DISCLAIMER: I want the Colts to win against the Patriots, and I want them to do it in such a way that all speculation about the jobs of Chuck Pagano, Pep Hamilton, and Ryan Grigson instantly vanishes. I would be overjoyed with that result.
But on the off chance that they don't win, what might happen?
Possibility #1: Pep Hamilton is Fired
If the Colts start slow again and are unable to move the ball down the field, it will be a long night for Pep Hamilton. And if they lose the game as a result, then he will likely be gone. Pep stated plainly that the slow starts are all on him. He takes the responsibility for not putting the players in a position to succeed (partially putting the blame on not having enough game film!?!).
Sometimes Pep calls great games, while other times his game plans bomb horribly. He did well against the Texans, now it's time to show he can gameplan against the more dominant teams in the NFL.
If the Colts are able to move the ball down the field, but poor decisions by Andrew Luck or fumbles by Frank Gore take place, negating the drives, then Pep's job might be safe.
Possibility #2: Greg Manusky is Fired
Until last Thursday, the tables seemed to have turned on the #FireManusky bandwagon. Over the past few years, Manusky has been the recipient of a lot of anger from the fanbase. But with a much-improved D-Line, people were starting to say that he's doing a great job. Then came that Texans game. The CBs were playing ten yards off the receivers, there was little to no pass rush, and Greg Toler was covering their #1 receiver. These are all on Manusky. But the Colts still won the game (Thanks Matt Hasslebeck), so his job wasn't in jeopardy.
If the Colts come up with nothing defensively against the Patriots, Manusky is going to be the scapegoat.
Possibility #3: Chuck Pagano is Fired
Let me state from the outset that it is going to take a major--MAJOR--blowout for this to happen. I'm talking the Colts are completely embarrassed in all facets of the game, completely unprepared to play the game, and aren't giving it everything they've got. It seems like this is exactly what some of the "fans" of this team are expecting.
I would argue that if the players come out and give it everything they've got, leaving it all on the field, and still lose, it says more about the team that Ryan Grigson put together and/or the schemes of Hamilton/Manusky than it does about Pagano.
But another "unprepared" showing like against the Rams a couple years ago, and Pagano should (rightfully) be looking for another place of employment. Let's not pretend that this is "just another game." It's not. It is a test of whether the Colts are the "cream of the crap" or if they are actual contenders. The Patriots have embarrassed Indianapolis ever since Andrew Luck arrived in town. Another beat-down will not sit well with the fanbase, nor will it sit well with Jim Irsay.
Possibility #4: Nothing Happens
Imagine, if you will, that the Colts are very competitive in this game and only lose by 3-5 points. Though we, as fans, would still be ticked about losing to the Patriots again, the focus probably wouldn't be on which coach needs to go, but on where the minor tweaks need to be made to grant a W the next time (or which player screwed up and deserves to be benched/cut).
The point is, if the Colts give everything they've got and come up just short, then I don't see anyone getting fired.
The Colts win a squeaker, 35-31, and the current coaching staff all stay employed.