Colts: Disappointment in Pittsburgh is Becoming Too Familiar

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Dec 6, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face facts, Colts Owner Jim Irsay allowed head coach Chuck Pagano to enter the season as a lame duck. But is he the only one on the hot seat this year after repeat blowouts by the Steelers and other playoff caliber teams?

So far, it appears that Chuck Pagano will not be alone on the hot seat. Now he will be joined by Ryan Grigson. Irsay was adamant this summer during the owners meetings in Phoenix, AZ. Pagano’s only path to retaining his job was through a defensive turnaround. Irsay made it clear that this team was not to suffer the blowout losses like it did in 2014.

The Steelers game was once such game. Admittedly, the Colts were facing the Steelers without Andrew Luck, but let’s be honest they’re not going to let Luck play defense so there goes that idea. The defense is worse than it was last season. This leaves Irsay with little options in-house.

Before anyone says it, I highly doubt the Colts could have beaten Pittsburgh with Luck under center. Not because of anything to do with him, but because of the abysmal performance by the Colts defense. A defense that Pagano was hired to improve.

Don’t get me wrong, this not all Pagano fault. He’s been forced to “coach up” several players that should not even be on the field due to injuries and bad free agent signings. Trent Cole was signed to generate pressure on the quarterback and rack up the sacks. For the season, he has amassed 13 tackles and one sack. He did have one more against Pittsburgh, but that got called back by a holding call on Vontae Davis.

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Perhaps awarding GM Ryan Grigson the executive of the year award in 2012 was a bit premature. Why do I say that? Because now, he leaves no stone unturned seeking unknown value players with the hopes they are the diamond in the rough. Is this an effort to save on cap space or is it more likely that it is to prove how great his scouting prowess really is? With each free agent, he’s signed it has come at a costly price and full of more disappointment than any promise.

With these last four games, each game will become increasingly more important to their playoff hopes and to the men whose jobs are on the line. The question is how will they respond? Furthermore, one has to wonder if we will ever see the Colts play up to their potential just once this season. What looked like a Super Bowl roster in the offseason now looks eerily similar to the failed “dream team” the Eagles had in 2011. Guess who had a hand in that debacle… you guessed it! Ryan Grigson.

In the end, one thing is for sure. The Colts are in a dead heat with the Houston Texans for the division. With Luck out for at least one more week and Matt Hasselbeck banged up, there is a chance that the division title, once thought to be a sure thing, may be slipping from their grasp. The Colts can ill-afford another loss in their next four games.

Next: What Comes Next?