After another embarrassing loss to Brock Osweiler, the Colts need to start asking questions (if they have not already started). The Colts have lost three straight games to a man who the Browns cut. If the Cleveland Browns cut you, you cannot possibly be a good football player. Alas, the Colts, as they always do, find a way to disappoint their team, their fans, and their city. Despite the good draft position that the Colts are locking into, they are losing more than they are gaining this season.
Chuck Pagano and Co. is apathetic, and I don’t think there’s any denying it after all of the halftime losses. The Colts are 3-11, and would be 10-4 if football games were 24 minutes (not sure if Chuck Pagano knows how long football games are). This graphic, although outdated, paints a good picture. Inconsistency is bad, but so is being bad. Moreover, the Colts have the best of both worlds: they are consistently bad.
My grandfather, an who has lived in Indianapolis for all of his life, no longer watches Colts football. Fans are falling away from the team. People who used to go to every Colts game sell their season tickets. When the team gets apathetic, fans get apathetic. This is not the Colts’ first bad season; not by a long shot. Previous to this season though, the Colts have not finished under .500 since 2011, the year where the main starting quarterback was Curtis Painter. Even in during that season, fans were not only excited for the future, but excited to watch their team suit up to play each Sunday. The showing from the Colts’ twitter community over the course of this season has been appalling. Never have I seen so many fans actively rooting against their team.
These are just some of the Tweets you can expect to see during Colts’ games this season (I have removed the names of the Tweeters out of respect to their anonymity and privacy):
Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi Indian word meaning “life without balance,” and is also a title of a movie that portrays humanity straying farther and farther away from nature. Colts fans, along with the team, lack balance.
On the football side of things, the Colts cannot balance out two halves of a game. The hallmark of a great coach is the ability to adjust with the game. As this is also something a great quarterback can do on his own, Pagano and Rob Chudzinski are not used to having to make adjustments himself. The Colts can put together a game plan all week that will beat a team in the first half, but that is useless if the other team figures it out before the fat lady sings.
In the first half of the game last night, the Colts’ style of defense was mostly effective. They played a very passive “bend don’t break” defense. The Colts’ defensive backs played the sticks well, and gave up the underneath throws. Johnathan Hankins and Al Woods were depended upon to be the primary forces in stopping the run. Apart from Brock Osweiler’s scramble at the end of the half, the Colts executed their game plan to perfection. But when the second half rolled around, the Broncos took a new approach.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave had a heck of a game. He knew the Broncos could not win just throwing short. So, when Brock Osweiler threw a 22 yard strike for a touchdown to Cody Latimer, and uncorked a 54 yard bomb to Jeff Heuerman on the ensuing drive, the Colts were caught all the way off guard. From there, the game was essentially over. It is fair that Jacoby Brissett would struggle to adjust to a great defense such as Denver’s; he is a second year quarterback who has been thrown into the fire, after all. But, it is inexcusable that a veteran coordinator in Chudzinski couldn’t give his young signal caller some help.
Colts’ fans need a change in philosophy. It is ok to root for your team’s successful future, but it is not ok to root against your team. Hopefully, as Andrew Luck heals and this team improves, from the players, to the staff, to the management, the fans and the team itself will find themselves in a state of Powaqqatsi, “life in transformation.”
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, and the AFC South Division Editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_ and @FPC_Colts.