After a rough start to the season, the Colts have managed to play their way back into the playoff picture. With a 6-6 record and the Houston Texans coming up this weekend, Indianapolis should be able to head into their much-needed Bye Week with a winning record and an opportunity to get as healthy as they can hope to be for the stretch run.
One negative team identity in 2021 has been an inability to close out games. Too often the Colts have squandered double-digit leads. The offense has committed untimely turnovers or failed to put together drives, and the defense has collapsed against both pass and run in key moments. This must not be the team’s identity down the stretch, if they hope to get back to the playoffs.
The good news for the Colts is that their second-year running back Jonathan Taylor has been cooking this season. He leads NFL running backs in nearly every meaningful statistical category. Taylor has even put himself into serious MVP consideration, which is certainly rare for a non-quarterback. Even better for Taylor is that the Colts will not face another rush defense that is anywhere close to as stout as the last two games against the Bills and Bucs.
If the offense continues to roll, and the defense can come through in big moments, Indianapolis will enter the playoffs with a lot of momentum. Somehow, this .500 team has a defense that leads the league in turnovers, a quarterback who has been more careful with the football than many expected, a running game that wears out opponents, and one of the hottest scoring offenses in the game.
It might be time for the Colts' fortunes to turn around in key moments.