The Indianapolis Colts had a rough day on Sunday. Actually, rough might be an understatement, as they lost 27-21 at home to the New Orleans Saints as Indy's offense was shut out in the first half against the league's worst defense. The game left the Colts with more questions than answers, as the team is still trying to figure out how to get things corrected. After the game, owner Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson reportedly had a "heated conversation" about the team.
More than that, head coach Chuck Pagano also had to give a very fiery speech at halftime after a pathetic first half performance. This is according to ESPN's Mike Wells:
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has a reputation of being mild-mannered and upbeat with his players. That changed Sunday when several players said he lost it like he never has before during halftime against the New Orleans Saints.
Pagano, according to those players, was animated, emotional and did quite a bit of yelling that featured plenty of expletives during his halftime rant.
If ever there was a game in which to give a halftime speech like that, Sunday's game was probably it. The Colts turned the football over three times in the first half, Andrew Luck didn't complete a pass until the 9:08 mark of the second quarter, the offense was shut out in the first half for the third time this year (this time against the 32nd-ranked defense in the NFL) and the Colts entered the break trailing 20-0. And, while no game is easy in the NFL, this was supposed to be the "easiest" game of the next few weeks for the Colts, too. It got so bad that Luck and the offense were being booed off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Considering all of that, it's totally understandable why Chuck Pagano was upset, and it sounds like he let his players know it at halftime. It seems to have gotten their attention at least somewhat, as in the second half the Colts outscored the Saints 21-7, with Indy's defense in particular looking much better. Give them credit for that - the second half was a lot better after Pagano's halftime speech, and the Colts actually had the onside kick in their hands that would have given them a great shot at winning it. They came back and made it a game.
But the underlying issue is this: it shouldn't take an impassioned, fiery halftime speech in a week seven game against a 2-4 team for the Colts (who were 3-3 themselves coming off a loss to the Patriots) to play well. It shouldn't have to come to that point for them to actually somewhat resemble an NFL football team. That's the biggest issue: Why do the Colts have to trail at halftime 20-0 (and then, later, 27-0) and be given this type of speech at halftime before they start playing with some energy?