That seems to be the best thing that the Indianapolis Colts can do right now after dropping their fifth straight National Football League game in a 28-24 loss Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Indianapolis hasn’t lost five straight at the start of a season since 1997. That team wound up losing its first 10 before ending the year with a 3-13 mark.
The last time that a Colts team lost five straight at any point in a season was in 2001. Those losses came in the middle of the year and resulted in a 6-10 record.
If the Colts can’t find a way to scratch out a win at Cincinnati this week, the road ahead looks particularly daunting. Back-to-back road trips to face New Orleans and Tennessee follow the Bengals game.
“We got to stay together. We can’t point fingers, we got to stay together. We’re still fighting, that’s the good thing, no one is out there giving up,” safety Antoine Bethea said.
“Like I said, we just got to stay together, keep fighting, keep getting better, and eventually we’ll get a win.”
The loss to the Chiefs was a particularly tough one for the Colts to swallow. Indianapolis twice had double-digit leads in the first half and let the game slip away over the final two quarters.
“All losses are tough to swallow, but especially this one. Blowing a lead here at home, we’re most definitely trying to get over the hump and we blew this one,” Bethea said.
Injuries continue to chip away at Indianapolis as running back Joseph Addai and cornerback Jerraud Powers both left the Kansas City game with hamstring injuries.
It’s not immediately known if either Addai or Powers will be available to play against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
“It’s frustrating and, obviously, very disappointing. We just can’t finish, and that’s the real key. We have to be able to finish, and we haven’t been able to do so thus far,” coach Jim Caldwell said.
Quarterback Curtis Painter will remain in charge of the Colts offense for the foreseeable future. Painter has played well in his first two starts for Indianapolis over the previous two games.
“Curtis is our starter right now. He’s a guy that has done well and I think when you look at that performance he had [against Kansas City], I’m not certain why there’s a question at this point in time,” Caldwell said.
• Effort not the issue — The Colts coach doesn’t have an issue with the effort his team has put forth this season. Far from it.
“You look at the way in which they play, and that’s the key. Are we in every game? We are right in the thick of it. We just have to learn how to finish. We’ve got a lot of men of character, of good focus and integrity and those guys will fight you tooth and nail. We just have to get it to tip in our favor there at the end, which we haven’t been able to do,” Caldwell said.
“I haven’t been concerned about their effort, haven’t been concerned about their preparation and I don’t think you see any of those things in terms of how they play. If that were the case, then you’d see a lot of blowouts going the other direction, which does not happen.”
• Injury list — Addai hurt his right hamstring in the second quarter and Powers his left late in the fourth quarter. They were scheduled to undergo magnetic resonance imaging Monday.
Offensive guard Ryan Diem (ankle) hopes to return to practice this week after sitting out the last three weeks.
If he is able to return to the practice field, it’s not known as of yet whether he will play right guard or return to right tackle, where he started the last several seasons.
• Colts standing pat at cornerback for now — Despite Jacob Lacey struggling at left cornerback and Powers nursing a sore hamstring at right cornerback, there are no current plans to bring in another cornerback. Of course, those plans can change quickly.
“Until we are confirmed about what [Powers’] situation may be, then we certainly would not like to talk about it all at this point in time. Nevertheless, I think you well know that we have to take a real good look at our situation, and see if we have some guys,” Caldwell explained. “I think we have some young guys that are certainly capable of getting in there and playing, but it’s just a matter of experience. I do think there are some guys here that can play as well.”
Lacey’s status as a starter remains precarious. He was targeted time and again by Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Bowe had seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
“Lace works at it. [He] has just had a real up-and-down go of it. There are sometimes where he makes some plays, and other times where he doesn’t. It’s not because of a lack of trying or anything of that nature, but he’s got to get better,” Caldwell said.
“The young guys [second year cornerbacks Terrence Johnson and Kevin Thomas as well as rookie Chris Rucker] have potential, and I don’t think there’s any question about that. I think those guys, with a few more reps, you’ll see them come along and practice well. I think that for the most part they may be in the same situation that Curtis [Painter] was in. They need reps, they need opportunities and they just have to get in there and play.”
• Roster move — The Colts have brought back veteran defensive tackle Dan Muir to the active roster and have waived offensive tackle Mike Tepper.
Muir played three seasons with Indianapolis (2008-2010) but was not re-signed this past spring. He subsequently signed with the St. Louis Rams but was waived.
Tepper, meanwhile, began the 2011 season on the Colts’ practice squad and was elevated to the active roster Oct. 3. He saw playing time against Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
Colts take another look at Shakir Bell
Under general manager Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts have searched nationally and internationally for talent to build a program that has won 23 of 34 games in the last two seasons.
On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
Police: Colts owner had $29K in cash when arrested
CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle when he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, according to a police arrest report.
Family source: Irsay has gone to treatment facility
The family of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday that he has placed himself in a treatment facility after police found multiple prescription drugs in his vehicle during a traffic stop.
The 54-year-old Irsay, who acknowledged a painkiller dependency more than a decade ago, faces preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was arrested near his home in suburban Carmel late Sunday and released the next day.
Colts owner has double image in media
Colts owner Jim Irsay is known in NFL circles as a tough businessman and eccentric billionaire who enjoys interacting with fans about his beloved team and favorite songs from bands like the Beatles and the Grateful Dead. He may end up adding convicted felon to the mix.
Update: Colts owner Irsay arrested for DWI
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts owner Jim Irsay was jailed today on suspicion of intoxicated driving after police said he failed sobriety tests during a traffic stop and they found multiple prescription drugs inside his vehicle.
Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks
Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants. That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.
Colts keep Vinatieri, Davis, Bradshaw in fold
With the NFL’s free-agency signing period getting underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be active participants.
The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the National Football Scouting Combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent its money.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
- More Colts Headlines
- Colts take another look at Shakir Bell