The Indianapolis Colts had a win-and-you’re-in scenario in Week 17 vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. They choked up the game. The team now gets one more other shot at the postseason on Sunday vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars. Retired Colts player Darius Butler is worried that, even against the lowly Jaguars, quarterback Carson Wentz might not be able to get it done, and history seems to be on Butler’s side.
The Indianapolis Colts choked in a big Week 17 game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders
All the Indianapolis Colts needed to do in Week 17 to get into the playoffs was win. They couldn’t get it done against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Colts fell into a 13-3 hole early, but Wentz led a two-minute drill that resulted in a score to bring it to 13-10 at the half.
In the third quarter, the Colts took the lead 45-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton, but it wasn’t as pretty as it sounds. Wentz threw the ball into a mass of two Raiders and two Colts, and the ball ricocheted off the defenders’ hands and into Hilton’s arms. It was six on the scoreboard, but it instilled more confidence in Raiders fans than Colts ones.
Despite an interception by the Colts D and a 108-yard rushing performance from Jonathan Taylor, Wentz and the O only managed a single field goal the rest of the game. They got those three points coming out of the two-minute warning, giving Derek Carr and the Raiders plenty of time to drive down and kick the game-winner, which they did.
Former Colts Defender Darius Butler places the blame on QB Carson Wentz
After the Indianapolis Colts’ heartbreaking loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, former defensive back Darius Butler joined former punter Pat McAfee on the Pat McAfee Show, and the two former Colts teammates commiserated over the loss.
Butler summed up the entire team effort rather simply, saying that the Raiders “looked like they wanted it more.”
The DB-turned-analyst said that he believes that the biggest impediment to the Colts becoming a Super Bowl team rests on one person:
I worry about [QB Carson] Wentz, man. Can he make those plays? Can he do that damage for a month when we need him to? … When you watch Wentz, man, this is my honest take, when I watch Carson Wentz — you watch the TV copy, and you see the quarterback dropping back, and you don’t know what the hell is on the other side of that throw — when he drops back and throws the ball I feel the complete opposite of when I watch Aaron Rodgers drop back and throw the ball. Like, I know Twelve is stepping into some good s***. When that camera pans, I don’t know what’s [going to happen with Wentz]. And that’s my honest feeling with Two.Darius Butler on Carson Wentz
Although McAfee and Butler had a good laugh comparing Wentz to Rodgers, they both agreed that with running back Jonathan Taylor and the rest of the team playing well, the Colts should at least be able to go into Jacksonville in Week 18 and secure a playoff spot with relative ease.
However, history says that may not be as easy as the former Colts think.
Winning vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday might not be as easy as it seems
In Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley peered across the sidelines to see Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
In between the coaches that day were players like Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, D’Qwell Jackson, Darius Butler, and Pat McAfee for the Colts. On the Jaguars side, you had Blake Bortles, Denard “Shoelace” Robinson, Paul Posluszny, and Allen Hurns.
The Colts cruised that day, beating the Jaguars so badly (44-17) that fans even saw backups Matt Hasselbeck (IND) and Chad Henne (JAX) in the fourth quarter.
That was the last time Indianapolis won a game in Jacksonville.
That’s right. In the past six seasons, where the Jags have won a grand total of 30 games, six of those W’s have come in Duval County against the AFC South rival Colts. That includes 2020 when the Jaguars beat the Colts 27-20 in Week 1, then promptly lost their next 15 2020 games in a row and 20 consecutive when you count the team’s 0-5 start this season.
In Week 18 of 2021, Carson Wentz, Jonathan Taylor, and the Colts come into TIAA Bank Field with a simple directive: win, and you’re in (to the playoffs).
While this seems like an easy task for a 9-7 squad taking on a 2-14 one, recent history shows it is anything but. The Colts will need Taylor to play up to the MVP level he’s maintained most of the season, and Wentz needs to prove Butler wrong.
If this doesn’t happen, though, and the Colts miss the playoffs, it may be back to the drawing board yet again in the offseason at the quarterback position.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference