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.
- Pro Sports
Hibbert leads red-hot Pacers over Heat
Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and Paul George had 15 of his 17 points during a second-half rally to lead the Pacers past Miami 90-84 Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams.
Indiana improved its league-best record to 19-3 and extended its lead to three full games by beating Miami at home for the fourth straight time.
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.
Weatherford getting over kicking slump
If Steve Weatherford is not out on the field practicing, it’s a good bet the New York Giants punter is lifting. The ripped 30-year-old health nut who played at Terre Haute North High downs a couple of protein shakes after practice and heads into the weight room like clockwork. The routine extends to his eating. Nothing bad goes in.
Heavy snow appears in forecast for Colts
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrew Luck doesn’t have a history of playing a lot of football in the snow or in snowy conditions. But if weather forecasts for this weekend remain on track, Sunday’s AFC battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals may be severely tested by the weather.
Carmel firm’s brace a good fit for Manning
Local entrepreneur Rick Peters is a devoted Indianapolis Colts fan, but he jumped out of his living room recliner on the evening of Nov. 13 when he saw an ESPN report on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s bad ankle.
Seizing the moment: Colts’ running back Brown comes through at end in first start of season
Donald Brown has bided his time this season as the Indianapolis Colts elevated Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson to the team’s No. 1 running back position.
Colts seek to right ship against Titans
Another home game, another meeting with the Tennessee Titans. The Indianapolis Colts, fresh off last week’s 40-11 road loss to Arizona, know what’s at stake against the Titans on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Colts ready to go back to work
If anybody expected Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano to start spewing fire to his players in the wake of Sunday’s 40-11 National Football League loss at Arizona, they would be largely disappointed.
Arians faces his old team
The early pregame warmups that NFL teams go through are usually pretty routine.
Players and coaches usually spent the time loosening up, touching base with old friends who are with the other team. A few minutes chatting up an old buddy or college teammate and then its back to the matter of hand.
Arians latest to join Colts’ reunion tour
The 2013 NFL season has turned into a reunion tour, of sorts, for the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts’ Walden to appeal one-game suspension
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Erik Walden will be suspended for Sunday’s National Football League road game at Arizona, the NFL announced Monday.
Colts rally from 14-down, beat Titans 30-27
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts keep digging themselves into early holes — and proving they know how to come back and win.
5 things to know as Colts rally, beat Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts know they have to stop falling behind early. It’s just a hard habit to break when they keep rallying for victories.
Colts looking for big-play receiver
When the Indianapolis Colts signed rookie wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers to the active roster Monday after a stint on the practice squad, it was just another indication that team officials aren’t completely happy with the way the Colts’ receiving corps has played over the last two weeks.
Colts need to forget embarrassing loss, prepare for next game
Former Indiana State men’s basketball coach Tates Locke had a slogan that he liked to use when it came to putting bad games or bad performances on the back burner.
The Bird Years: From player to executive
When it comes to Larry Bird, there’s one franchise with which he’ll always be indelibly associated.
Bird will live on in eternal Boston Celtic green. He will forever be a symbol of a NBA that exploded in popularity in the 1980s partly because of his considerable exploits.
But as iconic as Bird is as a Celtic, one could make an argument for similar iconic status with the Indiana Pacers.
Cardinals need Game 6 victory to stay alive in World Series
Michael Wacha had a funny way of preparing for his World Series start that’s supposed to save the season for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 22-year-old October ace spent Tuesday afternoon on the tarmac at the St. Louis airport when the team plane got grounded by mechanical problems.
No telling when the Cardinals would arrive in Boston, trailing the Red Sox 3-2 going into Game 6 tonight.
Indiana Pacers win opener
Paul George scored 24 points, and Roy Hibbert added 16 rebounds and seven blocks, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 97-87 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
The two-man tandem looked every bit as dominant in the season opener as they did leading the Pacers (1-0) to the Eastern Conference finals last season.
George’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Indiana a 69-64 lead and sparked the decisive 17-4 run to open the fourth.
Oden dunks in long-awaited return to NBA action
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For former Terre Haute resident Greg Oden and his Miami Heat teammates, four minutes on an NBA court in a preseason game was cause for celebration.
Colts knock Broncos from unbeaten perch
Everybody expected a barnburner when the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos hooked up in National Football League play on national television Sunday night.
Mixed emotions from Manning in wake of Indy return, Broncos loss
It was a bittersweet symphony for Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning upon his return to Indianapolis.
Colts try to pick up pieces after latest stumble
Indianapolis picked a poor time to have a bad game.
The Colts missed an opportunity to seize control of the AFC South, show a prime-time TV audience they’re a legitimate title contender and now have to prepare for Peyton Manning and the unbeaten Denver Broncos on a short week.
Good luck, right?
Peyton Manning plays football with chess master’s mentality
Just two years removed from the neck troubles that weakened his right arm but strengthened his resolve, Peyton Manning is off to the best start by any quarterback in NFL history.
He returns to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday a much better player than the one who left Indianapolis teary-eyed in 2012 after the Colts let him go in favor of Andrew Luck.
Colts confirm Ahmad Bradshaw to have season-ending surgery
Ahmad Bradshaw’s season is over and his brief stop in Indy might be too.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday that the running back will miss the rest of the season after opting for season-surgery on his injured neck. The former New York Giants star was injured two weeks ago during a game at San Francisco and had been debating whether to undergo surgery or see if he could recover with rest. Bradshaw has already been placed on the injured-reserve list.
Indianapolis, New Orleans, Minneapolis make cut for 2018 Super Bowl
The 2018 Super Bowl could be headed back to a recent host city. Or to one that hasn’t staged the game in more than two decades.
New Orleans and Indianapolis, the sites of the past two Super Bowls, and Minneapolis are the three finalists to host the NFL championship game in ‘18.
Those cities were selected from a pool of six at the owners’ meetings Tuesday. Should Lucas Oil Stadium get the game, it would be the first cold-weather stadium to host two Super Bowls.
AP Source: Dusty Baker out as Reds manager
Dusty Baker is out as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, three days after his team lost the National League wild-card game to Pittsburgh.
Colts lose running back Ballard to knee injury
With the news Friday that second-year running back Vick Ballard suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Thursday’s practice, the Indianapolis Colts will now be forced to depend on Ahmad Bradshaw, Donald Brown and rookie Kerwynn Williams for the foreseeable future.
Pagano wants improvement from Colts' offense
The Indianapolis Colts scored 21 points in its first game, a 21-17 win over Oakland this past Sunday.
Indianapolis’ new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton had introduced a different style of attack than what fans grew accustomed to seeing a year ago when Bruce Arians was in charge.
Arians’ system wasn’t better. Just different from what Hamilton wants to get accomplished.
Indy defense would like to be as well-known as its offense
The Indianapolis Colts with a powerhouse defense? According to defensive end Cory Redding, free safety Antoine Bethea and several other members of the team’s retooled defensive unit, that’s the goal heading into the 2013 season.
A lofty goal, to be sure. Indianapolis — first with Peyton Manning at quarterback and now Andrew Luck — have always been thought of as an offense-first franchise. Manning and Luck have certainly had plenty of options to use, the idea being that you have to surround a top-flight quarterback with playmakers.
Despite Phegley’s hitting, ChiSox lose Monday night to Astros
Jordan Lyles warmed up in the Houston Astros’ bullpen, watching the Chicago White Sox load the bases with two outs in the ninth inning and realizing the situation he was about to be thrust into.
With the Astros clinging to a two-run lead, Lyles was called on to get the final out in his first career save opportunity. He worked back from a 3-0 count against Chicago’s Avisail Garcia and struck him out looking to give the Astros the 10-8 win Monday night for their third win in four games.
- More Pro Sports Headlines
- Hibbert leads red-hot Pacers over Heat