Bucs’ Arians: ‘Obviously, Frank(Reich) trusts Carson(Wentz)’

In 2017, Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season. Before tearing his ACL late in that season, Wentz had the Eagles in a position to be the top seed in the NFC. Ultimately,  the Eagles would make and win Super Bowl 52.

Wentz threw for 3296 yards with 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2017.  Colts head coach Frank Reich was Wentz’s offensive coordinator from 2016-2017 and would take the Colts head coaching  job in 2018. The sixth-year quarterback had solid seasons in Philadelphia after Reich left before it all fell apart for him in 2020, where he threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Wentz would get benched and lose his starting job to Jalen Hurts.

In the offseason, Wentz and Reich were reunited when Philadelphia traded him to the Colts, and after 11 games, Wentz is having a solid season with 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions. After starting the season 1-4, the 6-5 Colts have won three straight and five of their last six and are 1/2 game behind the Chargers for the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC.

On Friday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, whose team will travel to Indy to battle the Colts, sees a bond between Wentz and Reich.

“It’s huge. Trust is the whole thing,” Arians said about Wentz and Reich’s relationship. “Obviously, Frank trusts Carson. He went out and got him and got [him] the contract. There is a ton of trust, and you see Carson – you can see the way he is playing that he knows somebody that trusts him is calling the plays.”

For Tampa Bay to get the win on Sunday, they must contain the NFL’s leader in rushing yards and touchdowns in Jonathan Taylor(1122 yards and 13 touchdowns). The second-year running back had 185 yards and four touchdowns in Indy’s rout of the Bills last week, but Taylor also does damage outside of the backfield as he has 32 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns, which concerns Arians.

“Big, big – he is great in the screen game, but he can go out and run routes,” Arians said about Taylor. “He had a lot of David Johnson in him when we worked him out. He could be a wide receiver if he wanted to be – he’s got the size and speed. [He is a] tremendous athlete. He is dangerous anywhere in space.”

Tampa will have to limit both Wentz and Taylor if they hope to defeat the red-hot Colts on Sunday.

Colts’ Rivers on loss to Jaguars: ‘It’s a frustrated locker room because we expected to win the game’

Coming into the 2020 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts had high hopes. The team added QB Philip Rivers, and many had Indianapolis as one of the favorites to win the AFC South, but against the team that many thought would be one of the worst teams in football, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts would lose on the road 27-20 on Sunday.

“I’m frustrated because you know what type of team we are, you know what type of team we have, you know the type of players we have in this locker room,” Colts LB Darius Leonard said after the game. “Like I said, it doesn’t matter what you have on paper; you have to find a way to get the job done. I know, especially defensively, we had too many miscues, too many mistakes, especially by me. I’m a leader on this team, and there were a couple times I messed up on. One run I was playing for the slant, and they run the ball for 10 yards. It’s just things like that that we can’t have. We’ve got to go to the film, got have a quick turnaround on Sunday, got to stop the run, and got to do everything we have to do to get a win.”

Colts quarterback Philip Rivers added: “It’s a frustrated locker room because we expected to win the game, but it’s also a very motivated and looking-forward locker room that we know what we’re capable of and it’s just a matter of keeping your head down and moving forward.”

In his Colts’ debut, Rivers was okay. He threw for 365 yards with one touchdown, but two costly interceptions. Indianapolis out-gained the Jaguars by over 200 yards(445-241), but that does not matter when you don’t win.

“I think us as players, just from my time with [Head Coach] Frank [Reich], he’s always going to do his best to shield us from the blame when he can,” Rivers said. “But, shoot, ultimately the ball’s in my hand… 

“I know we went for a couple of fourth downs, but we didn’t punt today and [had] 500 and something yards of offense. But the name of the game is to score more points than the other team. We didn’t get that done. It’s early in the season. Obviously, we have a long way to go and a lot of areas we can improve in, but I think we’ll get that done. So a lot of positives today, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.”

It’s early in the season, but seeing Rivers, who threw 20 interceptions last season, turning the ball over, is not a good sign for Indianapolis. However, Colts head coach Frank Reich is not concerned.

“I don’t have any concern,” Reich said. “Obviously, the first interception, that was on me. It was a bad call. It was the wrong call. We set the formation the wrong way, and it was on me. They played a two-man trap which they haven’t shown. It was not on tape, and obviously, we watched a lot of tape on them. Good job by them on mixing it up. I made it even harder by putting the formation in the boundary and made it easier for them to make that play. It was just bad by me. Philip made some unbelievable plays on third down, some plays to keep drives alive. For us to score the points that we scored, I have no concerns about Philip. We have to play better on offense.”

This was a bad loss for the Colts, but they have 15 more games to get it right, and that starts next week in the home-opener against Minnesota.

NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17

We have played 16 weeks of football, and it all comes down this. 

In the NFC, five out of the six playoff teams have clinched, but two divisions are up for grabs. In the NFC East, if the Eagles defeat the Giants, they win the NFC East; however, if they lose and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, Dallas wins the division. And in the NFC West, Seattle and San Francisco battle it out on Sunday Night Football. The winner grabs the NFC West, and the loser gets the first wild card spot.

In the AFC, five out of the six playoff teams have also clinched, but the sixth and final spot involves three teams(Raiders, Titans, Steelers) with the Titans controlling their own destiny. 

Here are all the playoff scenarios for Week 17:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore Ravens – AFC North division and homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs

Houston Texans – AFC South division

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division

New England Patriots – AFC East division

Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. L.A. Chargers (5-10), 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. KC win + NE loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) (vs. Miami (4-11); 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NE win or tie OR

  2. KC loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-8) (at Denver (6-9); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. OAK win + PIT loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT*

 *OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT if ONE of the following teams win or tie:

CHI, DET, LAC OR NE

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7) (at Baltimore (13-2); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win + TEN loss or tie OR

  2. PIT tie + TEN loss OR

  3. TEN loss + IND win + OAK loss or tie OR

  4. TEN loss + IND win + PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:

MIN, GB, KC AND MIA

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7) (at Houston (10-5); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. TEN tie + PIT loss or tie OR

  3. PIT loss + IND loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay – NFC North division

New Orleans – NFC South division

Minnesota — playoff berth

San Francisco — playoff berth

Seattle — playoff berth

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-8) (vs. Washington (3-12); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:

  1. DAL win + PHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. GB win OR

  2. NO loss OR

  3. GB tie + SF loss OR

  4. GB tie + NO tie

Green Bay clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. GB win + SF loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + SF loss + NO loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-3) (at Carolina (5-10); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie OR

  2. NO win + SF loss or tie OR

  3. NO tie + GB loss OR

  4. NO tie + SF loss OR

  5. SF loss + GB win or tie

New Orleans clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie + SF loss or tie OR

  2. NO tie + GB loss + SF loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at N.Y. Giants (4-11); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

  1. PHI win or tie OR

  2. DAL loss or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3) (at Seattle (11-4); 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. SF win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie OR

  3. SF tie + NO loss or tie

San Francisco clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie + NO loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4) (vs. San Francisco (12-3); 8:20 ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:

  1. SEA win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss

Seattle clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss + NO loss

Jags’ Foles on loss to Colts: ‘We got our butts beat pretty good’

The Jaguars finally got QB Nick Foles back on Sunday, but unfortunately for them, it did not make much of a difference as Jacksonville was dominated by the Colts 33-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Jacksonville’s defense had a hard time stopping the Colts and was dominated at the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars’ defense allowed 264 yards rushing, including a 116 yards from the Colts’ Jonathan Williams, and 109 yards and a touchdown from Marlon Mack. 

“We didn’t tackle well,” Jaguars DE Calais Campbell said. “We just weren’t assignment-sound enough. We’ve got to wear it. We played ugly. This is what we have done every game. But you know, we will go back and watch the tape and figure out what we can do better.”

Foles had his moments in this game, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Chark to put the Jaguars up 7-0 in the first quarter, but the offense was not able to put up any more points until a meaningless touchdown late in the game. However, Foles, who finished the game, completing 33 of 47 passes for 296 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, still believes in himself and his teammates.

We got our butts beat pretty good,” Foles said. “That’s a good team; we’re a good team. We’re not where we want to be, but we will get to where we want to be if we keep believing in each other.”

Jacksonville is now 4-6, and at this point, they are two games out of first place in the AFC South, but according to Foles, the team can’t panic.

“I think the big thing is don’t press,” Foles said. “I think it’s easy to press in this situation and think the sky is falling and the world is over. It’s not. We’re blessed to play a game. The big thing for the guys right now is go home. You have a family at home. You have a wife, go love her and go be with her. If you have kids, go be with your kids. That’s part of life. And like I said, leadership will come from everybody because it will be looking at the film being critical of yourself (and) then going out there and improving. There will be some guys who will probably be more vocal than others.

“I think the big thing is we can’t press. We are 4-6. That is the situation. But, we can’t win six games at once. We’re going to have our opportunity to look at this game, improve on this game next week, and then we’re going to prepare for the next game. It’s as simple as that.”

The Jaguars got beat up the past two games against division foes, and have another division game coming up next week against the Titans. This was the most significant stretch of their season, and to lose the way they did against the Texans and Colts is very disappointing. It’s not over for Jacksonville, but it’s getting very close. 

Twitter reacts to Andrew Luck’s retirement

After seven seasons in the NFL, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck has decided to retire from the game of football.

Luck, who battled many injuries over the years, was the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The four-time Pro Bowler had this to say after the Bears-Colts preseason contest:

“This is not an easy decision,” Luck said. ‘It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”

Last season, Luck threw for 4593 yards and 39 touchdowns.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Luck’s retirement:

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Colts QB Andrew Luck to retire from NFL

In one of the more shocking news in recent NFL history, Colts QB Andrew Luck has retired, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 29-year-old Luck has been dealing with a leg injury, and according to Schefter, Luck is “mentally worn down.”

The former No. 1 pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft, spent seven seasons in the league, all with the Colts.

Tony Gonzalez on Colts: ‘They’re dangerous as hell’

The Indianapolis Colts are one of the hottest teams in football right now. After starting the season at 1-5, the Colts would win 9 of their next 10 games to make the playoffs. Last week, in the wild-card game against Texans, the Colts dominated the Texans in Houston 21-7 to advance to the divisional round to face the Chiefs at Arrowhead on Saturday.

“They’re dangerous as hell,” former Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez told TMZ Sports about the Colts. “It’s a scary team.”

Gonzalez thinks the Colts-Chiefs will be a very competitive game, and he believes it could be similar to what happened in 2004(2003 season) when the Colts beat the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs 38-31 at Arrowhead.

“I remember back in 2003 when we had the number one offense in the NFL. Priest Holmes and the best offensive line ever, Willie Roaf, Will Shields, and we played against Peyton Manning, and there were no punts in the game,” Gonzalez said. “There were literally no punts in a playoff game, and we had one turnover. They got the ball and went down and scored, and that’s how they won. I gotta feeling it’s going to be close; it’s going to be an exciting game, but I think Mahomes, he’s the real deal, and I think he’s going to score a lot of points.”

They’re a lot of similarities between the 2003 Chiefs and the current version of the team. Both teams put up a lot of points(2003: 30.3 ppg, 2018: 35.3 ppg) and both teams struggled on defense(2003: 29th ranked defense, 2018: 31st ranked defense). Conversely, for the Colts, they had a big-time QB in Peyton Manning back then, and have a QB who is playing at a high level in Andrew Luck. According to the NFL, Mahomes, who led the NFL with 50 touchdown passes, and Luck, who ranked second with 39 touchdown passes in 2018, have the most combined regular-season passing touchdowns (89) among any opposing quarterbacks in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era.

History could be on the side of the Colts as Indianapolis is 4-0 against Kansas City in the playoffs, including an epic, come from behind victory in the 2013 season when the Colts came back from a 28-point second half deficit to beat K.C. 45-44, but in the end, Gonzalez is going with the Chiefs.

“I’m picking the Chiefs, and not because I have to either, but I think they’re going to play well.”

This has the makings of a very great game. The Colts are playing well on both sides of the ball and the Chiefs defense is not very good, but the Chiefs can put up a lot of points, and the game is at Arrowhead(7-1 at home). The thought is to go with the hot team, which favors the Colts. However, in the AFC, the last five number one seeds have made the Super Bowl.

In his first playoff game, could the moment be too big for Mahomes? I don’t think so. No moment has been too big for Mahomes this season, and with over 5000 yards and 50 touchdowns through the air, Mahomes is probably the league’s MVP.

I expect a back-and-forth contest, and it might come down to who has the ball last, but whatever happens, expect a lot of points at Arrowhead on Saturday.

NFL announces Wild Card and Divisional Playoff Schedule

The NFL announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs on January 5-6 and Divisional Playoffs on January 12-13.

 

NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 5
AFC   4:35 PM (ET)  Tennessee-Indianapolis winner at Houston (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC)
NFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Seattle at Dallas (FOX)

Sunday, January 6

AFC:    1:05 PM (ET)  Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore (CBS)
NFC:    4:40 PM (ET)  Philadelphia at Chicago (NBC)​

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 12

AFC   4:35 PM (ET) Baltimore/Los Angeles Chargers/Indianapolis or Tennessee at Kansas City (NBC)
NFC:    8:15 PM (ET) Chicago/Dallas/Seattle at Los Angeles Rams (FOX)

Sunday, January 13

AFC   1:05 PM (ET) Houston/Baltimore/Los Angeles Chargers at New England (CBS)
NFC:    4:40 PM (ET) Dallas/Seattle/Philadelphia at New Orleans (FOX)

In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best record in each conference will host the lowest seeded Wild Card survivor.  Once teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:

American Football Conference

National Football Conference

  1. Kansas City (12-4), AFC West champion
  1. New Orleans (13-3), NFC South champion
  1. New England (11-5), AFC East champion
  1. Los Angeles Rams (13-3), NFC West champion
  1. Houston (11-5), AFC South champion
  1. Chicago (12-4), NFC North champion
  1. Baltimore (10-6), AFC North champion
  1. Dallas (10-6), NFC East champion
  1. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
  1. Seattle (10-6)
  1. Indianapolis/Tennessee (10-6)*
  1. Philadelphia (9-7)

The NFC (FOX, 3:05 PM ET) and AFC (CBS, 6:40 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 20.

The 2019 Pro Bowl (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC, 3:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida and Super Bowl LIII will take place on Sunday, February 3 (CBS, 6:30 PM ET), at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

*NOTE: Should the Indianapolis-Tennessee game end in a tie, Pittsburgh will be the AFC No. 6 seed and play at Houston in the Wild Card playoffs.

Complete Week 17 schedule; Colts-Titans flexed to SNF

The Indianapolis Colts will face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football on NBC, the NFL announced today.

The winner of the Indianapolis-Tennessee game will advance to the NFL playoffs.

If the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Seattle Seahawks in tonight’s game, Kansas City will host the Oakland Raiders at 1 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS.  If Seattle defeats Kansas City, the Raiders-Chiefs game will be played at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS.

A look at the Week 17 schedule (all times ET):

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM FOX
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM FOX
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants 1:00 PM FOX
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 1:00 PM CBS
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM CBS
New York Jets at New England Patriots 1:00 PM CBS
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs* 1:00 or 4:25 PM CBS
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM FOX
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings 4:25 PM FOX
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25 PM CBS
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens 4:25 PM CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos 4:25 PM CBS
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins 4:25 PM FOX
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM FOX
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans 8:20 PM NBC

NFL announces schedule change in Week 16

The NFL announced today the following schedule change for Week 16 (December 23):

The New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts game originally scheduled for 1:00 PM ET on FOX will move to 1:00 PM ET on CBS.

The following is the final Week 16 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Saturday, December 22

Washington at Tennessee 4:30 PM NFLN
Baltimore at Los Angeles Chargers 8:20 PM NFLN

Sunday, December 23

Atlanta at Carolina 1:00 PM FOX
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1:00 PM CBS
Tampa Bay at Dallas 1:00 PM FOX
Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 PM FOX
New York Giants at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS
Jacksonville at Miami 1:00 PM CBS
Buffalo at New England 1:00 PM CBS
Green Bay at New York Jets 1:00 PM FOX
Houston at Philadelphia 1:00 PM CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona 4:05 PM FOX
Chicago at San Francisco 4:05 PM FOX
Pittsburgh at New Orleans 4:25 PM CBS
Kansas City at Seattle 8:20 PM NBC
   

Monday, December 24

Denver at Oakland 8:15 PM ESPN