- The Indianapolis Colts demolished the Buffalo Bills 41-15 on Sunday.
- Starring in the Colts win was Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 185 yards and scored five touchdowns.
- Taylor’s big day came thanks to a bold decision from Colts head coach Frank Reich.
The Indianapolis Colts did their part to upend an already chaotic AFC with their 41-15 trouncing of the Buffalo Bills.
Starring for the Colts was running back Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 185 yards and four touchdowns (he also caught a fifth score) in a show of dominance over a team that entered the week as the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
For Taylor, the stat line was simultaneously jaw-dropping and nothing all that new.
While both totals were season highs, Taylor has rushed for at least 100 yards in five of the Colts’ last six games en route to becoming the top rusher in the NFL. He also scored a touchdown in every game Indianapolis has played since the start of October.
But the “how” of Taylor’s career day is notable.
After the Colts jumped out to a 24-7 lead at halftime, Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich had to figure out how exactly to fend off a comeback from one of the most dangerous teams in football. When the Colts’ first drive of the second half stalled out on an incompletion, Reich made a call.
“I decided I was going to run the ball on every first and second down from there on,” Reich told Peter King of NBC Sports.
In modern football, such thinking is discouraged if not fully maligned. To over-commit to any one strategy is often a mistake, even while attempting to preserve a lead. The best teams in the league will recognize, adjust, and beat you.
Put another way: If you’re trying to win at rock-paper-scissors, and your opponent insists on throwing rock every hand, figuring out how to beat them is not all that difficult.
But Reich’s reasoning for committing to Taylor through the second half was as sound as it was simple.
“Every time we ran it, good things were happening,” Reich said. “Every time we ran it, the pile was moving forward. And when you have Jonathan Taylor on your side, you know the pile’s going to keep moving.”
Reich wasn’t lying. On 17 of the following 18 first and second downs from that point in the game, the Colts handed the ball off.
The pile kept moving, and the Colts’ lead surged to 38-7, heading into the fourth quarter thanks to two more Taylor touchdowns.
—Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) November 21, 2021
Just three weeks ago, Indianapolis was 3-5, staring down a decision of continuing to start quarterback Carson Wentz or benching him and trying for next year to preserve a first-round pick.
Now, the Colts have won three straight, including Sunday’s dismantling of the Bills, moving them to 6-5 on the season and announcing to the AFC that they can hang with anyone in the conference.
The Colts still have a long way to go, with games against the Buccaneers and Patriots making up two of their next three on the schedule. But with Taylor in the backfield, the pile will keep moving forward until someone figures out how to stop it.
Courtesy By INSIDER