The Indianapolis Colts fell to the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 Wild Card round 27-24. How did the Colts lose, and what went wrong for them?
The essence of the Colts’ season in one game: Missed Opportunities, Bad execution, and poor play-calling
The Buffalo Bills were the hottest team in the NFL entering this game, and the Indianapolis Colts went toe-to-toe with them. Not a single major media outlet gave Indianapolis a chance heading into the game. Believe it or not, this game was on a silver platter for the Colts.
The Colts had a perfect game-plan and for the most part, they executed. They looked fluid on offense all day on Saturday afternoon. In fact, this was the Colts’ best day offensively all season, producing 472 yards of offense. The one place they failed was the red zone. Indianapolis had no issues getting to the red zone, the lack of execution happened once they got there. The Colts left a huge amount of points on the board in this game. The Colts lost by three points, but in reality, if Rodrigo Blankenship does not miss a short field goal and the Colts convert in the red zone each time they got there, the Colts win big in this game. Indianapolis exposed Buffalo’s weaknesses in this game.
Indianapolis simply beat themselves in this game. The Bills were averaging over 30 points per game heading into the playoffs, and the Indy defense held them to just 27 points. Matt Eberflus had a great game-plan as his defense was putting pressure on Josh Allen. Indianapolis simply beat themselves in this game, as they exposed all of the Bills’ weaknesses and dominated the time of possession but did not convert when they needed to.
Is Frank Reich on the Hot Seat?
The easy answer to this question is no. Frank Reich will be in Indy for a long time. His play-calling was at times questionable against the Bills, but against that type of caliber opponent, field goals will not win games, touchdowns will. There was nothing wrong with Reich’s aggressive play-calling. The Colts are limited offensively, with their playmakers and quarterback. When Andrew Luck was in Indy the play-calling was much more creative and teams did not know what to expect. Philip Rivers most likely going to retire and now Chris Ballard can go out and find a mobile quarterback that can open up the passing game with play-action and RPO plays. This team coached by Frank Reich is a few pieces away from being a serious Super Bowl contender.