The Colts had a chance to drive down the field and win the game but the Hail Mary at the end got knocked down with plenty of chances left on the field.
Here are four takeaways from the wild-card loss:
Aggressiveness hurt the Colts
We know that Frank Reich is typically an aggressive coach, and we knew going into this game that field goals weren’t going to win it for Indy given the offense they were going against. But it wound up hurting them more than it helped. Reich decided to go for a goal line touchdown on fourth down, and they failed to get it. He challenged a very clear call when Zack Moss lost control of a ball, but it was somewhat obvious on the replay that he was down. Then there was a questionable call in going for a two-point conversion after a penalty moved them closer in the fourth quarter. But the play was blown up immediately. Having that aggressiveness is great when the offense is rolling, but there were some calls that were questionable by Reich on Saturday.
Red Zone offense struggled
It was going to be very hard for the Colts to win this game if they didn’t play well in situational football. While they were solid for the majority of the game on third downs, they struggled where it mattered most in the red zone. The Colts were just 3-of-5when driving inside the 20-yard line on the Bills side of the field. All that, despite the fact that nine of their 10 actual drives made it across midfield. Not being able to finish drives with a touchdown really hurt the Colts in this game.
A resilient bunch
Even when the Colts were down 14 points at one point in the third quarter, Indy didn’t give in. They clawed all the way back during the fourth quarter and even gave themselves a chance to win in what was a wild—and somewhat confusing—final drive. But the Colts showed a lot of heart for a team that kept shooting itself in the foot and almost pulled off an incredible upset.
Philip Rivers earned another deal
Whether he will want to comeback remains to be seen but Rivers showed throughout the regular season and postseason that he has plenty left in the tank and does enough to put the Colts in the seat to win big games. It will be an interesting offseason to see what he and the Colts want to do, but Rivers has earned himself another year.