The Indianapolis Colts have been the most consistent team in the NFL throughout a season of unexpected twists and parity. They have consistently collapsed in the second half. On the one hand that is very frustrating. On the other, there are many things that you can look at and be encouraged. If Chris Ballard can do for the offense what he did for the defense in the coming offseason, and if they can hire a competent coaching staff, this team could be a lot of fun to watch in the very near future.
Unfortunately, the future is not today. Today, the Colts are just a bad football team, bringing up the bottom of the league, and showing the ability to get the hopes of Colts’ fans up before the inevitable meltdown. It doesn’t even take a good team, just one with an actual NFL roster will do. Given all that, it is unsurprising to see the Colts still hanging out at the bottom of the rankings. Let’s take a look at how they are viewed going into week 13.
The Colts have only nine passing touchdowns this season, but when they do find the end zone through the air, it's usually a long one. They're averaging 41.1 yards on their passing touchdowns this season, 12 more than any other team.
The Colts don't take much of a trot backward here, despite yet another close loss. Indianapolis was felled by a familiar foe on Sunday: the fourth quarter. Positively awful would be the best way to describe the Colts' offense in football's most important period. Coming into Sunday, Indy totaled 589 offensive yards in the fourth, at 3.3 yards per rush and 5.1 yards per pass. Those numbers complement each other in that they're both terrible. Indy has scored two touchdowns in the final quarter. All season. In the loss to the Titans, the Colts had the ball three times in the fourth. They gained 5 net yards and punted three times. Get excited.
In five of the Colts’ last six games, T.Y. Hilton has two or fewer catches and 27 or fewer yards. That’s bad coaching. Find ways to get the 2016 NFL receiving yards champion the ball.
The Indianapolis Colts continue to play hard and keep games close. Jacoby Brissett is still playing solid ball too. However, when T.Y. Hilton gets taken out of the game plan like he was Sunday, the Colts don't have other weapons.
There's a lack of playmakers on defense as well. Indianapolis is going to play hard and physical on that side of the ball, but there isn't anyone the team can depend on to make a big play at a critical point in the game.
On Sunday, the Colts lost to a team that does have a couple of playmakers. The Tennessee Titans have Derrick Henry, Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker. This is why they're in the hunt for a playoff spot and the Colts are on the outside looking in.
There are some good things going on with this team now that will be important come next year when Andrew Luck comes back. Some of the younger players are improving by the week.
Whenever Chuck Pagano gets fired, he will have made it far longer than he ever should have.