A little over six weeks ago I was sitting in the bitter cold at Highmark Stadium outside of Buffalo, anticipating the start of the Colts vs. Bills game with my dad, a lifelong Bills fan. The Colts were riding a four-game win streak, but I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, given that the Colts began the 2021 season 0-3 and were showing signs of struggle from the start. Mostly I was trying to avoid getting punched in the face by a member of Bills Mafia because I was, obviously, decked out in blue and white horseshoes.
Only six minutes into the first quarter running back Jonathan Taylor scored on a short run. He would see the end zone four more times that day. The Colts rolled over the Bills, with 264 rushing yards and four forced turnovers. The energy was electric. It felt like the Colts had finally showed up against a premier opponent and dominated them. The front page of The Buffalo News flashed a Monday headline that read “Taylor-Made Defeat.”
The Colts team I saw that day was nothing like the Colts team that played Jacksonville on Sunday. It was as if I was watching the Bills game all over again, only this time the roles were reversed. The Colts looked lazy, uninspired, lost, and confused. They couldn’t get out of their own way and never got into any kind of rhythm. Injuries, avoidable penalties, and Carson Wentz’s indecision caused one of the worst losses in franchise history, to a team with only two wins and an interim head coach.
A team that once seemed destined to roll into the postseason completely collapsed on both sides of the ball and allowed the second-worst team in the NFL to put up 26 points. The explosive energy the Colts showed in Buffalo had totally evaporated. It was a stunning and disappointing way to end “the season that could’ve been.” It was just another chapter in a maddening campaign riddled with wild uncertainty.
Colts fans are outraged and bewildered yet again. We feel exhausted from the constant guessing game of wondering what product we’re going to see on the field on any given day. A tweet by The Curious Colt read “This is why Colts fans have trust issues.”
As expected, Twitter is booming with fans demanding a change to the coaching staff, front office, and quarterback. Head coach Frank Reich’s press conference after the game was littered with a lot of “I don’t knows” and “I don’t have the answers.” At this point, with so much inconsistency and empty promises, someone’s got to have the answers.
When asked why the Colts wouldn’t be playing next week, wide receiver TY Hilton told the press “Because we didn’t play Colts football. And they dominated us on every end today.” He described the team as “locked in ‘’ and “focused” in the week leading up to the game in Jacksonville. Seriously? That’s what locked in and focused means? Knowing full well that a loss would send the team home?
It’s obvious that the Colts are capable of playing at an elite level, but one has to question the disconnect between talk and walk.
What it really comes down to, from a die-hard fan’s perspective, is that the talent they have is not living up to the expectations. The Colts led the league with seven Pro Bowlers, none of whom showed up in Jacksonville. We want answers about the disconnect. Is it a lack of accountability on the coach’s part? A lack of motivation? A lack of execution when it matters the most?
Another season that held so much promise is now history. The Colts looked all but unstoppable on that freezing day more than two months ago in Buffalo. Nobody wanted to play them. Yet again, we go into another offseason with more questions than answers.