Frank Reich: Colts will sometimes need Carson Wentz to be 'star of the game' to win it all

The Indianapolis Colts have won without asking Carson Wentz to do much in recent weeks.

In their Week 15 win over New England, Wentz completed just 5 of 12 passes for 57 yards with a TD and an INT. In the past five games, Wentz has just one week with more than 180 yards passing -- the only Colts loss of that string.

Leaning on the ground game has spearheaded Indy into postseason contention, but coach Frank Reich acknowledged that at some point down the stretch and into January, the Colts would need Wentz to make game-winning plays.

"I think for us to go where we want to go, there are going to be games where Carson will be the quote-unquote star of the game," Reich said Tuesday, via FOX 59. "I think that'll have to happen.''

Against the Patriots, Indy won with fewer than 50 net passing yards (49) for the first time since Week 16, 1983, when the Baltimore Colts beat the Houston Oilers, 20-10 (Colts had 27 pass yards).

Reich took the ball out of Wentz's hands after the QB tossed an interception that kept the Patriots in the game, running the ball on the final 10 offensive snaps.

He might not put up big raw stats in a run-first offense, but Wentz has had his moments this season when he's carried the offense. In an overtime loss to Baltimore, he put up 402 yards with two TDs and zero INTs. He set a career-high 134.3 passer rating against the hapless Jets. And in a win over San Francisco in Week 7, Wentz made key throws down the stretch on the road in prime time.

"I do think Carson's had many good games,'' Reich added.

With the Colts in a position to earn a postseason spot down the stretch, Wentz will have to step up. But, for now, behind an MVP-type effort from Jonathan Taylor, Indy hasn't needed the QB to win games on his own.

When that day comes, Reich believes Wentz will answer the bell.

"You can't just turn it on,'' he said. "You've got to execute. You've got to earn it. All these teams are good. What I really mean is I've just got a lot of confidence in Carson. I have a lot of confidence in our skill players, and I have a lot of confidence in the way we protect the passer. And I have a lot of confidence in our offensive coaching staff; the way we scheme things up to help the players.''

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