The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Pro Sports

November 11, 2013

George Bremer: Colts must erase dark day

Chuck Pagano opened his Monday morning news conference with an attempt at levity.

"Sun came up," he said. "Unbelievable."

Many Indianapolis Colts fans likely shared their head coach's sarcastic astonishment following a 38-8 drubbing at the hands of the St. Louis Rams on Sunday afternoon that brought back memories of the disastrous 2011 season.

Despite the early dark humor, Pagano pulled few punches in assessing his team's performance.

"Everything that we talked about last night, after viewing the tape, didn't see anything really different," he said. "We didn't do much of anything to give ourselves a chance in any of the three phases. Certainly not in the beginning and middle, or the end, to give us a chance to play, compete and win that football game."

Pagano's players shared many of the same thoughts in Sunday's postgame locker room, expressing anger and disgust with their play. The key now will be how quickly the Colts can shake out of this funk.

Indianapolis has played well enough to beat three of the NFL's title contenders — San Francisco, Seattle and Denver. But it's also played poorly enough to lose to three teams on the fringe of playoff contention — Miami, San Diego and St. Louis.

That's part of life these days in professional football, where even Super Bowl champions have obvious flaws.

But there's something about Sunday's 30-point home loss that sticks with you like a bad omelet.

The Tennessee Titans — who will host the Colts on Thursday night — know the feeling. They're coming off a 29-27 home loss against Jacksonville. It was the Jaguars' first win of the season in nine tries so it just feels like a 30-point defeat.

The Titans also lost starting quarterback Jake Locker for the season after he suffered a foot injury Sunday. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over, but that might be small comfort to Indianapolis. Reserve quarterbacks Case Keenum of Houston and Kellen Clemens of the Rams outscored the Colts by a combined 49-3 in the first half the past two weeks.

But here's the rub, at 6-3 Indianapolis still holds a two-game lead over the Titans in the AFC South. Tennessee plays again at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 1, and wins by the Colts in both contests would all but wrap up the team's first division title since 2010.

So there is a silver lining to this dark cloud after all.

Take care of business in Nashville on Thursday, and the loss to the Rams will be little more than a bad memory.

"We're so excited to just get back on the field and to get past this feeling, this taste out of our mouth," defensive end Cory Redding said. "We know we're a much better team than this, and we want to keep rolling. All of our goals are still ahead of us."

Sun came up. Unbelievable.

1
Text Only
Pro Sports
  • SPT - HB0726 - Mathis - Colts Camp day two 101 Mathis getting lighter workload as Colts get creative

    Robert Mathis is caught in an interesting predicament. The veteran outside linebacker finds himself preparing as hard as he can to play a football season that he will watch for the first month on television. That's the result of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, and it means fans will see less of the league's reigning sack champion on the practice field.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0726-Ballard2-ColtsCampdaytwo267.jpg Ballard carted off practice field

    The first scary moment of Indianapolis Colts training camp came Friday afternoon courtesy of running back Vick Ballard. The former Mississippi State star went to the ground early in the public practice after catching an undefended pass in individual drills.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0726 - Thornton - Colts Camp day two 200 Healthy Thornton 'having a blast' at Colts Camp

    Hugh Thornton is making up for lost time. After missing the majority of training camp with an injured ankle as a rookie last summer, the offensive lineman reported a day early to Anderson University this week.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Colts Camp - 007 CB Darius Butler holds tight to No. 20 The number 20 has grown to mean something to Darius Butler. The former second-round pick was running out of chances when the Indianapolis Colts signed him during the 2012 season. Eleven starts and eight interceptions later, he’s ingrained as the team’s slot cornerback — working under the final season of a two-year, $4 million deal.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_3703.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Friday, July 25

    Notes, news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0725-ColtsCamp-080.jpg Colts Camp Update: Colts urging caution with vets, injured players

    Reggie Wayne isn't the only veteran player whose snaps are being watched as practice begins at Indianapolis Colts training camp.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0725-ColtsCamp-128.jpg Luck plans to use preseason time wisely

    Managing the situations that crop up during a football game is at the top of Andrew Luck's to-do list. But his more immediate concern is maximizing every snap of training camp at Anderson University.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • irsay.jpg Colts Camp Blog: Irsay's expectations and other musings

    News and notes of interest from Colts Training Camp in Anderson.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Newsome - JC - 1 Former BSU star Newsome ready to prove his worth

    Jonathan Newsome knows what it feels like to be a spectator at the Indianapolis Colts' training camp. He spent one day in each of the past two summers watching practice alongside his Ball State teammates. When the first public practice of 2014 begins today at 1:50 p.m., Newsome — a fifth-round pick in May's draft — will be on the other side of the fence as a rookie outside linebacker earning his stripes.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0725 - Getting healthy - JC - 3 Colts getting healthy as training camp opens Reggie Wayne's arrival Wednesday in an IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter drew national attention. But the most important news coming out of reporting day for the Indianapolis Colts concerned the wide receiver's health.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos