I’d like to welcome you all to Rock Bottom. I suggest making yourselves comfortable, we’re going to be here a while.
With last night’s embarrassing 26-23 loss to the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts accomplished the impossible. I’m not talking about blowing a 23-9 lead in the final three minutes to a Brock Osweiler led team. No, it’s much bigger than that. Last night the Colts did something that hadn’t been done in the history of this franchise: they made me hate them. Allow me to clarify:
I hate this team with my whole heart and soul.
It’s no secret that I’m firmly entrenched on the pessimistic side of the Colts fan spectrum. The beauty of pessimism is that you’re either right or pleasantly surprised. The first 28 minutes of last night’s game were pleasantly surprising. Frank Gore was breaking off runs, Luck was near perfect, the defense was actually getting pressure on the quarterback, the Corpse of Robert Mathis even reanimated itself to get a strip-sack. In the final two minutes of the half, when the offense normally kicks into gear, Luck threw a bad interception, depriving the Colts of a chance at points before the halftime break.
Then the wheels came off.
If you watched the game you already now how bad it was. If you didn’t watch you’re probably better off for it. I imagine Chuck Pagano’s halftime speech went something like this,
“Ok guys, great start out there, but we’ve still got 30 minutes of football to play. We’re going to take everything we did well in the first half and scrap it. Vontae, you’ve been doing a helluva a job shutting down Deandre Hopkins, but I want Mathis to cover him now. Houston won’t see it coming. It’s important to keep them off balance. Defense, I want you to ease up on the tackling. Not only are you all apparently made of glass, but I want them to run so much they get winded. That’s how we stop the run right there. Andy, under no circumstances should you throw the ball away. Never give up, never surrender! For God’s sake hold on to that ball. Finally, if we find ourselves in a fourth and inches situation be sure to line up in the shotgun. Sure, any schmuck can literally just lean forward for a first down, but it’s too simple. We gotta out think ’em. I know football can be confusing sometimes, so don’t worry, I’ll be there to blow a timeout so we can all get back on the same page. Now get out there and chop some wood!”
That’s not verbatim, but I’m sure it’s close.
In summary, the Colts failed to clear even the lowest bar set for them. They are a bad team lead by an egregiously inept coach. They are consistently unprepared to snap the ball, even immediately following a time out. It feels like every big play is called back because of a holding penalty. The defense’s base formation is “running around looking confused.”
The worst part of it all though is Pagano and Grigson’s refusal to own up to their mistakes. And I hate them for it.
Grigson tried to do it in an interview last week, but then immediately threw Andrew Luck under the bus by saying the quarterback’s contract is holding the team back. Pagano is the worst offender. He insists that the Colts have a “good” defense. I think he really believes that. Well let me tell you, Chuck, any defense that gives up 14 points in under three minutes to Brock Osweiler is without question the worst defense in the league.
Admittedly, there were some bright spots last night. Between Vinatieri and McAfee the Colts have the best special teams unit in the league. T.Y. Hilton is a beast, and it appears that given time the offensive line could become a serviceable unit. None of this, however, is enough to clean up the ugly mess this franchise has become.
You might think I’m being dramatic, but ask yourself this: when was the last time you enjoyed watching a Colts game? When was the last time you walked out of the stadium or turned off the tv after a game and felt good? My guess is that it’s been a while. In their current state the Colts are borderline unwatchable. Lucas Oil Stadium has been full of visiting fans this year because people don’t want to pay to watch this disaster. I don’t blame them one bit.
I loathe this team not only because of what it has become, but because of what it could be with even remotely competent people at the helm. The Indianapolis Colts can be rebuilt, but Jim Irsay has to burn it all down first. He shouldn’t wait until the season is over. He should do it today.
All that being said, am I going to watch next weeks game? You bet. Do I want them to win even though it may be in their best interest to lose? I sure do.
At the end of the day I’m like a kid at recess. Yes, I’m throwing rocks at the Colts, but it’s only because deep down I actually love them.
Adam Vinatieri and Pat McAfee: A
Everyone else: F