MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS – Colts coach Frank Reich insists he’s a guy who runs first.
It was hard to say on Sunday – and Indianapolis paid a heavy price for breaking with that identity.
Carson Wentz was selected twice and lost a fumble on a backpack as Indy lost another double-digit lead in a 38-31 loss to defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay. Reich insisted on Monday that he had no doubts.
“I didn’t have a lot of regrets about how this game was called, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “Do you want to call one or two more points? Yes, sure. But we were going against the No.1 points defense and they came out with the mindset, ‘Jonathan Taylor isn’t going to beat us, they’ll have to throw the ball to beat us. ‘”
Wentz has backed off 50 times. He completed 61.4% of his 44 shots, was sacked three times and scrambled three times for 21 yards.
The approach relegated Indy’s best offensive threat, Taylor, to a smaller role. He had 16 carries for 83 yards and one scoring while catching four passes for 14 yards. With 20 touches and 97 yards of scrimmage, Taylor was three yards away from breaking the NFL record with a ninth straight 100-yard game and a rushing touchdown.
But half of Taylor’s runs came from Indy’s penultimate possession and Wentz only started his path five times. In a rare early transfer to Taylor, fans cheered loudly.