Last week’s loss was less than ideal. Having witnessed countless mistakes and missed opportunities, it is time to be realistic about how to move forward.
With Andrew Luck suffering a setback recently, Colts fans have come to grips with the reality of potentially finishing the season without him playing a single snap.
While there are plenty of other talented players who wear the blue and white every week, nobody matches Luck’s talent and ability to give the Colts a boost towards success. Given what has transpired so far this season, it is time to draw some conclusions and plan for the future.
In Luck’s absence, Jacoby Brissett has done all he can to step up and pick up some of the slack. That said, he has taken more than his fair share of abuse from opposing defenses.
Last week alone he was sacked 10 times.
If the pocket continues to collapse on him, he can’t be expected to stay healthy forever. When you think about it, this team is one bad hit away from being led by Scott Tolzien again. (I know!)
If the Colts hope to keep Brissett healthy this season and further his development, they need to do a better job of protecting him.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano
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Another hot topic after last week’s loss is head coach Chuck Pagano.
Many fans have demanded his firing for a few seasons now. Getting shut out (for the first time since 1993) by a team playing without arguably their best offensive player is not a good look for a coach. If management wasn’t considering firing him before, they are definitely thinking about it now.
Loss after loss, Pagano addresses the media and cites a few weak points from the game. On top of that, he regularly blames himself and says that he needs to do better. Statements like that provide no benchmark for accountability.
To pile onto that, he has made no noticeable changes to the way he manages a game. If Colts owner Jim Irsay and general manager Chis Ballard want to move on, now is as good a time as any to do so.
What Do We Do Now?
To head in the right direction, the Colts need to make some sort of move that signals a change.
It feels like many players have lost motivation to perform until something changes, and who could blame them? There is no reason for players to go the extra mile and put their body on the line for a team that appears to have no direction in the near future.
I am not advocating that Andrew Luck be traded. I am not suggesting that the Colts should tank.
However, it is time for this organization to take a look in the mirror and ask itself what the plan is. The schedule is not getting easier, and more losses are likely on the horizon. The next few seasons will be defined by how the Colts react to the hand they are dealt this year.
Rather than attempting to salvage this season, the Colts should consider focusing on developing their younger players. Barring serious injury, they are the future of the team. Allowing these younger players to step in and gain experience this season will build a strong base for this organization going forward.