The Indianapolis Colts were notorious slow starters in 2015. They would constantly be down by at least 10 points before creating any offense. In their season opening loss to the Detroit Lions, the Colts still struggled with this issue.
The Colts began Sunday’s home opener down 14-0 midway through the second quarter. Their first three drives ended with punts while the Lions scored touchdowns on two of their first three drives.
Ultimately, the Lions had a 21-3 lead before quarterback Andrew Luck and the offense did anything noteworthy.
Slow starts are nothing new for the Colts. They have been notorious for their ability to start games slow since 2013. However, this tendency never cost them much until 2015.
In five games in 2015, they trailed by at least 10 points in the first half. They only came back to win one of those five games.
Chuck Pagano and the coaching staff were well-aware of this problem entering the offseason. The thought was they addressed this issue during the offseason. However, the team’s lack of urgency reared its ugly head once again in their home opener.
The Colts have the offensive firepower to be a quick-start football team, which is why their slow starts are so confusing. Sunday, their offense was nearly unstoppable once it scored its first touchdown against the Lions.
After throwing for only 23 passing yards in the first quarter, Luck finished the night with 385 passing yards and four touchdowns. The team outscored the Lions 35-25 in the final three quarters of the game.
The Colts need to address this problem soon because their schedule does not get any easier. They face the Denver Broncos on the road on September 18th. After that, they host the San Diego Chargers and travel to London to play the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This problem was one of the main reasons why the Colts missed the playoffs in 2015. Now, it has already cost them in 2016. A slow start is the reason why they lost to the Lions. They cannot afford to drop many more games because of slow starts.
With how competitive the AFC is getting, one game will probably be the difference between making the playoffs or not. With every slow start, the Colts’ chances at making the playoffs (by wild card berth or division title) get worse.
The Indianapolis Colts have to shake off this slow start habit and start games with a lot of urgency.