Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts came up short against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, one week after committing arguably the most boneheaded play in NFL history.
As reported by UPI, the Colts mounted a furious comeback against the Saints late in the fourth quarter, but failed to win the game. Indianapolis was down by as much as 27-0 at one point before slowly chipping away at the lead. They then closed to within 27-21 with 3:05 remaining in the fourth quarter after quarterback Andrew Luck connected for an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donte Moncrief. The touchdown capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive, and the Colts had a shot at pulling off the upset.
On the next play, Indianapolis attempted an onside kick that had a shot at being successful. The replay showed the ball within reach and even touching the hands of one of the Colts special teamers before finding its way into the hands of a Saints defender. The ensuing drive by New Orleans found Drew Brees connecting with wide receiver Marques Colston at the Colts 27-yard line. The catch effectively ended any chance for Andrew Luck and embattled coach, Chuck Pagano.
The Indianapolis Colts season is off to a disappointing start. For a team many predicted to be in the Super Bowl this February, to come out 3-4 after seven weeks is certainly underwhelming to say the least. But to add to their woes, the misery and hoopla surrounding last week’s fake punt against the New England Patriots — that many considered the worst play in football history — only turns up the heat more on Pagano and the Indianpolis Colts. So much so, that there is increased speculation that Pagano, whose situation with the team was tenuous at best, could be a goner at the end of the year.
“It’s not the kind of thing that outright costs you your job,” a front-office executive told the Washington Post earlier this week. “But it is the kind of thing that gets remembered if you’re on the borderline as far as your job. It wasn’t a good look. It doesn’t get forgotten.”
To his credit, Chuck owned up to the play call, even expressing zero regret over how it turned out, according to the USA Today.
“I’m not pleased, obviously, with the way I prepared the guys or coached the guys to go out and execute the play,” Pagano said. “But I don’t regret the play call at all.”
The play in question happened at the end of the third quarter when the Indianapolis punt team came on the field. The players shifted their alignment to the offense’s far right side, leaving receiver punt returner Griff Whalen to snap the ball to safety Colt Anderson. The idea, according to Chuck Pagano, was to either catch the Patriots with twelve men on the field, force them to use a timeout, or possibly get the first down. Instead, the Colts player was tackled for a loss and Indianapolis went on to lose the game.
Despite the obvious embarrassment surrounding the play, it’s not just Pagano taking the heat for the Colts poor start. As reported by NBC Sports, GM Ryan Grigson is also under intense scrutiny for some failed offseason signings that included veteran free agents Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. In addition, the Colts defense is pourous and the offensive line is failing to protect prized quarterback Andrew Luck.
Still, the Colts are sitting atop a putrid AFC South division despite the sub-.500 record they now hold. And with Houston getting demolished by the Dolphins, the Titans losing to the Falcons, and the Jaguars’ victory merely improving them to 2-5 on the year, this is still the Indianapolis Colts’ division to lose.
[Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images]