So far, through the first two games of a season that began with Super Bowl hopes and expectations, the Super Bowl is the furthest thing from the minds of Colts fans. Instead, as former Colts coach Jim Mora said, playoffs? They're just trying to win a game!
So far this season, the Colts haven't been able to do that. They fell to 0-2 on the season tonight after a 20-7 home loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. And for much of the first eight quarters, the Colts have looked quite terrible.
The problems, again, started with Andrew Luck, but they go much further than just that. For the second straight wee kwe saw the Colts' star quarterback play poorly, and that reveals how many warts the team has overall. When Luck isn't playing well, those issues will show through. And Luck absolutely hasn't played well to start this season by any means. So far this year, he has completed just 47 of 86 passes (54.7%) for 493 yards (5.7 yards per attempt), three touchdowns, and five interceptions, while adding five carries for 28 yards and a fumble. That's six turnovers from Andrew Luck through three games - four of which came tonight.
But we can't just stop with Luck, even though he has played poorly. As I mentioned, when he plays poorly it makes the other issues even clearer, and that has certainly happened. The offensive line? Yeah, they've been awful. Andrew Luck was getting hit on way too many dropbacks tonight, and while some of that was on him, the line was not giving him any help whatsoever.
Or what about the lack of discipline from this team? The Colts had eleven penalties accepted against them tonight. Seven times this year they have been called for holding, wiping out 86 yards between those plays (including a couple of nice runs from Frank Gore tonight). Anthony Castonzo and Dwayne Allen have booth been called for holding twice, while Khaled Holmes, Todd Herremans, and Jack Doyle have also been flagged for holding. That's not good. At all.
And we can't let the coaching off the hook, either. A home loss on primetime television after a wake-up call in week one? The Colts came out starting slow (and finishing slow) and looking flat tonight, something that has been way too common for this team. The team has been undisciplined and sloppy, something that I think reflects coaching. And then playcalling - like getting cute when the run game was working and trying to throw a touchdown pass to Joe Reitz - has been questionable at times.
Give credit where it's due: the defense played better than could have reasonably been expected tonight. Without their top four cornerbacks (with Vontae Davis going down with a concussion tonight) and with their offense turning the ball over five times, the Colts gave up just 2o points. Sure, they were playing a Jets offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick that seemed all-to-comfortable with a 10-0 lead for much of the game, but give the defense credit. They did a very good job against the run, with Henry Anderson again excelling. Entering the game, you would have thought that holding the Jets to 20 points would have been enough to win the game for the Colts. But, instead, the Colts offense was flat. They scored just seven points.
Vontae Davis, Dwayne Allen, and D'Qwell Jackson all went down with injuries tonight, in addition to T.Y. Hilton still working through his knee injury. That was also ugly tonight as well.
The Colts have a lot of concerns. A lot of them. And while this is the second year in a row that the team has started 0-2, this year feels a lot worse. Sure, the Colts have three straight AFC South matchups in the next three weeks, but there are major concerns. The Colts are 0-2. And they've looked even worse than that record suggests.