With the way it looks now, the Patriots probably aren’t going to play a football game when they visit Indianapolis in Week 6. Instead, they will likely spearhead a massacre.
The “AFC Finalist” Indianapolis Colts are off to a winless start, scoring a mere 21 points in their two losses. The team that originally complained to the NFL about the Patriots playing with deflated footballs is now imploding. Comeuppance has never tasted so sweet.
The Colts were embarrassed on national television Monday night, falling to the Jets 20-7. They turned the ball over five times, and didn’t even score until the fourth quarter. It was a Monday Night Football performance on par with the Patriots’ stinker in Kansas City last season.
After that loss, of course, the Patriots rang off 13 wins in their next 15 games on the way to a Super Bowl championship. The Colts sure don’t look like they’re about to repeat that performance.
Over their last three games, the Colts have been outscored 92-28. Their young franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, is 59-of-119 with three touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Tom Brady, for comparison’s sake, is 107-of-155 with 1,213 yards and 13 touchdown passes since halftime of the AFC Title Game.
Luck was constantly under duress Monday night, as he has been for the bulk of his NFL career. Last year, Luck was hit more than any other quarterback in the league. But instead of improving a rickety offensive line this offseason, the Colts signed veteran playmakers Frank Gore and Andre Johnson and also drafted speedy wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first-round. Johnson and Dorsett have combined for 10 catches so far this season and Gore fumbled on the one-yard line Monday. So far, nothing is going the way it should.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons for the acrimony that reportedly permeates the Colts organization. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, there’s growing friction in Indianapolis between head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson. Pagano is supposedly upset he doesn’t have final say over the roster, and could leave once his contract is up at the end of the season. The head coach appeared to take a shot at Grigson in his postgame press conference Monday.
Pagano on Luck and #colts leaky O-line: ‘Been the case for 3 years now, has it not? Should be more than comfortable dealing with (it).’
— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) September 22, 2015
On paper, the Colts look like a formidable foe for the Patriots. The 26-year-old Luck led the league in touchdown passes last season, and should be on the verge of overtaking Brady as the best quarterback in the AFC. But like so many other clubs that have tried to knock off the Pats in recent years, the Colts can’t seem to get out of their own way.
Luck has turned the ball over a league-leading 28 times since the start of 2014, which is inexcusable regardless of his supporting cast. His penchant for making mistakes is one of the big reasons why the Patriots have outscored the Colts 130-49 the last three times the two teams have met.
At the rate this is going, the grudge match in Week 6 will probably follow a similar script. The Colts are the team that set Deflategate in motion, and revenge will almost certainly be on the Patriots’ minds.
It could ugly in Indy 26 days from now. Pats fans should get their popcorn ready.
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