Indianapolis obtains the quality victory it had been chasing since the beginning of the season and thus approaches the playoffs. The Colts (8-6) fold 27-17 New England, which had returned from seven consecutive successes. Jonathan Taylor enchants once more: he runs for 170 yards and a 67-yard touchdown that closes the game with 2 ‘to play, after Indy had dominated it for a long time before undergoing the Pats’ proud comeback (9-5 ). The last running back to win the MVP of the season was Adrian Peterson, in 2012. Taylor probably won’t succeed, the quarterbacks now dominate the scene as awards, but his season, the games with at least one goal scored are now 11 in a row, it is applause.
For three quarters of the race, the Indianapolis one is an impressive monologue. Taylor runs strong, with a sensational line to open the way, despite the host defense being the best in the league, according to the numbers. Carson Wenz triggers Nyheim Haines with a lancet, walking in the end zone for the first goal of the evening. Then a punt blocked by the Patriots and covered in the end zone by EJ Speed is worth 14-0 for Indy at the end of the first quarter. 17-0 at half-time, with Darius Leonard intercepting Mac Jones in front of his own end zone. Guest attack not received. Okereke intercepts Jones at the beginning of the second half: 20-0 Colts, who capitalize the pick with a field goal.
Pittman and Dugger are ejected for an exchange of forbidden blows too blatant to go under the track: the best receiver of the Colts and the super safety of the Pats leave the scene. When Hunter Henry, the successful summer tight end purchase, begins to rack up tricks, New England begins to raise its head. It is he who scores the touchdown that reopens the game at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Then the eternal McCourthy intercepts Wentz and Jones converts a fourth down for Meyers: the Patriots never give up. 20-10. And there’s more: Jones, who reiterates that he is unbreakable to difficulties, still finds Henry in the end zone for 20-13, with just over 2 ‘to play. Everything hangs in the balance again. But Taylor places the sprint that definitively closes the accounts.
What we learn
The Colts are from the playoffs. Far beyond their record, only fair. Wentz has launched for just 57 yards this time, but by far the team is complete, and is worth more than the results say: the calendar was fierce. Possible post-season loose cannon. The Patriots fall in a complicated away match, but they do not come out reduced. The final reaction was from a team with a soul, and Mac is truly a much more mature freshman quarterback of his age: he promises wonders, looking ahead. New England remains in the lead in AFC East, the next match, against Buffalo, will tell more about both its caliber and the fate of the Division.
Side note: Cleveland-Las Vegas was also to be played, but was postponed by the NFL due to Covid emergency on Monday: the Browns did not have a viable quarterback, the league did not want to distort the result a priori. Also postponed two games scheduled for today, for the same reason: Philadelphia-Washington and Los Angeles Rams-Seattle which will be played on Tuesday to allow the recovery of key players stopped by the anti-pandemic protocol.
19 December – 09:08
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The Colts fold New England with a super Taylor and see the playoffs