QB Carson Wentz’s exceptional play continues:
We saw a much different-looking offense from the Colts on Sunday. The team’s offense, led by quarterback Carson Wentz, who threw for over 200 yards and tossed 2 touchdowns, including a 51-yard strike to wide receiver Parris Campbell, put up one of their best performances of the season.
While Wentz did miss a couple of throws, Sunday really showcased what he could do with great protection from the offensive line. Wentz’s 52-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton couldn’t have been thrown any better, and neither could his touchdown strike to tight end Mo Alie-Cox just a few drives later. The protection upfront is what allowed Wentz to make those throws.
Now up to 9 touchdowns with just 1 interception on the season, Wentz is becoming more and more comfortable within the team’s offense and is continuing to show that he can be the Colts’ long-term, franchise quarterback moving forward. Wentz, especially over the last three weeks, has been nothing short of exceptional for the Colts.
- Defense displays best overall performance this season:
Indy’s defense was equally as impressive Sunday, forcing rookie quarterback Davis Mills into making several mistakes and holding Houston’s offense to just 3 total points. The defense made several key plays throughout the game, including the interception by linebacker Darius Leonard, which resulted in the Colts taking a 17-0 just a few plays later.
Leonard also had a forced fumble, and cornerback Isaiah Rodgers had an interception late in the game, sealing the victory. While the secondary did struggle at times, particularly on third downs, they did hold Mills to just 243 passing yards. Running back Mark Ingram was also held to just 73 rushing yards on 18 carries, too.
After a disastrous second-half performance last Monday against the Baltimore Ravens, Indy’s defense showed up and showed out when it mattered most.
- Colts’ running game helps lead to victory:
Running back Jonathan Taylor had his best performance of the season Sunday, rushing for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. Taylor really got going in the second half, as he broke an 83-yard run, which is the longest of any back this season so far, leading to a touchdown just a few plays later and a 24-3 lead for Indy.
Through the first couple of weeks, the Colts were unable to find much success on the ground. Over the last three weeks, though, Taylor has slowly started to find his rhythm and has rushed for a grand total of 301 yards over the last three games. Currently, Taylor is fifth in the NFL in rushing yards with 472, and has found the end zone a total of four total times.
Indy’s offense in general has been much more balanced over the last three weeks, and Taylor has played such a crucial role both as a pass-catcher and on the ground. It took some time, but Taylor is finally starting to look like the running back which the Colts saw towards the back half of last season.