In the 2014 NFL preseason, only two teams ended up with no wins. One was the Dallas Cowboys who continue to lick their wounds from a tough all-around offseason.
But the other winless team is the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts began the preseason with a close, last-second loss to the New York Jets on the road in which the starting and secondary units played admirably. This was followed by the 27-point giveaway to the New York Giants at home in preseason Week 2 and then a loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, a team that just had it more put together than Indianapolis. Finally, the third unit was ripped apart by the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday evening; it was a 35-7 thrashing that no Colts fan wanted to watch.
Yes, it’s the preseason and every team’s record is still 0-0, but there may be a bit of cause to worry in Indianapolis. For the most part, the starting units played well this year and the secondary units look decent as well. However, when it was our third-string against the opponent’s third-string, the Colts were downright dreadful.
This can be for two reasons: either the Colts’ third unit is just absolutely horrible (they are pretty bad) or the coaching just isn’t holding up for all four quarters.
It certainly didn’t help the Colts’ cause that several key players sat out much of the preseason with injury or other issues. Reggie Wayne saw just a handful of snaps, Josh McNary hardly hit the field, Stanley Havili has been on PUP and Robert Mathis has been sitting to give Bjoern Werner starting reps.
So is it time to freak out?
Certainly not. This team heads to Denver in a week for a primetime matchup against the Broncos.
It needs to be recognized that the preseason is full of half-efforts for every person involved in a football game. Offensive coordinators don’t want to give away their secrets and defensive coordinators are keeping their blitz packages under wraps. The types of complex, big-gain offensive plays that the Colts are used to running throughout the year were kept to a minimum with Andrew Luck and his offense while the second and third units were given basic plays to ensure they’re correct guys to make the team.
The Indianapolis Colts that we’ll see Sunday in Denver will be drastically different than the duds that we’ve seen this preseason.
It’s also important to keep in mind that most of the guys that blew the games for the Colts will be cut by today’s end. Against both the Giants and Bengals, the fault for losing those games is exclusively on the bottom unit that will not make the team. Even against the Jets, the defensive guys that allowed that final drive for the go-ahead field goal are guys that will be looking for a job in September.
Rest easy, Colts fans. This team will be just fine.
Let’s get ready for Denver.
Tags: Indianapolis Colts