The Indianapolis Colts are now an even 6-6 on the year while the team’s season could very well be in jeopardy thanks to this past Sunday’s loss to the rival Tennessee Titans. With a chance to gain some much-needed ground in the AFC standings over the weekend, the Colts couldn’t capitalize at home against a tough divisional opponent — one that Indianapolis had already defeated this season back in Week 2 in Nashville.
Instead of improving to 7-5 on the season, the Colts fell to 6-6 after blowing a 17-7 lead in the second half. Not only that, but the Week 13 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium was evenly tied at 17 with the Titans ultimately going on to score two touchdowns to win the game by the score of 31-17. Now Tennessee is 7-5, sit just one game behind the Houston Texans in the AFC South division and remain tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the sixth and final wild card spot in the AFC playoff picture.
With the Titans now ahead of the Colts and with Indianapolis level with the Oakland Raiders, it appears as though Indianapolis won’t be returning to the postseason in 2019. However, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the AFC South franchise lost starting quarterback Andrew Luck to retirement, encountered a slew of devastating injuries and currently play in a very tough division.
Although this season isn’t a wrap just yet for the Colts, Indianapolis can probably pack it in and start looking toward the future.
Jacoby Brissett is not the answer under center
With franchise quarterback Andrew Luck abruptly retiring before the start of the 2019-20 regular season, the Indianapolis Colts immediately turned to veteran backup Jacoby Brissett under center. While Brissett had previously served as a viable option when called upon, it turns out that the perennial backup is just not at the caliber of the typical NFL quarterback needed to reach the postseason.
Despite the fact that the Colts got off to a hot start to the season this time around, Indianapolis has since come back down to Earth, thanks largely to the fact that Brissett hasn’t been able to remain consistent down the stretch. Now an even 6-6 under the direction of Brissett this season, the Colts have had trouble winning with the former New England Patriots signal caller leading the way as he simply cannot stop turning the football over.
On Sunday afternoon against the rival Tennessee Titans, Brissett threw not one, but two costly interceptions on throws that certainly shouldn’t have even happened.
Marlon Mack and T.Y. Hilton injuries will be insurmountable
As much as it is on the players that are still on the field, the Indianapolis Colts have been equally hampered by the always dangerous injury bug. As it stands today, the Colts are without the team’s starting running back, No. 1 wide receiver and top tight end as this trio has been forced to miss significant time due to varying injuries.
With running back Marlon Mack already ruled out for the remainder of the season, tight end Eric Ebron was recently placed on injured reserve himself — which effectively ended his year as well. Additionally, veteran wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is by far the team’s best pass catcher and did not suit up against the victorious Tennessee Titans in Week 13.
Dangerous AFC South continues to get better and better
The Indianapolis Colts currently play in one of the toughest divisions in all of football. While the Jacksonville Jaguars have recently fallen off a bit en route to once again finding themselves in the cellar of the divisional standings, this team is just a few seasons removed from an appearance in the AFC Championship Game against the heralded New England Patriots. Outside of the Jaguars, the AFC South also houses the 6-6 Colts, 7-5 Titans and first place Texans.
With the Titans on the verge of a serious playoff push and the Texans dominating at the moment while even defeating the defending champion Patriots on primetime on Sunday evening, the Colts are going to need tons of help to even sniff the possibility of reaching the playoffs this season.
The element of surprise is gone after last season
Last season, no one expected the Indianapolis Colts to even compete in the AFC, let alone reach the playoffs under the direction of first-year NFL head coach Frank Reich. However, Reich and his Colts ultimately surprised just about everyone in the football world en route to becoming one of the two AFC wild card teams.
Unfortunately for Reich and company, though, things are a bit different this time around as the Colts have not surprised anyone with teams seemingly showing up more than prepared. As a result, in addition to several other reasons, the Colts are just 6-6 on the season and currently sit on the outside looking in at the AFC playoff picture.