Carson Wentz throws for two touchdowns as Colts beat Cardinals 22-16

Indianapolis Colts v Arizona Cardinals
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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.

While running back Jonathan Taylor finished with 108 yards rushing, it was quarterback Carson Wentz who made the play of the game that put Indianapolis in a strong position to win.

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.

But the Cardinals looked like they missed receiver DeAndre Hopkins (injured reserve), running back James Conner (heel), and center Rodney Hudson (COVID-19 list) on offense.

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.

32 responses to “Carson Wentz throws for two touchdowns as Colts beat Cardinals 22-16

  1. After choking away a shot at the NFC no 1 seed and even losing control of the division, Kyler Murray still isn’t worried.

    Not at all, not at all.

  2. Field goals missed killed Cards.. Put team on back foot. So unreliable many games.
    Kyler being asked to do too much …

  3. Wentz had a nice game tonight. I do not understand the Cards going for short yardage plays that led up to their field goal. Murray is so overrated.

  4. As a Dallas fan, not sure I’m happy they lost 3 in a row. Does that mean they should win next week over a team spiraling out of control, or be nervous that a team like that should surely bounce back against them?

  5. Watching the game tonight and listening to Warner and Davis felt like I was watching a Cardinals pre-season game. It was an embarrassment listening to those 2 “rooting in the booth”. Especially Warner, who refused to give it up, even when all was lost for the Cardinals with less than a minute to go. I get it, Warner is a former Cardinal and the media’s narrative for the Colts is to Bag on Wentz as much as possible, looking and waiting for every opportunity to do so. Last week all of the “experts” picked NE, afterwards you saw all the sad faces on the set, still doing their best to disparage Wentz. Again this week, same deal, all the “experts” picked the Cardinals and afterwards alot of sad faces all around. So let’s keep it going media, keep bagging on Wentz, picking the opponent to win and hopefully we will continue to see alot of sad faces on the set afterwards.

  6. Kliff Kingsbury does not seem to have any answers, in game or between games.
    On the sidelines he appears to be confusing hope with a strategy. 🙁

  7. Yup,the Colts are the team you don’t want to play in the post season,and the Cards are coming apart

  8. Haven’t seen that Wentz since the Washington-Philly game in December of 2019. I was there in Landover. The problem is he was terrible for most of the season before that, got hurt in the playoffs, and was atrocious in 2020. I hope he can stay like this as I’m still rooting for him.

  9. Wentz has definitely made some head-scratching decisions with the ball, but the level of difficulty on that TD pass to Patmon was as high as it gets and one that very few QBs could pull off. His ceiling is high and Colts could go far as long as high floor doesn’t drop out from under him.

  10. Murray got outplayed last night by–of all people–Carson Wentz. Let that sink in.

    I’m still not ready to declare Wentz as a top ten QB. He’s more like a game manager. With Jonathan Taylor he doesn’t have to win it with his arm. Teams are going to work on shutting down Taylor and make Wentz win it. I doubt he can do it on a consistent basis. Some of his decision making is still questionable.

  11. Frank Reich has done an excellent job and should be in the conversation for the coach of the year. Had it not been for Wentz they could have been the #1 seed in the AFC. They blew 3 double digit leads in the second half vs the Titans, Ravens, and Bucs. Should have won all 3 games. Reich probably learnt his lesson during those losses, the Colts have been a run first team and they throw only when they want to. The Colts very likely will be #5 seed and may face the Bengals in the first round.

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