Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to why the Indianapolis Colts lost to the New England Patriots AFC divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, there are far too many fingers to point. In this article, Naptown’s Finest will break down several reasons why and how the Colts fell so fast, so hard, and so quickly.
1) Defense – The Patriots did to the Colts exactly what the Colts wanted to do to the Patriots. New England ran the ball 46 times against the Colts, for a total of 234 yards and six scores. QB – Tom Brady had his worst statistical playoff outing (185 yards, 0 td), but the team as a whole still played a near-perfect game.
2) Turnovers – The Colts were behind from the very beginning of the game, when QB – Andrew Luck threw the first of four interceptions, on the very first passing play of the game. Two of those turnovers were some of the ugliest throws possible, which sailed right into the hands of the opposition. One interception bounced right off the hands of FB – Stanley Havili, and was taken away by the defense. The final interception was a desperation long bomb, late in the game. Excuses and reasoning aside, a team cannot expect to win, when turning the ball over four times.
3) Running Game – The Colts had to revamp their running game early and often this season, and it never really worked out. Against the Patriots, the Colts never really had a chance to get their running game going. Between Donald Brown (63 yards), Luck (5 yards), and Trent Richardson (1 yard), the Colts had a rushing yardage total less than New England RB – LeGarrette Blount (166 yards) had by himself.
4) Coaching – Through history, the Colts’ coaching staff had played the Patriots time and time again. As a unit, this staff also faced the Patriots in New England last season. There was history and videotape (pun intended) on this Patriots team, but the Indianapolis coaches did not seem to set a proper scheme for this game. New England also had an extra bye week to study the Colts. Not only did the patriots have time to study what the Colts did this season, but they also got to watch every nuance of the insane game that the Colts had against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In the end, Indianapolis was simply beaten on almost every level. The team wasn’t properly prepared on offense, defense, or in coaching. The memories of this loss will, and should, stick to this team. If not, then they will be doomed to repeat these type of failures in the future.