Colts vs Jets: Next Day Analysis


We don’t overreact at Horseshoe Heroes. We’re here to give you a realistic breakdown of the Colts after each and every game.

For the second season in a row the Colts are starting 0-2, but 2015 is off to a more worrisome. Last year’s losses were against very talented teams, and the Colts were competitive in both games. This year, we’ve seen what was supposed to be a high powered offense fall apart and most of that rests on the shoulders of Andrew Luck (the one thing that was supposed to be a constant).

Two weeks in a row now and we’ve seen the defense play well enough to win while the offense struggles to move the ball. The way this team has played is troubling, because there isn’t much to point to besides Luck struggling as the problem for the team.

We can all talk about the AFC South and how it is the gift that keeps on giving, but the reality is that the Colts have loftier goals than just a playoff berth. Jim Irsay has seemingly demanded a championship in the offseason, but the flaws of this team (and Luck regressing at an alarming rate) have the Colts looking like a five win team. 

More from Horseshoe Heroes

So far, the two losses can be dropped squarely on Luck’s shoulders. If he plays like he has in the past, the Colts win both games and were not discussing worst case scenarios. Luck’s advanced stats have never put him in the top five in quarterbacking, but his late game heroics showed just how good he can truly be.

Overnight, Luck apparently became the most overrated QB in the NFL. Yes, he has flaws (namely he turns the ball over too frequently) but nothing that didn’t seem correctable as part of his natural progression. Luck already has five interceptions through two games and although they are not all entirely his fault, you have to question his decision making right now.

Coach Chuck Pagano looks incredibly frustrated with his team as well. One of the reasons he is on the hot seat is because of outings like Monday night. The Colts had everything in their favor and came out flat and uninspired, at least on offense.

The problems with this team remain the same nearly every game. The offense fails to take advantage of matchups while the defense continues to do the same things that get them into trouble (like not covering running backs out of the backfield or putting a linebacker on a wide receiver). It feels like the coaching staff either doesn’t gameplan or they need to vastly change up their approach.

Pagano didn’t really pull any punches after the game either. He’s clearly done with the bad turnovers.

"“Just got to take care of the football,” Pagano said. “Just make great decisions, take care of the football. It’s not that hard. It’s not trigonometry.”"

And is over the idea that the bad offensive line is leading to Luck’s passing woes.

"“That’s the case for three years now, has it not?” Pagano said. “He should be more than comfortable dealing with what he’s dealing with. We’ve got to get it fixed.”"

That seems like a direct shot at GM Ryan Grigson for not giving Luck better protection (or for forcing Pagano to start inferior players). This rift is about to get real ugly for the Colts. This wasn’t a must win game by any means, but they certainly needed a victory to at least put some of the off field issues to bed (even if it was just temporarily).

Here are a few things that stood out from Monday night:

  • Drop the Pitch Count. Pagano has to forget about trying to save Gore’s legs and give him more snaps, especially on third down. Josh Robinson has ball security issues, and opponents are going for the strip every chance they get. Avoiding fumbles should be easy (much like clock management), but some players don’t seem to get it. Any coach would give up those one or two extra yards in favor of keeping the ball.
  • Defense. Yes, the Colts appear to have something resembling a defense and while the first two offenses they’ve faced haven’t been world beaters, this unit has done its part by keeping games manageable only to watch the offense falter (it feels like 2011 all over again). It was especially impressive considering the lack of a pass rush and depleted secondary. The defensive line has been outstanding against two run heavy offenses so far. For 50 minutes of play Monday, the defense managed to hold the Jets to 10 points (all of which came off Luck turnovers).
    • There are a few points of concern, namely the utter lack of a pass rush. Even when the Colts brought pressure it failed to land. While Trent Cole hasn’t played poorly, he also hasn’t been the pass rusher the Colts paid for. It was also baffling to see the Colts put Robert Mathis back on the field…only to drop him into coverage. It felt like the Colts were out thinking themselves.
    • Injuries to the secondary have been devastating. The starting three corners are out now and while they still managed to be successful against Ryan Fitzpatrick, they’ll need to be healthy when they start facing talented QBs is in four weeks.

Next: Andrew Luck: Touchdown to Turnover Machine