The Indianapolis Colts went into Sunday’s game with the intention of playing to win. At least, that is what the coaching staff said all week. What followed was a 42-7 beatdown from the Dallas Cowboys.
For all the talk of playing to win, the Colts came out flat and uninspired. The first punt by the Cowboys came late in the second half. The offense didn’t manage to cross midfield until just before halftime.
By late in the third quarter, the Colts opted to pull Andrew Luck to avoid injury.
The Colts, with a playoff spot locked up, clearly didn’t have much invested in this game. Despite saying they wouldn’t rest starters, they basically did.
Luck finished the game completing 15-of-22 passes for 109 yards. He also threw two interceptions, occurring on consecutive drives.
Indy opened opened their first series on offense with three consecutive run plays amounting to nothing. In a desperation move, Pat McAfee would throw a pass on fourth down to a wide open Dewey McDonald, who promptly dropped the pass while looking upfield.
The Colts couldn’t manage to get a rushing attack going and managed just one yard on the ground off 10 carries.
The Colts played with a makeshift offensive line that consisted of Xavier Nixon at tackle, Lance Louis at guard, and Khaled Holmes at center. The line couldn’t open holes for the run game and didn’t give Luck time to find the open man. Even when the offense found a big play, it was often called back due to penalty.
The defense wasn’t much better. The Colts gave up 377 yards to the Cowboys offense. Tony Romo completed 18-of-20 passes while throwing four touchdowns.
The Colts couldn’t hold down Dez Bryant, who went on to catch five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Less surprising was the Colts lack of coverage on tight end Jason Witten who had seven receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown.
The Colts finally found the end zone late in the fourth quarter, with backups playing for both sides. Running back Zurlon Tipton caught a pass in the flats from Andrew Hasselbeck for the score.
The Colts went into the game with a number of players held out due to injury. That list will likely get a big longer after tight end Dwayne Allen suffered a knee injury and linebacker Jerrell Freeman hurt his hamstring.
Up next, Indy will be on the road again to face the Tennessee Titans. It will be a chance to clean themselves off after this ugly loss.