The latest episode of “Hard Knocks”, featuring the Indianapolis Colts, looks into the week before the loss to the Raiders.
Since the mid-point of the regular season, the Indianapolis Colts have been featured on “Hard Knocks.” Indy has been the hottest team in the league, so most of the football moments on the show have been favorable.
This past Sunday, Indianapolis lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Las Vegas Raiders and missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot. Fans could already assume this wouldn’t be one of the most complimentary moments the series captured.
What was learned from Wednesday’s episode is that the Colts didn’t have their best week of prep leading up to the game. In addition to Carson Wentz being in COVID protocol, the team had a practice so below its standard that Darius Leonard gave an impassioned speech encouraging the guys to lock in.
Darius Leonard motivates Colts after ‘unacceptable’ practice
Leonard reminded his teammates that they haven’t accomplished anything yet and that the players must hold everyone accountable, daily, if the team wants to reach its goals.
Learning about this practice that wasn’t up to Indy’s standard may explain why Indianapolis started rather flat on Sunday. It was the Raiders who started with the energy, driving the Colts’ defense 75 yards on 12 plays in seven minutes for an opening drive touchdown.
Considering the way Indy’s season has unfolded, these kinds of letdowns can happen. Indianapolis had been in survival mode since its 1-4 start.
Prior to the Las Vegas game, Indy played two of its toughest opponents in the Patriots and Cardinals and beat them both. It’s not surprising if the Colts dropped their guard a bit and lost some intensity preparing for somewhat of a lesser opponent.
It’s better for Indianapolis to get that out of its system now than in the postseason. That week can serve as a wake-up call to the Colts, letting them know that they have to be all the way dialed in at every point moving forward.
From here on out, the margin for error is incredibly thin, and as Leonard said, Indy “only gets one opportunity at this”, so the team has to make it count.