Here we are again. Another week, another gutting loss. The Colts have been in every game they’ve played with chances to win them all. I’m not sure that is a lot of consolation when you find yourself 1-3, but I guess it is something.
The biggest problem facing the Colts right now is in terms of injuries. Until this team can get healthy across the offense, they’re going to struggle to close out games. Without getting some wins, they’re going to continue to be hanging out at the bottom of the power rankings. Let’s get a look at what they’re saying about the Colts around the league.
Blame Frank Reich, if you must, for going for it on fourth-and-short on his own side of the field in overtime. Understanding Reich’s lack of affinity for a tie, call it faith in his quarterback. The problem is threefold:
1) Giving the Texans the football on the plus side of the 50 was nearly handing them a win.
2) T.Y. Hilton was sidelined by an injury. So, in order to get the first down -- and prevent the above from happening -- Andrew Luck was forced to throw to a throng of pass catchers that included Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant and Mo Alie-Cox -- not exactly Harrison, Wayne and Clark.
3) A tie is certainly nicer than a loss in the standings, unless Reich feels the Colts won’t be going anywhere this season. Maybe they won’t, although Indy has competed in every game, exceeding not only this writer’s expectations, but likely their opponents’, too. These guys have been one tough out for the Bengals, Eagles and Texans.
I love coaches who are risk takers. For too long the NFL has acted like going for it on fourth-and-1 at midfield was like hitting on 20 in blackjack. But there’s being bold and being reckless, and going for it on fourth-and-4 in your own territory late in a tied overtime game is on the reckless side of that line.
Is it fair to blast Frank Reich for a boneheaded decision while admiring his swagger as he tries to rebuild Indy’s culture. Yes? Cool.
Rookie snaps leader: LB Darius Leonard, 281 snaps out of 282 (99.6 percent). Leonard leads the NFL with 54 tackles, the most by any player through the first four games of a season since the Dolphins’ Zach Thomas in 2005 (58).
Given all the hand-wringing regarding Andrew Luck over the last week, it’s understandable that Colts fans would breathe a sigh of relief after Luck lit up the Texans for over 450 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Of course, it’s also the only thing they have to cling to after the Colts fell to 1-3 and dropped into the AFC South cellar.
Indy’s seven sacks Sunday say more about how bad Houston’s line is than how good the Colts are at rushing the passer. The Colts had issues of their own in that regard, allowing four sacks and nine QB hits.
It doesn’t help that the Colts’ nonexistent run game managed just 41 yards and less than 2.5 yards per carry.
Davenport wasn’t shy about his criticism of the Colts after the effort:
”Fans may want to commit that Luck performance to memory, because if he keeps taking this many shots, he isn’t going to survive until Thanksgiving. You cannot win in the NFL if you can’t win at the point of attack, and right now the Colts can’t with any consistency. Yes, the Colts are playing teams close. But that’s little consolation when you keep winding up on the short end of the scoreboard.”
Never mind the, um, dubious wisdom of Frank Reich’s decision to go for it on 4th-and-4 from his own 46-yard line with 24 seconds left in OT.
Yeah. That was...something.
The Colts have the makings of a solid team, but their record is now 1-3. Andrew Luck threw 62 times in the Colts’ overtime loss but his four touchdowns and zero interceptions were not enough to beat the Texans, who got their first win by beating Indianapolis. Both teams are now in the bottom 10.