Week five was a tough week for the Colts. It was bad enough to lose a game to the New England Patriots on national television. It was compounded by a slew of injuries to key players that threatened to impact more than just that game. At 1-4 the Colts cannot afford to lose more than 1 or 2 more games before they start to lose any chance at relevance.
The power rankings this week reflect the Colts stumbling start. It doesn’t matter much whether you compete in games, it matters if you win them. Right now the Colts haven’t proven they can finish those games, and their ranking reflects it. Let’s take a look at those rankings heading into week 6.
Andrew Luck and his rebuilt sidearm have 18 more pass attempts than any other QB this year. But his 6.1 yards per throw rank 32nd in league.
There’s some nuance involved with judging Frank Reich so far, and it extends beyond the record and the decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime against the Texans. Mostly I think Reich is doing a good job. The undermanned Colts are playing hard and have been in every game. Reich and his staff are getting the most out of a bad roster. It’s early but despite a 1-4 start I’d say the Colts made a good hire.
The Colts’ toughest remaining game will be in Week 13 at the Jaguars, where FPI gives Indianapolis a 32 percent chance to win. The Colts have already won a game this season in which they had worse odds to win: In week 2, FPI gave them a 30 percent chance to beat the Redskins, but they won 21-9 in Washington.
Andrew Luck is taking to the necessary pass-happy offense of Frank Reich, and their young defense has underachieved at times. But the early rash of injuries has been too much to overcome.
A pretty compelling argument can be made that the Colts actually took a step forward in Thursday’s loss to the Patriots.
For starters, it wasn’t really the Colts who lost the game so much as the JV Colts. Indy went into the game without its best wide receiver, leading tackler and starting tight end. Several more players got hurt during the game—possibly due to a short turnaround after playing to the end of overtime against the Texans the week before.
That the Colts were able to battle back from a 24-3 deficit and make a game of it speaks well to the team’s effort. There’s no quit in these Colts. As a matter of fact, the Colts actually outgained the Patriots, albeit by a single yard.
They have been competitive every week and have a trio of winnable games up next (at the Jets, Buffalo and at Oakland), but the NFL is all about results.
And 1-4 isn’t good.
Swathed in the rush of the enemy, Capt. Andrew Luck repeatedly called upon his sidearm, unloading into the Patriots’ lines, steady and true. Melancholy befell him, as his brethren floundered to furnish reinforcements nigh the engagement’s creep. The good captain ne’er withdrew, surging forward with platoon long after the engagement had been ordained. Valor aplomb. It is said the captain of the opposition’s field units was of an age to be out farming, perhaps tending his flock. Not on Thursday’s eve. Alas, Capt. Luck was bested. (Sorry, I often get inspired by preferred Twitter accounts.)