The Colts are surging.
The Cardinals are a mess.
Despite starting the game without several key offensive and defensive starters, the Colts pulled off a 22-16 upset victory over the Cardinals on Christmas night.
With 6:45 left in the fourth quarter and the Colts up 15-13, Wentz extended a third-and-9 play to find an open Dezmon Patmon in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Colts a 22-13 lead, which was enough for the victory.
Wentz ended the game 18-of-28 for 225 yards with two TDs.
The Cardinals had their chances to get back in it, but had to settle for a field goal with 42 seconds in the contest. Kicker Matt Prater sent the ball 28 yards through the uprights. But Arizona then failed to secure the onside kick and lost.
Playing without his usual holder, Prater had a rough night. He missed his first two kicks with a 51-yard field goal and an extra point going wide left. Then he sent a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter off the right upright.
The Cardinals also finished with 11 penalties for 85 yards with several false starts. And the miscues continued with a few bad snaps by backup center Max Garcia, one of which led to a safety. Quarterback Kyler Murray threw the ball away in the end zone for intentional grounding, which gave Indianapolis two points.
Murray finished 27-of-43 for 245 yards with a touchdown. He also had the game’s longest run of 57 yards, ending the contest with 74 yards rushing.
However, the Colts were missing several players, too. They began the game without three of their five starting offensive linemen and lost a fourth when left tackle Eric Fisher had to exit with a knee injury. Linebacker Darius Leonard and receiver Zach Pascal were also placed on the COVID-19 list earlier on Saturday.
And still, Indianapolis was able to grind out a victory to move the team to 9-6 and stay in contention for the AFC South crown. The team has won three consecutive games and is now 9-0 when Taylor runs for 100 yards and 0-6 when he doesn’t.
Indianapolis will try to keep things rolling against the Raiders at home next week.
The Cardinals have lost three straight games and will fall to second place in the NFC West if the Rams defeat the Vikings on Sunday. They’ll have another tough matchup in Week 17, heading to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.