6:51 PM ET
Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich defended his play calling in Saturday’s 27-24 wild-card loss to the Bills, including a costly fourth-down decision that ultimately turned the game in Buffalo’s favor.
With his team leading 10-7 late in the first half and facing fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Reich elected to keep his offense on the field to try to deliver a big blow to the favored Bills, instead of attempting a field goal for a possible 13-7 lead.
As it happened, Colts quarterback Philip Rivers‘ throw was just out reach for rookie receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the corner of the end zone, and the Bills took advantage of the failed conversion to run off 17 straight points for a 24-10 lead.
“[It was a] strong go,” Reich said of the decision to go for it on fourth down, citing the analytics he and his staff frequently rely on when making such calls.
The Colts were successful on fourth down during the regular season. They were 15-of-20 on fourth down with less than 5 yards to go. Their 15 converted attempts were second in the NFL behind only the Las Vegas Raiders.