Richardson toughs out an epic Colts comeback, only to come up a bit short
Down 23-0, the Colts rookie quarterback put the team on his shoulders and nearly willed them all the way back. Nearly. But we learned a lot about him in the process.
Forget the scoreboard. I know that’s next-to-impossible, especially after a heart-breaking 29-23 Colts’ overtime loss to the Rams, an epic comeback that fell just short when Matthew Stafford, playing on a bum hip, found super-rookie Puka Nacua ridiculously alone near the goal line for a 22-yard TD pass to win the game.
But wins, losses, as much as they mean the world to these coaches and players, the greater issue this season is watching the growth of Anthony Richardson. And on Sunday, after a miserable start that included a Richardson fumble and a general no-show by the offense, the future franchise quarterback brought the Colts back from 23-zip and brought them to the cusp on an unlikely and damned near impossible victory.
We’re still early in the season – Richardson has played just two full games and a quarter due to injuries – but already, we’re seeing signs of eventual stardom. Houston’s C.J. Stroud has been the best of the rookie quarterbacks through the early portion of the season, but given time and help from his receivers – I’m talking to you, Kylen Granson and Alec Pierce – he has every realistic chance to be special, a game-changer and a game-breaker.
A lesser quarterback, or at least a less experienced one, would have crawled into the fetal position after a first half when nothing was working. The running game, which has been spearheaded so well by Zack Moss the previous two games, couldn’t get untracked. The passing game was ineffectual. The Colts were playing without left tackle Bernhard Raimann (and replacing him with rookie Blake Freeland) and center Ryan Kelly, and LA’s brilliant tackle Aaron Donald was feasting with a sack, two tackles for loss and general mayhem.