Those were the only two words I could think of when trying to recap this game.
No matter what coaches, general managers, or players say, running the football and stopping the run all come down to effort and desire. It's not just about gap control, or other silly-sounding, archaic terms and phrases. When your favorite team surrenders 253 rushing yards, that means your defense simply did not compete. That's what the Colts gave up to the Jets in their Week Six loss, 35-9, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. On the opposite side of the ball, Bruce Arians' offense only rushed for 43 yards against a Jets defense that was giving up an average 172 rushing yards a game coming in.
The play that optimized the team effort (or lack thereof) on the day game came in the third quarter, when runningback Shonn Greene spun out of a lackluster tackle attempt by Antoine Bethea and ran into the endzone for a 4-yard score.
Turnovers were also a big key. The Colts had four of them, three courtesy of Andrew Luck. In fairness to Luck, one was an INT off a ball tipped by Reggie Wayne, and another was a fumble late in the fourth quarter when the score was 28-9.
The loss of head coach Chuck Pagano, who is fighting leukemia from a hospital bed in Indianapolis, was probably more evident today than it was last week. The Colts simply did not look prepared to play, especially on special teams. The game turned in the second quarter right before halftime when Tim Tebow hit Nick Bellore on a 23-yard pass off a fake punt on 4th-and11 on the Indianapolis 40 yard line. The Jets scored a touchdown four plays later on a 5-yard pass from Mark Sanchez to Jason Hill.
Just a bad game. A very, very bad game.
The Colts started five rookies on offense in this game, including runningback Vick Ballard. Dwight Freeney was a limping shell of his former self all game, and Cory Redding left early in the first quarter with a leg injury.
This is what young teams do, folks. They look good one week, and then lay an egg the next. It doesn't help if the head coach is in the hospital.
Only thing to do now is to regroup and host the Browns next week, who are coming off their first win of 2012. It would be great to get some people back healthy.
And tackling. That would be cool too get back too. The Colts forgot how to do it today. They simply did not play inspired football, and that's disappointing.