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Colts were poised for NFL Playoffs but beat themselves one too many times

NFL: JAN 09 Colts at Jaguars Photo by Icon Sportswire

Many believed the 2021 season would’ve ended in a second straight playoff berth for the Indianapolis Colts, but Sunday’s dismal performance against the 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars, told us that this team wasn’t worthy of making the playoffs.

Not after Sunday’s debacle in Duval nor their performance against the Las Vegas Raiders the week prior.

The Colts went from 1-4 to 9-6, and, at one point, became the talk of the NFL. They were the team nobody wanted to play. Their 2021 season saw second-year running back Jonathan Taylor break Edgerrin James’ single-season rushing record and finish the season as the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,811 yards, and there’s nothing to show for it.

Who’s to blame? Well, the answer is everyone.

The coach didn’t have his team fully prepared. The quarterback didn’t show when it mattered most, the offensive line that gave up a season-high six sacks and got pushed around at the line of scrimmage, and the defense that didn’t force any key turnovers and surrendered 26 points to a team that was averaging 14.2.

From top to bottom, Sunday’s loss is an indictment on the unpreparedness of the entire team and the Colts’ refusal to address roster needs through free agency this past offseason, such as left tackle, wide receiver, and secondary depth.

Let’s also not forget about blown opportunities that came earlier in the season, too. Games like against Baltimore, Tennessee, and Tampa Bay where they led by double digits at one point and ended up losing.

The last two losses to the Raiders (7.5-point favorites at home) and Jaguars (15.5-point road favorites) are as inexcusable as they come and the team must be held accountable.

It’s time for the Colts to take a step back and do some self-reflecting on how they should approach things moving forward. Frank Reich and Chris Ballard are here to stay. Owner Jim Irsay has made that clear, but that doesn’t mean that their offseason approach shouldn’t change.

Since Chris Ballard took over as general manager, the Colts haven’t been big spenders in free agency, and you could make the argument that’s come back to hurt the team in a multitude of areas.

The Colts came out flat for two straight weeks and blew too many opportunities to secure wins against some of the league’s best teams throughout the season, and beat themselves one too many times. Now, instead of having a chance at making a run in the postseason, Indy will be at home watching, and there’s no one to blame except themselves.