I’ve been quiet for a couple weeks largely because we have gifted writers on our site, but it also has given me the chance to look at the team and get a clearer picture of where they are at. A lot has been made about the dysfunction that clearly found its way in the regular season and ultimately cost Pep Hamilton his job and most likely Chuck Pagano and possibly even Ryan Grigson theirs as well.
I don’t like to be pessimistic, but even if the Colts somehow make the playoffs their chances are not good in terms of advancing and will only result in lowering their draft position. The best the team can finish is 8-8 if they beat their next opponent otherwise the will finish below 500. That leads into this week’s opponent, the Miami Dolphins who come in at 5-9, but present a problem for 6-8 Colts whose secondary has been getting torched regularly, which could be a good sign for the Dolphins young QB, Ryan Tannehill. Although he has been inconsistent he has shown the ability to light up defenses similar to the Colts.
The other problem the Colts have against Miami is the “Ageless Wonder” Matt Hasselbeck is coming into the game banged up (again). I admire his toughness and am glad the teamed signed him exactly for this reason, the only problem is I (or probably anyone) never thought he’d have to play this much as well as being subjected to countless hits busting through an offensive line that can now be labeled as bad (again). There were actually moments where I wanted him not to answer the call, like a prize fighter knocked senseless, just stay down, but not him, he looks at the coaches, throws some dirt on whatever is banged up, and returns to face more punishment. That is where the team is right now.
I think any notion of the team being better with Hasselbeck at quarterback is now showing why that notion was nonsensical. Sure Luck was not playing well and was a human turnover machine, but notice how Matt Hasselbeck has been receiving a beating on a regular basis due largely in part to the offensive line and making similar poor decisions? I don’t think it’s a coincidence . It just shows how tough Luck was and also shows how poorly the front office constructed the offensive line. Irsay said the number one priority was protecting Luck and the only problem is they haven’t been able to protect Luck or anyone really. Besides the struggle to keep a QB healthy we are also hearing T.Y. Hilton criticize the current shorter play calling model of Coach Rob Chudzinski. Let’s assume it’s sparked from the disappointment of this season and the lofty expectations placed on what many considered to be the second coming of the Kurt Warner’s Rams teams of the late 90’s. Many of us looked at the defense and saw serious roster issues and unfortunately those seem to be coming to fruition as well.
I have no idea what to expect on Sunday, but I also decided regardless of the outcome as fans we have to stay together and support the team whatever the eventual ending is. It seems that changes will be coming to Indianapolis once the season is officially over. Pagano may or may not (most likely) be here, Grigson may also face a similar fate yet the “Horseshoe” will continue despite all the chaos. In essence, the season may still have an opportunity for the team to possibly host a wild card game, but in reality with all the turmoil and injuries it seems more likely that the team should officially hit the reset button except this time find a coach and GM who are on the same page. “Chuckstrong” was an incredible feeling that permeated Indianapolis, now it seems more like “Chuckdone”. The Dolphins are the next opponent for the Colts, but really the battles lie inside of the organization and until it gets addressed the discord and losses will likely follow.