Last night, a Christmas Day gift was delivered to the Indianapolis Colts fan base via the Colts. The Colts conquered the mighty Cardinals while dealing with the rampant increase of COViD-19 positives/close contacts on the roster. Despite missing numerous key offensive/defensive starters, the Colts gutted their way to victory at a crucial point of the season. In securing a win vs the Cardinals last night; The Colts continue to increase their odds of making the playoffs this season.
With Darius Leonard, Khari Willis, and Rock Ya-Sin missing the game because of being placed on the COVID-19, it seemed the Colts would struggle against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. The Cardinals did, in fact, show glimpses of exposing the Colts’ injury/player weaknesses on defense. The Colts defense as a unit stepped up with two depth/special team linebackers were thrust into starting roles and responded well. Containing Kyler Murray is no easy task, and the Colts had to send the whole house a few times. However, the critical blitzing calls throughout the game paid dividends in paving the Colts way to victory. Making Kyler Murray uncomfortable was the Colts’ focus, and it showed how Murray was reacting after each new blitz he saw. The focus stayed the same with James Connor being announced out and the Colts delivered.
They always say that “defense wins championships,” and that’s exactly what it felt like watching the game. The battered Colts appeared to step up to the collective challenge in stopping/shutting down one of the most prolific offenses in the league.
Let’s not forget the exceptional job the Colts offense showcased throughout the game despite Jonathan Taylor’s worst game since the first two weeks of the season. Even when Taylor is trying to be contained and controlled, he still had his way and significantly impacted the game, with his 108 yards in the end. The hero of the offense for tonight was Carson Wentz. This is precisely what Frank Reich and Co expected from Carson Wentz when they officially decided to pull the trigger to trade for him last offseason. The team has never wanted Wentz to be the hero every game/put the team on his back, but rather show the capabilities of coming through in dire situations to help the team win games in the end. Wentz’s fourth-quarter pass TD to Dezmon Patmon was the gut punch that solidified the win for the Colts, and it was no easy throw. Wentz had to wait for Patmon to get open at the end of the route (in which Patmon improvised), and Wentz made the throw while being outside the pocket and moving.
Game MVP: The whole team.
The whole team earned the MVP because this victory took the help of everyone, from player to staff. With so many key players out, the Colts needed to get the best out of what they had at their disposal, and that’s precisely what happened. The next man mentality proved to be the difference, as the Colts fought harder than the Cardinals to secure a much-needed win for future playoff aspirations ultimately. As the Colts look back at this victory, it will be remembered as how the Colts officially became one special unit to go after the greater goal. “There’s a gleam, men, let’s go get that gleam” – Marty Schottenheimer