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With the first 2021 NFL Playoff game ending in a win for Buffalo, here is what we know about the Colts future.  The Colts were close to pulling off the 14-point 4th quarter comeback, but poor decision making, and management caused the Colts to fall short.

The Colts were on top for most of the first half, and towards the end of the second quarter, the Colts forced the Bills to 4th down in the red zone where they acted as if they were going for it.  It was 4th and three and Josh Allen was clearly trying to get one of the Colts defensive lineman to jump offsides as the play clock was running down.  So, the Bills were going to take the field goal and tie it up, at least that is what you thought was going to happen until Kemoko Turay jumped offsides at the last second.

This gave the Bills a fresh set of downs to eventually find the end zone with their new running back, Josh Allen.  This changed the whole dynamic of the game because the Bills went into halftime with a four-point lead and received the ball to open the second half.

With the Bills up seven, the Colts drove down the field and resorted to a field goal, but Rodrigo Blankenship, who has been fantastic as a rookie kicker, bounced it off the post.  On their last possession, the Bills were up three and they needed to milk as much of the six minutes away. Right as it seemed they were going to score again, the Colts D-line forced a Josh Allen fumble that was batted 23 yards into the backfield before being recovered by the Bills which ultimately resulted in a punt.

One of the more questionable things about the coaching and management of Indianapolis is how they used, or should I say wasted their timeouts throughout the second half.  They had no timeouts by the end of the 4th quarter when they needed them most.

Phillip Rivers used the tight ends to punch the Colts through the defense to the 50-yard line with the help of the officials from a controversial call.  This play should have been ruled a fumble, but this made things more interesting, as did the poor clock management by the refs.  The Colts needed to pick up around 15 more yards for a potential field goal, but they could not find a good option with no timeouts and not enough time, so they resorted to a botched Hail Mary play that was swatted down.

Now that the Colts season is over, I think it is time that they seriously start exploring QB replacement options for Rivers.  The Colts drafted Jacob Eason in the draft, who has not seen any playing time.  There are also many possible scenarios where the Colts trade for Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford, or Sam Darnold.  With all these possible options for Indianapolis, they’ll almost certainly bounce back next year as a serious contender.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey T. Barnes / USA Today Sports