Sunday’s loss to division rival Tennessee doesn’t just mean the Colts are now behind two games so early on in the season; it also means they’re 0-3 for the first time in a decade.
Behind some of the worst performances we’ve seen in the Reich/Eberflus era, Indianapolis couldn’t seem to get out of its own way — again — against a hot-and-cold Titans team. Head-scratching play calls, blown coverages and a quarterback that was literally throwing passes into the dirt due to his inability to move, doesn’t begin to describe how awful the Colts have played through their first three weeks.
So, what’s the issue? Where does it start? Well, that’s the hard part, because nothing seems to be going right for Indy, a team that many believed could be, at the very least, capable of challenging the Titans for a division title.
The Colts have shown us otherwise throughout the last three weeks. Right now, as it currently stands, Indianapolis isn’t a good football team. There are far too many mistakes being made in key situations (i.e. the penalty on Zaire Franklin which gave the Titans new life after a key defensive stop, or the blown coverage where Jeremy McNichols had a clear path to the end zone on yet another key 3rd down).
If I could use one word to describe the first three games from Indianapolis, it would be inconsistent. They played terribly against the Seahawks in the opener, and then lost by three to the Rams — who might be the best team in the NFL, and then won the turnover battle 3 to 0 against Tennessee and still found a way to lose.
Yes, the Colts have by far the toughest 5-game stretch of any team to start the season. Yes, they have injuries to key players (Nelson, Leonard, Wentz), but every NFL team has injuries which they have to try and overcome. Indy knew who their competition was going to be at the same time every other team did. There’s no excuse to be as unprepared as Indy has been to start the season.
Simply put, the Colts are beating themselves. No one person is to blame for the worst start this franchise has seen in years. Everything needs to be better moving forward. The defense; the red zone offense; the pass protection; the pass rush; the running game; it all needs to improve and quickly.
Forget 1-5 back in 2018, this could very well be the toughest challenge this team has faced in quite some time. 3.2% of NFL teams make the playoffs after an 0-3 start. Head coach Frank Reich is always talking about ‘having a mountain to climb.’
With the way this team has played to start their season, this climb has a Mt. Everest feel to it. Both Miami and Baltimore await the Colts over the next two weeks, and if they perform anywhere close to how they did during the first three weeks, they’ll go from having to ‘climb’ that mountain to clawing their way up it.