The Indianapolis Colts have put themselves in prime position to make a run at the post-season after a 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here are three key takeaways from Sunday’s much-needed for Indy.
- Carson Wentz’s late-game playmaking boosts Colts’ offense
Statistically, quarterback Carson Wentz didn’t have the greatest game (22-of-34 for 180 yards), but it was his late-game playmaking ability that provided a boost to Indy’s offense, which had been struggling for much of the second half.
More specifically, Wentz’s throw to wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. on 3rd down late in the 4th quarter allowed the Colts to tack on an extra field goal and extend their lead to six. Had Indy’s offense failed to convert that 3rd down, they likely would’ve been punting back to the Jags with only a three-point lead.
Sometimes it’s less about the numbers themselves and more about the plays made behind them. That is the case here. While Wentz’s numbers weren’t spectacular, he made a few crucial plays when the Colts’ offense needed it most Sunday.
- Jonathan Taylor 100-yard day puts him at No. 1 in total scrimmage yards
Running back Jonathan Taylor got off to a fast start, gashing the Jags’ defense for over 100 rushing yards in the first half alone. In total, Taylor had 116 rushing yards, averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and had a rushing touchdown as well.
With another 100-yard game under the star backs’ belt, Taylor becomes just the 4th running back in NFL history to have seven straight games with at least 100 total yards from scrimmage.
Additionally, Taylor is tied with Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry for most rushing yards this season with 937 and is on pace to eclipse Henry of his rushing title this season.
- Colts’ defense/pass rush showed up when it mattered most
Indy’s defense showed up in a variety of ways Sunday afternoon, including sacking Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence three times. Rookies Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo made two crucial plays that the Colts had been waiting to see from their early-round draft selections.
Paye recorded his first-career sack which stalled any sort of momentum Jacksonville might’ve had that drive, and Odeyingbo strip-sacked Lawrence on the Jaguars’ final drive of the game, thus sealing the victory for the Colts.
The Colts’ secondary — highlighted by Rock Ya-Sin and Isaiah Rodgers — did an excellent job limiting Jacksonville’s offense, as they held Lawrence to under 200 passing yards and didn’t allow any receiver to surpass the 100-yard mark. For a secondary which had been struggling as of late, they deserve credit for playing well Sunday.