It’s a broken record at this point.
Colts started slow, again. Chuck Pagano's defense was carved up by a mediocre-at-best quarterback. Coverage was spotty. Run defense nonexistent.
The Colts 40-11 Week 12 loss to the Cardinals was so bad that even attempting to analyze it makes me feel tired, useless, and ultimately soul drained.
For the second time in two weeks, the Colts got their asses handed to them by an NFC West team. This time, instead of a Rams team led by Kellen Clemson, it was Carson Palmer and the Bruce Arians-coached Cardinals.
Amazing. The Colts blew out the 49ers in Candlestick back in Week 3 and came back to knock off the Seahawks on Week 5. Both those teams are not only the top teams in their division, but two of the premiere teams in the entire league.
And yet, this same Colts team that bested SF and Seattle has gotten dismantled and humiliated by St. Louis and Arizona.
Yes, the season-ending injury to wide receiver Reggie Wayne has indeed severely affected the Colts’ offense, but that injury does not explain or excuse just how terrible Indianapolis’ defense has performed since the bye week. For the third time in four weeks, the defense has surrendered 14 points in the first quarter. Also for the third time in four weeks, the Colts’ defense has allowed the opponent’s offense to score with their opening possession.
And yet, despite these facts plainly available, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano continues to defer when he wins the opening coin toss.
With 2 blowout losses in the past 4 games, everything needs to be re-evaluated with #Colts. Coaching, personnel, schemes. All fair game.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) November 25, 2013
In the first half of the last four games, the Colts have been outscored 93-9. Reggie Wayne isn’t a defensive back, a linebacker, or a defensive line. Blaming his injury as the reason why the Colts have played so poorly since their Week 7 win against the Broncos is laziness. A cheap narrative. Pagano water carrying.
The reality we must all come to realize is that, despite general manager Ryan Grigson spending tens of millions of dollars of owner Jim Irsay’s money to handpick players Chuck Pagano believed would thrive in his 3-4 "hybrid" scheme, this defense isn’t much better than last years.
And it’s the new players, the expensive free agent acquisitions, who are playing the worst.
After the game, veteran defensive lineman Cory Redding spoke to reporters and talked about how the players and coaches needed to do some "soul searching." This was Redding doing what he does well: Be a leader. Contrast this with Robert Mathis, who ducked reporters and left the locker room following the game without saying a word to the media.
So far players, coaches, equipment guys... No one has answers. Blank stares in the locker room— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) November 25, 2013
Frustration is reaching the breaking point. It’s clear that Chuck Pagano doesn’t have any answers. He looked exacerbated and confused after his defense gave up over 100 yards rushing in the first half to a Cardinals team that was averaging 85 a game going in.
Blowout loses like this one and the Rams lose make the impressive early season wins against teams like the 49ers moot. The Colts are being embarrassed, and their coach seems dazed and without reasons to correct their many issues.
When the coach doesn't have the answers, that means things could spiral out of control quickly unless he finds some, and quick!