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Despite Loss, No Reason to Worry about Colts

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The Colts lost to the Denver Broncos last night. Despite that fact, there's no reason to worry or change expectations yet about the Colts.

Jeff Gross

The Indianapolis Colts lost to the Denver Broncos Sunday night, 31-24.  The Colts fell behind 24-0 before mounting a comeback in the second half and having many, many opportunities to take the game.  The Colts just didn't capitalize.  The Colts getting dominated in the first half was frustrating.  The Colts having all of those chances to win the game in the second half, yet not doing so, was even more frustrating.  But despite the frustration, let's keep some perspective.

The Packers, Saints, Ravens, Bears, Chiefs, Patriots, and Colts all lost this weekend.  That's six playoff teams from a year ago losing, and then a team (the Bears) who have high expectations for this year too.  Of those seven teams that lost, only three of them lost to a playoff team from a year ago.  One of them was the Colts.  The Packers lost to the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle.  The Ravens lost to the defending AFC North champion Bengals at home.  And the Colts lost to the defending AFC champion Broncos in Denver.

Nobody was picking the Colts to win Sunday.  I mean, nobody.  I didn't see a single analyst pick the Colts to go into Denver and beat the Broncos, and in fact many people thought the Broncos would blow them out.  I was confident they wouldn't get blown out, but I didn't pick them to win either.  Simply put, if this game makes you reevaluate your expectations for the Colts, your expectations were wrong in the first place.  If a seven-point loss on the road in Denver against the Broncos and that offense in a game that the Colts had plenty of opportunities and were playing without Robert Mathis changes your expectations, your expectations were way too high to begin with.

We knew coming in that this team had issues.  We mentioned how the pass rush was going to be a major, major issue without Mathis.  It was.  We knew the offensive line would struggle.  They did.  We had questions about the safety position.  We still do.  We had questions about the coaching staff.  They're still there.  This game didn't teach us much new about the Colts.  It's not like we're now re-thinking our season predictions or anything like that.

After this week, sixteen teams in the NFL will be 0-1.  The Colts will be one of them, and one of a number of playoff teams, too.  There's no reason to worry yet.  In fact, consider this: the Colts went on the road to play the defending AFC Champions (who have one of the best offenses of all-time) without their second best player (Robert Mathis), fell behind 24-0 in the first half, yet roared back and brought it within 7 points and had plenty of opportunities to win.  That's resiliency.  That's the Colts.

Instead of changing the expectations for this team, I think our expectations were right on.  This is the best team the Colts will play the entire regular season.  And the Colts went on the road without Mathis and lost by only seven, having chances to win.  The Colts will win a lot of games.  They'll be fine, especially with Andrew Luck at quarterback.

It's easy to look at the standings, see the Colts at 0-1, and overreact.  But perspective is needed, and the bottom line is that there's no reason to worry or change expectations about the 2014 Indianapolis Colts after just one loss.