Don’t you hate it when a “Twilight Zone” episode interrupts the football game you’re watching?
When more bizarre moments than should be permitted onto a National Football League stage are allowed entrance at the expense of those who forked over a small expense to be present?
St. Louis 38, Indianapolis 8.
That wasn’t me. Seriously.
If credentialed media members aren’t permitted to cheer in the Lucas Oil Stadium pressbox, I’m guessing the same holds true for jeering. Never been tempted to do either.
This can’t be said for Sunday’s announced crowd of 66,004. If afforded use of a crystal ball, they all would have spent their afternoon raking leaves, cleaning gutters, detangling their cat’s fur or getting an early start on Christmas shopping.
Basically anything other than taking in this fender bender.
Between Andrew Luck’s overthrows and underthrows, the offensive line’s worst performance of the season — OK, many seasons — and a defense repeatedly torched by Rams’ rookie receiver Tavon Austin, the Indianapolis team we witnessed Sunday wouldn’t have beaten Jacksonville.
Not the Jaguars. Jacksonville University.
How uncharacteristically uninspiring was this? People were filing for the exits once Greg Zuerlein’s field goal with 5:15 to play in the third quarter made the score
38-0. Only then did the Colts feel the need to accelerate the pace by shifting into hurry-up offense.
”We need six touchdowns to take the lead, coach. What do you want to do. Better get a move on.”
It was 2011 all over again two years after the fact. Only things missing were Jim Caldwell’s riveting postgame commentary, Curtis Painter’s surf mullet and a Dan Orlovsky sighting.
Somewhere along the line this Colts team has to get it in its head that the NFL doesn’t supply hand-outs. That home or away it better bring playoff-like intensity and focus to the field or teams like St. Louis, which came in with a 3-6 record, can embarrass them.
Indianapolis laid an egg in every conceivable way, which makes six quarters of putrid football in the team’s last eight. And let’s be honest here, had Houston coach Gary Kubiak not suffered a health scare and collapsed at halftime of last Sunday night’s game, we might be looking at a perfect 8-fer.
Reggie Wayne’s season-ending knee injury has damaged more than receiver productivity. It’s removed every breath of wind from the sails of a football team that only a few weeks ago seemed a viable Super Bowl contender.
Second-year wideout T.Y. Hilton shows flashes, but with Wayne out he’s now a marked man. The obvious candidate for double-teaming in ways Darius Heyward-Bey,
LaVon Brazill, Coby Fleener and Griff Whalen never will.
A short week awaits. The Colts are at Tennessee on Thursday. Four days of practice and meetings might not be qualified to answer all the questions, but it better translate into progress or this could turn out to be a disappointing final seven games.
Hopefully Sunday’s humiliation, which concluded with only a few thousand fans still in their seats, is the wake-up call the Colts desperately need.
There are, after all, only so many “Twilight Zones” we can fathom.
Mike Beas is a sports writer for The Daily Journal. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org