Carson Wentz battled through ugly weather and a couple of bad plays to help the Indianapolis Colts defeat the San Francisco 49ers on the road and in the middle of a bomb cyclone, 30-18.
Wentz threw the game-sealing touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. after 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw his second interception of the night to kill any chance of San Francisco tying the game.
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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) celebrates after scoring against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Wentz finished 17-for-26 with 150 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. He an ugly play that was later ruled a fumble but recovered nicely to get the win. Jonathan Taylor led the team with 107 yards on ground and a touchdown. Mo-Alie-Cox had the other score.
Garoppolo didn’t look as great. He was 16-for-27 with 181 yards, a touchdown pass and two picks. He targeted Deebo Samuel 11 times during the game as George Kittle is still out with an injury. Samuel had seven catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Elijah Mitchell led the way on the ground for San Francisco. He had similar numbers to Taylor with 107 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
TITANS HAVE LOOK OF AFC CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER NOW
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
The Colts got a big defensive effort. Kenny Moore II and Darius Leonard had seven tackles each. Xavier Rhodes and Khari Willis had an interception each while Anthony Chesley and Kwity Payne had fumble recovers. The defense is going to be key down the stretch.
With the win, Indianapolis moves to 3-4 on the season and is put right in the middle of the traffic jam in the AFC playoff picture.
The Colts are two games behind the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South lead. The Titans are looking like one of the best teams in the AFC East and catching them may be impossible unless they pick up a win against them next week.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, left, runs in front of San Francisco 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward (1) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
There are six teams in the AFC who are either 4-3, 3-3- or 3-4. The Colts, New England Patriots (3-4), Cleveland Browns (4-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3), Kansas City Chiefs (3-4) and Denver Broncos (3-4) are all in that group. Out of those teams, the Browns would be in the playoffs if the season ended Sunday.
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The next few weeks will separate the contenders from the pretenders and building off a road victory against a team who made the Super Bowl two years ago is huge for morale.