This one is simple: If the Colts win the game, they still have a (tiny, imperceivable) chance at making the playoffs. Lose and it’s all over and the players can officially make their vacation plans. To win, the Colts had to face a very good Vikings defense, a mediocre Vikings offense, and one of the greatest RBs of recent memory returning from injury. Oh, and the Colts had to start three rooking on the offensive line again. Joe Haeg at RG and Le’Raven Clark at RT. *Gulp*
Colts-Texans round two. Round one saw the Colts jump out to an early lead only to watch it disappear at the hands of Brock “the Jock” Osweiler. This week the Colts hoped their newfound ability to step on the throat of a reeling opponent would lead them to victory and a division lead.
It didn’t. In fact, the offense came out looking like they had used up all of their scoring potential for the season against the Jets and had no interest in finding the end zone anymore. The offense was a major let down.
The Indianapolis Colts returned to the practice field in earnest on Wednesday after their mini-bye week. Since their loss last week to the Steelers, all eyes have been firmly fixed on Andrew Luck and his trek through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Monday night’s game gives Luck a little extra time to heal his oft-praised noggin, but the hope is he won’t need the whole week to be cleared to play against the New York Jets.
We’ll keep this brief since I know everyone is still comatose after their Thanksgiving feast (which I hope was wonderful for you all). Scott Tolzien made his first start since the dawn of time and broke his tie with Pat McAfee and no longer has only one regular season pass over the last two years.
The questions going into the game:
-What’s the game plan going to look like for Tolzien? Still aggressive and looking downfield? Or trying to get the ball out of his hands fast and relying on the Yards After Catch speed of the WRs?
-Can the defense hold the Steelers to less than 50?
The game turned out to be a game of what could have been. Not only about what could have been had Andrew Luck and Clayton Geathers played, but simply what could have been had the Colts not beaten themselves.
Time for the mid-week check in with the Colts. Lambeau field and the Packers are on the horizon and the Colts are coming off one of their most disheartening losses of the seaon, let’s see how Chuck Pagano and his team want to right the ship—again. (Side note: the fact that “one of” has to be added in front of “disheartening losses” this season is just agonizing.)
According to Kevin Bowen on twitter, today was only the second game in the 16 that Chudzinski has worked as OC that TY Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett have all been available. It should have been a good thing with them going against the defense that leads the league in interceptions, but only had eight sacks on the season. If the season so far had shown anything, it’s that Luck with time in the pocket is a dominant force. With his top three wideouts back, Luck should have been able to find some success. If only his OLine could give him the time.
The other side of the ball…well, the hope was that Spencer Ware wouldn’t hurt them too much (arguably, he didn’t). Alex Smith is a dink and dunker and running backs out of the backfield and other short catch and runs haven’t exactly been the Colts’ strength on defense. It was a case of strength on weakness when the Chiefs O took the field against the Colts D.
When was the last time the Colts played the Chiefs? I can’t remember. (*28 point come back*) For some reason absolutely no one wants to talk about it. (*Flying Andrew Luck touchdown*) Apparently they played in the playoffs (*in the playoffs*) not too long ago and it was a big deal (*28 freakin’ points*), but I’m like Chuck Pagano—my thoughts were solely “Just keep chopping wood” (actual quote, not a joke). But this is different, Chiefs have done a lot of winning recently and the Colts have done…well, whatever the Colts have done. Chopped wood?
Chuck Pagano is done with press conferences. The poking and prodding at his team and his team’s struggles has gotten on his last nerve, it’s obvious at this point. He doesn’t lash out at the media. We’ll never get any great “Playoffs?!” quote from him. But he’s fed up, no matter how many jokes he attempts to crack to reconcile with those in the room. Today’s target? The Pagano defense.