Take a moment to re-read the title of this article. It's right above that big picture.
Go on. Re-read it.
Sunday’s 38-8 home loss to the Rams was the worst this franchise has endured in 20 years. You have to go all the way back to 1993 - which is pre-Peyton Manning and even pre-Jim Harbaugh - to find a home loss as bad as the one the Rams handed the Colts in Week 11 of 2013. We’re talking the Jeff George days, kiddies.
We’re also talking about I game that I actually attended!
The ’93 Colts were 3-7 entering that Week 11 game almost 20 years ago, and they promptly got their butts handed to them 31-0 by the Chargers and quarterback Stan Humphries along with running backs Marion Butts, Natrone Means, and Eric Bienemy.
I remember that game well. I also remember the stomach ache it gave me when it was over.
What this means that all throughout the Harbaugh and Manning years, Colts fans did not suffer through a 30-point home loss like they did this past Sunday. That it was to a 3-6 Rams team that had lost three games in a row and was without their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, should rub even more sea salt on the gaping, open wound.
Let’s not sugarcoat this because, really, when do we? This was one of the worst loses in franchise history. A total meltdown. A failure on all levels.
The kind of game that can cost a coach or two their jobs.
Even in the dark, depressing malaise of the 2011 season, the Colts never lost a home game by 30, though they did come close.
Their November 6th, 2011 match-up at home against the Falcons ended 31-7. That result came two weeks after their 62-7 road loss to the Saints, which was the game that eventually cost then-defensive coordinator Larry Coyer his job. Coyer was fired in-season after the Week 12 loss to the Panthers. Head coach Jim Caldwell and vice chairman Bill Polian would be fired after the end of the regular season.
Head coach Lindy Infante had home loses of 31-6, 31-3, and 32-10 during the 1997 campaign. Both he and team vice president Bill Tobin were shown the door following that season.
In 2001, head coach Jim Mora had home loses of 44-13, 38-17, and 41-6. He was sent packing after that season as well.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that sometimes coaches don't retain their jobs at season's end after home loses as bad as the one Indianapolis had on Sunday. Yes, I know what I wrote following the Denver victory and I don’t think Chuck Pagano’s job is in jeopardy at this time. But, he shouldn’t feel especially confident, and if Pagano coaches another home loss as bad as the Rams game was, all bets are off.
The guy who is likely to feel the most heat is defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. In my opinion, that is unfortunate. Manusky has done a good job with the talent he’s been given.
At the end of the day, this team, both on offense and defense, is built precisely to the specifications of general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano. They are the brain trust. They are in charge.
They are the ones ultimately responsible if the team they’ve built gets blown out by 30 at home.