If you asked sports enthusiasts before the start of the game what the outcome would be, a majority would not have said 20-7 Jets.
The Colts had a lot of potential in this game, the home opener, T.Y. Hilton was healthy enough to return and Robert Mathis came back to start for the first time since January 2014. There was supposed to be a morale boost and strength returned to both the offense and defense, but when the game results in five turnovers, 84 penalty yards and only one touchdown, something obviously didn’t go as planned.
First off, Robert Mathis, the former league leader in sacks, was cheerfully welcomed in with a standing ovation and resounding applause, but had no effect on the game. Only one tackle and absolutely no sacks. He was also primarily only on the field for third downs which didn’t exactly give him the most opportunities either. Mathis was looked at as being an important element to help repair the defense’s weak link reputation, but at least for this first game, he hasn’t made any difference.
Second, the normally dependable passing offense was nowhere their usual. Andrew Luck threw three interceptions, fumbled and ended the night with a 52.8 passer rating. Not a normal performance from Luck and a very debilitating one when the offense relies so heavily on the quarterback.
The most determining aspects of the game were penalties and turnovers. The Colts committed 11 penalties resulting in 84 penalty yards. Holding, pass interference, you name it, the Colts committed it and at the expense of quite a few good runs by both Frank Gore and Andrew Luck that would have resulted in first downs. The Colts also had five turnovers, making it nine for the year already. The offense could not find a way to successfully make it across the field until 3:51 left in the fourth quarter with a pass in the endzone to Donte Moncrief.
“If we’d had all them turnovers and all them penalties and we won the game, it is something we could fix,” Mike Adams, who had the only Fitzpatrick interception, says, “but we lost the game, you know, at the end of the day that’s the only thing that matters is that left hand column. We lost the game and that’s the most frustrating part.”
So where do the Colts go from here? Their next three games are all in their conference making them extremely important especially since they are now a game behind both the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It has to come from our now veteran leadership in the locker room, myself, Luck, Fleener and the rest of the gang.” tight end Dwayne Allen explains, “Let’s get back to the drawing board, figure this this thing out and really narrow down why haven’t we been successful, what has worked for us, which isn’t much, and what could possibly work well for us.”
Starting the year 0-2 is less than ideal, but as Dwayne Allen pointed out, “it’s deja vu, this is how we started off last season.” We know that their season went well making it to the AFC Championship game. There is still hope.