The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Arizona Cardinals 40-11 on Sunday and I'm starting to think we need to follow up Monday Morning Moaners with Group Therapy Thursdays.
This game was brutal, to put it nicely, and the Colts have now been blown out in 2 of the past 3 weeks. In the comments section below, please share your take on the game and what the Colts need to address moving forward.
I'm fine with being 7-4, but it has been rooooough watching the past too many (4 or so?) weeks. The slow starts are both the fault of our coaching (pushing to establish "our game" when it's not a strength and failing to gameplan for the opponent as well as letting things get out of hand before adjusting) and the players (you have to step up and be ready to PLAY).
Is there a worst position, other than special teams, to invest a 1st round pick in?
Everytime I watch the Colts play, all I can think of is how valuable that 1st round pick would be for a WR, DE, DT, OG, C, CB, ILB... just about every fucking position other than a RB.
I think the best thing any fan of the Colts (past or present) can do is just forget that Sunday even happened. Being a Canadian and fan of the Tiger Cats, this weekend was even more brutal as they were hammered 46-15 in the Grey Cup
Ugh. We have the known deficiencies on this team, especially along that offensive line, but watching Luck he looks out of sync to me. You hear the phrase sometimes about QBs throwing receivers open. Luck seems to have lost the confidence to throw passes on timing patterns, and is instead waiting for the receivers to get open. With the horrible O-line we have right now, that's not going to work. I still think Luck is a great QB, but to me he has definitely been a large part of our problems lately (along with many other parts of this football team.)
Count me among the legions calling for some playing time for Da'Rick Rogers. I'm bumfuzzled as to why the heck he hasn't been given a shot so far.
I'd also be interested in seeing Chris Rainey tried as a slot receiver in addition to kick return duties. I think he has decent hands to go along with his 4.3 speed. Hilton, Rogers and Rainey might make a better wide receiver group than what we have now.
The Colts have not started a game looking prepared since the Jacksonville game. Every game since -Seattle, San Diego, Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Tennessee, and now Arizona - the Colts have started the game by digging themselves a hole. In every one of those games, the Colts looked like they had no discernible gameplan to hide their own weaknesses, accentuate their own strengths, exploit the other team's weaknesses, or mitigate the other team's strengths.
That's seven straight games coming out flat, with no gameplan. That's on the coaches.
The past four game, the Colts have been outscored 93-12 in the first half. That's 23 points per game given up in the first half alone. The Colts head coach? A defensive backs specialist.
Now, we suddenly have an environment where some defensive veterans find it acceptable to headbutt opponents, or to showboat with a dance after a sack, while down three scores. That's culture, and culture derives from the coaches.
The talent level of the players isn't going to change in-season. The only thing that can change is how that talent is used, and how that talent is prepared at kickoff.
No more lip service and platitudes, Pagano. Right your ship. Now.
The Colts have over achieved for going on two seasons now. (Is that really possible, in my mind it is.)
Part of the reason is that they are an emotional team. It is why they have been able to produce incredible highs and mind numbing lows. But you can't survive on emotian alone and with all the injuries... the Colts are at a breaking point.
That being said, the Colts want to play a certain way. But IMO, they don''t have the players to do it on a consistent basis. There is too much film on the Colts and the coaches don't seem willing or able to make adjustments. Opponents are now going into games against Indy, knowing exactly what they need to take away. There is only so much im porv magic Luck can create on the fly.
@BDiddy But without "a bell-cow running back" the Colts couldn't land "body punches" and "impose their will".
@WyattL It's hard to see them being worse then DHB, Braizil, and Reed. But I think the big problem is that the Colts OL absolutely can not block a good front four.
They need to change the offense to take into account the horrendous nature of the interior OL. Having WRs quick enough to actually get open would probably help that though.
@chip_bennett I don't know who else to blame but the coaches. Yes the talent on the team is not great, but they've looked like Northerwestern New Mexico State A&M Tech playing Oregon in the first half of the last few games. Like you said, even in their wins they've come out slow and looked sloppy early. There's just no one to pin that on other than the coaches. And it's happening on both sides of the ball. Pep's schemes look overmatched, and it's clear that EVERYONE can see the glaring weaknesses in the defense.
Grigson obviously shares blame. After that bang-up first draft, the rest of his moves have looked pretty poor. The jury is out on Werner, but none of the free agent acquisitions seem to have made the defense any better than last year. The trades for Davis and Richardson have been awful, as TRich is useless and #23 seems to be the one trailing most of these long TD throws. I get that the talent isn't great, but good coaches find ways to mask the bad players and make the good players shine. I hate to make a comparison to Emperor Palpatine, but is there any doubt that Belicheck would have found a way to at least make these guys average?
This is just a mess. If I were making the decisions, Pagano would get one more year to get this football thing figured out. He seems like a great guy, and his story last year was incredibly inspiring, but after getting brutalized by Arians' less talented team, I'm really starting to wonder where the magic actually came from.
@chip_bennett I just wonder how much different this team would be if , instead of Pagano awaiting them on the sidelines, it was someone the likes of Parcells or Shula ? Maybe it's unfair to look at Chuck in that light, since I can't possibly know how he is when not under public scrutiny.
Neither of those old school guys was considered a "player's coach", to my knowledge. Just legendarily successful.
I agree with your "No more lip service". It's past time for decisive measures. The status quo isn't working.
@chip_bennett You could even argue that they came out looking a bit sluggish in the Jacksonville game. If I remember correctly Luck had a few missed throws including a pick and the Jags were up 3-0 after 1. They just stepped it up in the 2nd quarter rather than the 3rd or 4th that time. The rest of this comment is 100% my feelings; I'm considering just turning games on at halftime at this point when the Colts finally decide to show up. We will make the playoffs but if we can't stay ahead of Cincy for the 3 seed I don't see them beating whoever the 2nd place west team ends up being barring some major changes
@DougEngland I agree about over achieving and emotion, but the unpreparedness of the team is really scary. I know they aren't the most talented, but they come out a play worse than the Jags for periods. When that happens repeatedly It's hard not to point a finger at the Pagano and Pep.
Think about last year. Sure they over achieved and won crazy emotional victories, but they also looked like they knew what they wanted to do on offense and how to play to their strengths to win a game. They also managed to reel off a string a consecutive wins, something these Colts haven't done. Further, the Colts were even less talented that year. I don't think the coaches will be fired, but really don't see how they can be defended at this point.
@DougEngland Good points. We do lack overall talent, but coaches could certainly do better jobs of scheming and adjusting. Take a critical look at what opponents are doing to them.
This must be the week of taking stock of themselves, then making some changes to shake things up. Both approaches and personnel.
Rec for the Emperor Palpatine reference. And the magic came from Luck, he's bailed out poor coaching and a very bad O line for much of the season. When he doesn't play unconsciously amazing, which he has more than anyone has a right to expect, the result is what we see in our losses, and those bad halves. In other words, without Luck, the Colts are the Colts without Manning a few yrs ago, or the Jags. It doesn't mean they don't try or aren't good people, it's just that when Luck doesn't play brilliantly or they have some other QB, that's who they are.
Maybe I'm missing something but it sure looks like, without Luck, TY and Mathis, they suck. Other professional teams don't find it difficult to gameplan for three players, especially when they have a pretty good idea what those three players are going to do and how their scheme, such as it exists, works. Combination of mostly crummy players and mediocre to poor coaching and you get what you get.
We shouldn't forget that on those big Colts victories the stars pretty much aligned perfectly. Almost everything worked in the Colts favor from key turnovers to big calls to all kinds of unforeseen eventualities. Not that they weren't good wins, it's just that in a best of ten, I think the Colts would be hard pressed to win 3/10 over the Seahawks, Niners and Broncos. After those wins many of us started thinking the Colts were better than they actually were and the rebuilding process still has quite a ways to go.
Ahh, yes, amazingly I already forgot about losing Reggie, even though he may be the most or second most important offensive piece. After Reggie went down, we had beaten Denver and many in the Colts camp had us winning the SB and I wrote on Stampede Blue about how this may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. Losing Thomas, Allen, Ballard, etc., and now Reggie. I actually thought we'd implode. (I was taken to the cross for that one. ALOT of stay-the-course types over there that can't see with their own eyes, but, oh well.)
Then we managed to beat Houston and I thought, we'll, they looked like shit but they're just figuring things out. Maybe they'll figure it out, make adjustments. Now with St. Louis, a mostly bad game against Tenn, and now this... I'm afraid "WE ARE WHO I THOUGHT WE WERE!" (Done in the Dennis Green voice for comical effect.) P.S. I hope not.
@Fot Bollar We at least still had Reggie during those wins (partially for the Broncos win). But now, with this team, we'd get absolutely crushed in rematches with probably any of those teams, especially if it's in their house. I just wish we had all of our players on IR back. It's hard to really judge how good a team is when most of your major building blocks are out. The defense is still relatively healthy, though, and they've been the causes of most of the problems with these first half leads. Sometimes they respond in the 2nd half, but not lately.