5 takeaways from the Colts’ 34-31 win over the Packers

Kevin Hickey
·4 min read

The Indianapolis Colts (7-3) are coming off of a massive 34-31 overtime win against the Green Bay Packers (7-3) on Sunday, showing the NFL world they mean business.

With still a long road ahead before the AFC playoff picture is complete, the Colts find themselves in a good position to control their own destiny. There are still some tough matchups yet to come, but the Colts have a chance to make a run for a top-four seed in the AFC.

Here are five takeaways from the Week 11 win:

Second-Half Defense Shows Up Again

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first half of the game, the Colts defense had no answer for the Packers offense. Featuring a lot of play-action and rollout concepts, the Colts failed to generate any type of pressure. It led to them allowing 28 points in the first half. But just as the season has gone for the Colts, they stepped up in the second half. The Colts allowed just three points in the second half, which didn't come until there were just seconds left in the game. On four of the five drives in the second half, the Colts forced two punts, a fumble and a turnover on downs. It wasn't the best showing in the first half, but the Colts showed they can lock up elite offenses like the Packers with their second half showing.

Jonathan Taylor Finally Makes Progress

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

It has been a dark few games for the rookie running back, who has seen his starting role diminish to just a few carries per game since coming out of the bye week. However, he had plenty of juice in the second half of the game, and completely took over the backfield. Taylor finished with 22 carries for 90 rushing yards while adding four receptions for 24 receiving yards. He had a long touchdown run called back due to a hold as well. But what was more intriguing was the way Taylor was running. He had confidence and was making players miss even between the tackles. That's something we haven't seen from Taylor this season. It was an encouraging step for the rookie.

Clutch Takeaways

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Colts defense helped Indy win the turnover battle 4-2, and that was one of the biggest reasons why they were able to pull off the comeback. Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin had an up and down day but had a beautiful interception. The Colts also recovered a botched snap for a turnover and forced two fumbles. One came on special teams following a score while the other came in overtime thanks to Julian Blackmon's stellar play. The Colts have been winning the turnover game for the majority of their matchups this season, and it came up huge for them in this victory.

Julian Blackmon Emerging As A DROY Candidate

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

If you didn't already know, the Colts have another Rookie of the Year candidate on the defensive side of the ball. The third-round safety in Blackmon has been making plays all year long, which is a surprise given the Colts didn't expect him to be making an impact until October at the earliest. He's been doing it since the start of September. Blackmon will have some tough competition for the award with players like Chase Young and Patrick Queen performing at a high level. But the Utah safety is certainly in the discussion and his clutch forced fumble in overtime is a DROY moment.

Colts Set Themselves Up Nicely

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Colts currently hold the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoff picture and with a crucial game coming up against the Titans, it can't be understated what kind of win this means for Indy. Having already beaten the Titans in Week 10, the Colts have a chance to truly take control of the AFC South if they can sweep the season series against Tennessee. A win would give them the tiebreaker over the Titans in the division while also giving them a one-game lead in the race. A loss would have been rough for the Colts' playoff chances, but they prevailed and now they are in the driver's seat with a winnable schedule coming up.

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