INDIANAPOLIS – Its easy to be a Monday Morning armchair quarterback following any win or loss, but for this Indianapolis Colts team, they can’t be feeling great after a close win over the one-win Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. If not for some Chicago mistakes, the Colts actually could have lost this game despite winning by only six points.
Take the missed field goal in the third quarter away and replace it with a make, and the Bears only need to kick a field goal on their final drive to tie it instead of having to go for it on fourth down deep in the Colts’ zone. Then, this game is likely heading to overtime where nothing is guaranteed. What’s that say that the only reason the Colts won on Sunday was due to mistakes by a one-win football team?
It says that maybe the Colts are who they are – a bottom third of the league team.
Listen, the Colts made their mistakes too, costly ones at that. But, maybe these mistakes, lack of focus, horrible tackling, bad blocking and bad routes are who these players are. Maybe this is who these coaches are . All we hear is “we made mistakes but they will be fixed” but after five weeks, maybe this is who the Colts are.
“That’s the thing, if we clean things up,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said following the Colts’ 29-23 victory over Chicago on Sunday. “We call it Self Inflicted Negatives: SINs. Games are going to be hard, but it doesn’t have to be this hard, it really doesn’t.”
Dwayne Allen who’s a large culprit of mistakes agreed.
“All these close games we’re having, it’s really tough,” Allen said. “My mom called me before the game and said, ‘Make sure you guys keep this one out of hand so I don’t have to take my blood pressure medicine.’ She’s going to be mad, but we were able to come out with a win, so I’m sure she’s happy about that.”
Heard that before? Games don’t have to be close and we need to clean up mistakes? If not, let me remind you.
“We played like (expletive),’’ Jackson said after the season opening loss to Detroit in Week 1. “We can’t put our offense – we can’t put this team – in that position. To start the season off, I’m pissed. Today we were horse(expletive). I hate to use that language, but I’m pissed off right now. . . ”
“I don’t care who’s out there,’’ Jackson said, “there’s no excuse for us to play like that.’’
Robert Mathis echoed those statements saying four weeks ago saying, “Defense 101. Just make those tackles. When you do things like (miss tackles), you breathe life into offenses.’’
Five games in and they’re saying the same thing they did in the first game. It doesn’t matter if it’s September, October, November or December, this is who the Colts are. The missed tackles, the slow starts, the inability to put a team away, the inability to capitalize on the other teams’ mistakes and most notably, the inability to reverse the mistakes already committed, this is who the 2016 Indianapolis Colts are. It’s who the 2015 Indianapolis Colts were too and that team was 8-8 and at home when the playoffs started. It’s where this year’s version is going to be too.
Nothing is going to change – the mistakes aren’t mistakes, it’s the players aren’t any good. The coaching is worse too.
What about what they said after the loss in London to the Jacksonville Jaguars? What about all that “pissed off” talk that had these players fired up and ready to take the frustration out on a one-win team for the upcoming weekend? Here’s what they said after the Jacksonville debacle.
“When you have a turnover early in the game, you give up a short field and a touchdown, and 11 penalties that keep drives alive, guys have got to control their emotions, they’ve got to learn when to say when,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said after the defeat. “Obviously, we have to be better.”
Umm..Jordan Todman, why are you downing a football in the endzone and not on the field? T.J. Green, why are you running into a field goal kicker? Those same mistakes made in London were made in different fashions a week later, but nothing changed. Nothing.
Andrew Luck agreed saying, “We’ll go back and fix what we need to fix. … This does not feel good and it shouldn’t,” Luck said.
He was sacked five more times on Sunday. That comes after being sacked six times in London. Oh by the way, the Jaguars had three total sacks in their first three games and doubled that against the Colts. The Bears? They had four total sacks in 2016 entering Sunday. They leave with five more.
So, feel good about a Colts win on Monday? You can, but Sunday shows this team hasn’t changed. They just played an even worse opponent that’s honestly not much worse. The gap to the top of the league for the Colts is growing. They’re not going to be any better and nothing is going to change. They will continue to lose games to better teams and will leave fans frustrated all year.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
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