Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mistake-prone Colts drop to 0-2 after being dominated at home by Jets

The Indianapolis Colts look like a team that’s about to implode.

Indianapolis followed up Week 1’s disappointing loss to the Buffalo Bills with a disastrous 20-7 defeat at home Monday night against the New York Jets. And it wasn’t just that the Colts lost. It was how they looked doing it.

Careless turnovers, pointless penalties and blown assignments plagued Indianapolis (0-2), and the mistakes could be another signal of more trouble to come.

Reports are hovering above the franchise, suggesting general manager Ryan Grigsonand coach Chuck Pagano are at odds.

“We’re just like anybody else,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week when asked about reports of discord among team management. “It’s Week 2 in the National Football League. It’s a 17-week season. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. When you win, everybody writes great things about you and when you lose, they come from all corners. You’re going to get a barrage from everywhere.”

That barrage is about to get much stronger.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles dialed up blitz after blitz in the first half. The Colts had no answer. Simply put, they have not gotten better since last season and look lost.

Not only that, but the Jets repeatedly failed to capitalize on Indianapolis’ mistakes and failed to deliver the knockout blow until receiver Brandon Marshall dragged two Indy defenders for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Given multiple second chances, the Colts failed to close the gap. Quarterback Andrew Luck was just as much at fault for his team’s struggles Monday night as the several receivers who dropped passes. Luck completed just 18 of his 34 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown to go with three interceptions. He also lost one fumble.

Including their AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots to end last season, the Colts have been outscored by a margin of 92-28 in their last three outings.

Disastrous performances to open the season aside — the Colts should still win the AFC South. As long as Indianapolis can handle the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans — the Colts are 12-0 within the division since 2013 – they should make the playoffs.

But, for right now at least, they don’t look like a team that’s even close to being capable of challenging AFC heavyweights or fulfilling their preseason hype as a trendy Super Bowl pick.

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