The Colts lost today, and they pretty much stunk doing it. Andrew Luck struggled, the Colts had difficulties picking up blitzes, the receivers (outside of T.Y. Hilton) had a rough day, the defense gave up some big plays, Hilton was injured, and the Colts looked flat for much of the first three quarters. In short, it was an ugly 27-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
But, with that said, it was only one loss. The Colts are only 0-1. Last year, the Colts started 0-2. In 2012, the Colts lost their opener and started 1-2. In both seasons, the Colts won 11 games and made the playoffs - and last year reached the AFC Championship game. By the end of this weekend, there will be 16 teams in the NFL that are 0-1 - and that includes notable teams such as the Seahawks, Steelers, Ravens, Lions, Saints, and Texans. This isn't the end of the world for the Colts, and that was the theme from the team after the game.
"We didn't play the way we're capable of playing," head coach Chuck Pagano said postgame. "We'll go back and look at the tape. We'll make corrections and move on. It's one game. It will not define this football team. It will not define us."
Quarterback Andrew Luck also wasn't freaking out, but he acknowledged that it doesn't make it much easier right now. "It's always a long season and you realize that," Luck said. "You don't let one game necessarily define you, but that doesn't make it any easier of a pill to swallow. It's a tough loss."
That's the theme from this Colts team: they're going to treat it as a tough loss, but nothing more. They're not going to let one game define their entire season. As Chuck Pagano loves to say, it's a marathon, not a sprint. And today was only one game.
Of course, it was an ugly game, but in the standings it doesn't matter if you lose by one point or lose by 50 - it still counts as only one loss. So that's the positive to take out of the game: the Colts still have time to turn things around.
"The positive about it is that everything is correctible," safety Mike Adams said after the game. "Missed tackles, that can be corrected. Offensive ball movement, that's going to be corrected. Special teams, that stuff can be fixed."
That's certainly the hope, because a season filled with Super Bowl expectations started on a sour note. Of course, the Colts are no strangers to slow starts (we saw it again in Sunday's game), and so there's no reason to freak out yet. The issues are there, but Andrew Luck won't be one of them in most games. Moving forward, the Colts hope to look back at this week one game and say that it didn't define them. They're a better team than they showed on Sunday. And their goal is to prove it.