Let's look at the massive fails by the Indy defense in the final 30 seconds of the game:
3rd and 2, Jags go three wide. TE set left. MJD in the backfield.
Indy shows blitz, but drops into coverage. At the snap, Lacey is a full NINE yards off of his man. He clearly doesn't want to get beat deep, which is fine, except for by choosing to take the time out, Caldwell is clearly asking for a stop. By giving a NINE yard cushion, there is no chance to stop a 3rd and 2.
When Garrard releases the ball, his man is at the 42, three yards past the first down marker. Lacey is still five yards off. It's an easy completion for the first down.
Then with the clock running under :20, the Jags run the same personnel, but flip the TE and RB.
Lacey is lined up over Underwood on the outside with a second corner (Townsend?) over the slot. The slot runs a three yard curl. Both Lacey and Townsend bite on it, leaving the outside man to run free. Bethea is late coming over on the wide open Underwood.
Some have suggested that because the Jags had a timeout left, the Colts had to respect the middle of the field. No Jag ran a route to the middle of the field except MJD who released and was standing two yards past the line of scrimmage and was bracketed by two linebackers.
- Lacey's cushion was inappropriate given the situation on third down.
- His pursuit of a 5 yard curl with the clock running and the ball at the 38 was awful. He played up on 1st and 10 with the clock running and way back on 3rd and 2. It made no sense.
- Bethea had no business being late to cover the only WR running on his half of the field. There was no route over 2 yards anywhere to his side.
- It's possible Townsend was supposed to follow Underwood deep and Lacey just did his job.
These were mental or schematic mistakes by the defense in a key moment and are unacceptable.
One more note:If the Colts DBs weren't smart enough to ignore a WR running a short sideline route in favor of a WR running a deep route in that situation, what makes anyone believe they were aware of how many timeouts the Jags had or what that meant strategically? Accusing them of being smart and stupid at the same time doesn't make sense.