INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 28: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts is tackled by Luis Castillo #93 of the San Diego Chargers during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Awful night for the Colts. Awful. We haven't seen Indianapolis look this bad in a prime time game in a long time.
The last time the Colts trailed by 25 points in the fourth quarter was 2002, according to NBC. All of Indy's weaknesses were exposed. No running game. No consistent pass rush. No playmakers down the field. No pass protection for Peyton Manning.
Tip your hat to the Chargers. They own the Colts. Absolutely own them. As much as the Colts have consistently beaten the Patriots in recent years, the Chargers have consistently taken it to the Colts.
Tonight, you can, without question, pin the loss on Peyton Manning. Sure, his offensive line is terrible. His running backs aren't consistent. But, Manning had four INTs, including two returned for touchdowns. In fact, the Chargers had just as many touchdowns ON DEFENSE than they did on offense.
Peyton will get this loss pinned on him, and he'll carry that as he carries this entire franchise on his broad shoulders. But, as we have reported on since Week One earlier this year, it seems Peyton is playing hurt. We reported on (we think) a strong rumor back in September that Peyton had injured his neck and it was affecting his throwing shoulder. Well, last night, Manning played most of the game with a protective sleeve on his throwing arm. In previous games, that sleeve was on his non-throwing arm. Can't confirm if the sleeve is related to the rumor we believe is true, but Peyton Manning has thrown seven INTs in two games recently. He does not look healthy, and now that he is wearing a protective sleeve, it's possible it is related to the rumor.
Say whatever you want about the Eric Weddle non-call that resulted in Peyton's second INT returned for a TD. This game was looking lost even before then. This is not a playoff team. Not at all. And as it stands right now, what they look like is what they are. The Jaguars currently lead the AFC South, and with the wildcard teams likely coming from the AFC North and East divisions, the only way Indy makes the playoffs is if they win the South.
With tonight's loss, the Colts snap their NFL record seven straight seasons recording at least twelve wins. They will need to win out to get 11 wins, and as we know 11 wins does not guarantee a playoff spot.
Wish I could give everyone some positive words of wisdom. I really do. But, I can't. This is a bad 6-5 team. Some big changes need to take place if this team is hoping to make the post-season.