When we look back at this disappointing season for the Indianapolis Colts, it will be hard not to think of the word “inconsistency” as an appropriate summary.
That inconsistency has been on full display the last two weeks. Last week, in a home game against the Texans, their biggest contest of the season, the Colts played their ugliest game of the season as they lost 22-17. Their offense couldn’t get much going, and their defense couldn’t get off the field.
This week, in a road game against the Vikings, the Colts put together what may have been their best game of the season as they won 34-6. Their offense carried them, and their defense also dominated.
That’s the same team, but they looked completely different week-to-week. Honestly, though, that’s been a theme all year. The week before the Houston loss? A 41-10 road win over the Jets. The week before that? A 28-7 home loss to the Steelers (albeit without Andrew Luck).
This season, the Colts are an even 7-7, and their schedule highlights the inconsistency they’ve shown. Only twice this year have they put together any sort of streak, whether wins or losses. They started the season with a two-game losing streak, and they recorded a two-game winning streak in November on either side of the bye week. Other than that, though, the Colts haven’t recorded one single streak. From weeks two through nine, the Colts alternated wins and losses every single week. From weeks eleven through fifteen, the Colts have once again alternated wins and losses every single week. That’s just who these Colts are: they’re a team that can go up to Green Bay and get a win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, and then a few weeks later lose a home game to Brock Osweiler and the Texans. It’s this maddening inconsistency that drives fans crazy.
Why can’t this team put together repeated consistent performances? Perhaps that goes back to what outside linebacker Robert Mathis said last week about this team not being the strongest mentally. Linebacker Erik Walden had some interesting comments about why the Colts were so dominant yesterday and so bad the week before.
“We [were] so caught up in our work, we weren’t really worried about the results,” he said, according to the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer. We just play ball. When we do that, it’s evident, man, we’re a team to be reckoned with. When we’re worrying about shit, we don’t play as well. Just play!”
So was that the problem the week before? “Yeah. I feel like that I’ll say that.”
So is that the problem behind the inconsistency? Are the Colts just better at handling the low-pressure scenarios? That would fit the way this season has gone, explaining why they lost on opening day at home or dropped two crucial games to the Texans. It would explain why the Colts were able to win in Green Bay when no one gave them a chance, and the same with Sunday’s game in Minnesota.
Maybe that’s the reason or maybe it’s not, and that can be left for people to speculate about. But the thing that can’t be ignored is that this has been a season plagued with inconsistency for the Colts, all year long. At least they’re consistent in that regard.