The Indianapolis Colts are 0-9 and nobody seems to know how the season has turned out this way.
Yes, the offense has slipped in production in recent weeks. And the defense has been inconsistent at best. And there are the weekly rounds of game-altering mistakes that have continued to haunt the team since the beginning of the season.
While there isn’t any finger-pointing going on from inside the locker room, at least publicly, there have been plenty of slings and arrows pointed at the franchise from the outside.
Everybody from team owner Jim Irsay to vice chairman Bill Polian to vice president/general manager Chris Polian to coach Jim Caldwell, nobody has escaped the wrath of angry fans and a questioning media.
Nobody is happy in the Colts locker room. Frustration rules the day.
“Our record indicates that we’re struggling. It’s just like anything else, every year is different. It’s totally different than any other year, obviously, that we’ve ever had. And our task is to find a way out of it. I think our guys have continued to fight, and I think you can see that they still give the effort,” Coach Jim Caldwell said Monday.
“We just have to give them some more help in making certain that they’re in position to win, more so than anything else. You can’t do anything about the past. The past is the past. We’re looking at where we are right now. [We’ve] got to face it, got to work through it and got to do better.”
The common refrain from players and coaches alike is that Indianapolis’ mistakes are “correctable.” But the team is nine games into the season and those mistakes continue to occur. Different mistakes in different games? That’s possible.
But the offense, namely quarterback Curtis Painter, has regressed in recent weeks. And the pass defense continues to struggle. Players say that the team is working hard and has had good crisp practices. But that's not carrying over to the games.
“There have been some areas in which we’ve had some improvement, but certainly not enough. The problem is that the improvement is often times fleeting. There may be one game that we do something extremely well, we covered punts extremely well this week, punted the ball extremely well and we’ve still been able to run it with some consistency. But next week it might be a different issue, a different problem,” Caldwell explained.
“One week we do a great job in terms of stopping the run, and the next week we have some difficulty. There have been, more or less, inconsistencies throughout. So there’s been improvement one week, and maybe we don’t show it the next week, and then it comes back the following week. So we’ve got to get it to the point where it’s consistent across the board.”
• Clark, Eldridge sidelined indefinitely – Tight ends Dallas Clark and Brody Eldridge are not expected to be available for this week’s home game with Jacksonville.
Eldridge left Sunday’s game with Atlanta in the first quarter with a hand injury. Clark, meanwhile, was sidelined in the second quarter with a lower leg injury. He was spotted on the sidelines later with his left foot in a walking boot.
Caldwell acknowledged Monday that both injuries were “significant.”
“They are still being evaluated [with] some MRIs and things of that nature. But in both cases, I think, both guys have sustained some pretty significant injuries. But we’ll have a report on that when we get the final findings,” he said.
“What I mean by [significant] is more than a week or so. We’ll see what happens here in the next few days.”
Could Clark be done for the season? He missed most of last year with a wrist/hand injury.
“Not quite certain yet,” the Colts coach said and added that the team could be making some roster moves to bring in one or more additional tight ends. Jacob Tamme is the only healthy tight end remaining on the active roster.
There are currently two tight ends on the practice squad who could be signed: Dedrick Epps and rookie Mike McNeil.
In other injury news, Bill Polian said on his radio show Monday night that rookie defensive tackle Drake Nevis may be available to practice this week. Nevis has been sidelined with a lower back injury that he suffered against Pittsburgh on Sept. 25.
• Moore to honored – Former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore and his family will be honored prior to this week’s game with Jacksonville.
Irsay announced the event on his Twitter account Monday.
Who could have seen this type of start coming?
The Indianapolis Colts are 0-9 and nobody seems to know how the season has turned out this way.
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.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
Bungles — including refs’ — benefit Bengals
Give the Cincinnati Bengals plenty of credit. In a game that pitted two of the AFC’s better teams and two of the National Football League’s best young quarterbacks, the home-standing Bengals took care of business.
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