Two things clearly emerged yesterday as the Indianapolis Colts dispatched the Jacksonville Jaguars to take a three game winning streak into their Saturday afternoon wild card playoff matchup with Kansas City. When the Colts use the no huddle shotgun offense and they intend to score, they can be quite dangerous. However, at various points yesterday, they slowed down the attack and seemed to have intentions other than continuing to rack up points.
Yes, it was against Jacksonville, but the Jags had gone 4-3 since their bye before yesterday's finale. Luck looked to be in complete control as he guided the Colts first three drives, all ending in scores. Then it seemed that Pep HAmilton and Chuck Pagano were content. That's where the danger lies for this Colts team as the playoffs loom.
Kansas City sat the majority of their starters for yesterday's tilt with the Chargers, and still they took that game to overtime. Perhaps that says more about the Chargers than it does the Chiefs. Andy Reid knew that his team could do nothing to improve their playoff seeding, and he opted to remove the possibility of injury to several of his key players.
That's a strategy Colts fans know all too well, as it was bread and butter for the previous regime. More often than not, the Colts went one and done in their first playoff game. Although in 2009, they reached the Super Bowl. The counter argument is 2006/07 when they had to play out the string to secure the three seed. That ultimately forced the Patriots to come to Indianapolis for the ARC Championship Game.We know how that ended.
The Colts had potential to improve their seeding with a win and some help, but did get Andrew Luck to the bench for the fourth quarter. In the end nothing changed, and the matchup that was all but set heading into Sunday's games is the matchup that will happen this coming Saturday afternoon.
There is some potential downfall to playing to win for the Colts, as Vontae Davis, Bjoern Werner and Aubrayo Franklin all left yesterday's game with injuries. The extent of those injuries is not yet known, and this is a short week to get the players ready. You have to figure that it would take extreme circumstances to keep them out of a playoff game, but this has not been a stellar year for the Colts on the injury front.
If the Colts approach Saturday intending to score for all four quarters and doing so, they should be fine and stand more than a punchers chance to advance to either Denver or New England. The problem could come if they ease off the gas and try to melt clock, as they appeared to do at times yesterday against Jacksonville
Credit Chuck Pagano and Pep Hamilton for finally realizing that the power running agenda wasn't getting it done; now you have to hope they realize that scoring points cannot be a part time undertaking. It has to be wide open for four quarters, foot on the gas the entire way scoring all the points they can. If they think getting out to a lead only to run the ball trying to kill clock is going to work in the playoffs, they put the Colts in position for another one and done ending.