The Indianapolis Colts are having one of their worst seasons in recent memory. Instead of taking ownership for their mistakes and focusing on solutions, the team’s owner and coach are turning a blind eye, hurting the team’s chances of winning.
The Indianapolis Colts are not the team they once were. The team’s performance has declined drastically since Peyton Manning’s days as quarterback. Gone are the days of back-to-back victories, guaranteed spots in the playoffs, and Super Bowl prospects.
There may be many reasons behind the Colts’ bad performance, but it’s easy to identify the two main ones: poor management and poor coaching. In recent weeks, owner Jim Irsay and coach Chuck Pagano have been under fire over the way in which they’ve handled the team this season. Fans — and even players — have expressed frustration over all the illogical decisions that have been made and the opportunities that have been missed. Irsay and Pagano have responded with nothing but excuses and blind optimism. Instead of taking responsibility for the team’s awful results and focusing on actual solutions, Irsay and Pagano have made statements like these:
You go from first place to last place, just like that. I’ve got to get my mind off of it.
You guys probably think I’m crazy, but I’m encouraged [by the team’s humiliating loss against the Houston Texans.]
It’s so hard to win in the NFL.
And the best one yet:
We could be 6 – 0 right now if the ball bounced our way.
In other words: the Colts would be winning more games, if only life weren’t so unfair.
Now, let’s slow down for a moment. It’s true that no team can stay at the top forever. So it doesn’t really matter that the Colts have lost so many games this season — with the right changes and the right amount of work, they could even make it into the playoffs. What does matter, however, is the laughable attitude of Irsay and Pagano, because one thing is for sure: the Colts aren’t getting anywhere if the team’s owner and coach don’t step it up.
Fans and players are tired of Irsay’s and Pagano’s excuses. What the team needs is to focus on results, and that can only be accomplished by acknowledging past mistakes and finding ways to correct them. So how about Irsay stops blaming bad luck and rethinks the decision he made last January of renewing Pagano’s contract? Or how about Pagano stops making questionable calls on the field, and starts to focus on the game?
To be fair, the Colts did win last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. This victory means they are no longer dead last in the division and are now tied for the second spot in the AFC South. But even this win felt a little off. It seemed to take too much effort, and the Colts have never lost against the Titans under the leadership of Andrew Luck, so their victory was not only expected, but demanded by the fans. They really needed this win, but it wasn’t a hard-earned one, nor is it necessarily a sign that things are picking up for the team. The results last Sunday were part luck, and part desperation.
We have yet to see how the Colts do against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday. Hopefully they’ll prove to fans that they can start delivering results. After all, in the falsely optimistic tone that has become Jim Irsay’s new normal, “this year isn’t over.”