Dead Horse Beats Dead Horse

AnvilWANT THE FOUR hours of your life spent on Colts-Broncos back? Well, Indianapolis Monthly hasn’t granted us those powers (yet), but what Nate Miller and I (Derek Schultz) can do is give you a five-minute recap of The Worst Football Game Ever Played.I think we said after week 3 against KC that ugly wins > ugly losses, but it’s impossible to feel good about the Colts’ 12-9 win in Denver. However, much like the Chiefs game, the Colts were able to rally thanks to a Brobdingnagian mental blunder from a former Pro Bowler (you’re off the hook, Chris Jones!) as a ridiculous Russell Wilson decision/throw falling into Stephon Gilmore’s hands helped give Indy new life late in the fourth.All in all, the Colts are 2-2-1, a record that puts them in better shape for a turnaround than they were in 2021 (1-4) and 2018 (also 1-4), but … does anyone actually think that turnaround is coming for this *gestures wildly* team?MILLER: Maybe all these years of coaching and watching my kids’ inept sports teams is starting to pay off. Not in terms of scholarship money, lol. No, this is something far less valuable! And here it is:I have come to find the Colts’ unique brand of clumsy, uninspired football to be endearing. I truly have—I can’t help it. I just feel so badly for them! They have absolutely no prayer at prolonged success in the NFL this year or anytime soon, and does that stop them from going out there and metaphorically picking dandelions in pass protection schemes? No, Derek, it does not! They keep going out there onto the field, bless their little hearts! Time and time again, despite zero understanding of how the game is to be played, my little unathletic nerds go out there—with gritted teeth and quasi-determination—and they lose valuable yards and make questionable decisions and generally make Football Jesus weep. And then they go do it again! And again …They can turn it around, Derek. We can’t just give up on them. I’m not. THESE DAD GENES DON’T RUN.SCHULTZ: Maybe it’s Reich’s Dad Energy or the tired old Every Win Counts and Winning Is Hard stuff, but it all seems so silly to me right now. How deep into the fantasy do the Colts think their fanbase is willing to trek? Praising the team for being “great in all three phases” like Reich did in his postgame locker room speech? Pretending like Matt Ryan, despite two late field goal drives, was anything but a net negative in a game where he had multiple turnovers (again) and the offense barely mustered four yards per play? Making Denver’s emaciated offense and supreme weirdo QB into some formidable foe? None of that is reality! Fans can be irrational, but they aren’t stupid. We have eyes, we have brains, and we sure as hell know what we saw last night: a bad football game, between two (likely) bad football teams, who played badly in a contest where someone had to “win.”MILLER: Nah, you’re looking at it all wrong. Look at it like this:It is wildly exciting every time Matt Ryan drops back to pass! How many free rushers will break through the line? Six? Seventeen? Will they concuss Ryan’s internal organs before he gets through his reads?! Just how hard will his arm be hit as he releases the ball?? Somewhat? A lot? WHO KNOWS?!? Will he fumble? Probably, but maybe not! Sometimes he doesn’t fumble, and sometimes the free rushers only kind of hit his arm during the release instead of ripping it out its socket—and that’s when the MAGIC happens!(And by “magic,” I mean “a wobbling, prayerful heave into the Colorado night where hopefully Alec Pierce—who might be an X-Man—can make a play.” See?? Exhilarating!) If nothing else, the Colts’ ineptness is not without intrigue. Kind of. For now.SCHULTZ: This Colts’ season feels like the later seasons of Dexter, where I’m invested and I feel like I have to keep watching, but I’m starting to realize I’m not enjoying any of it. Yes, the Colts were without their heart and soul (Shaquille Leonard), their top two running backs (Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines), facing a good defense, and were trailing on the road with two minutes left and their opponent in the red zone. They found a way, and if you want to give them the tiniest shred of credit for that, I’m not going to fight you on it. But if this offense can’t improve to the point where they can at least competently play professional football, this team is going absolutely nowhere. Through five games they haven’t shown they can, and that’s why I’m guessing the Colts drag us all along like those Dexter episodes, hate-watching to a 7-8-1 season that turns us all into lumberjacks or whateverthef*ck.The next unenjoyable matchup is the return game against Jacksonville—a game the Colts desperately need to have in the division race, even if it’s a 12-9 eyeball-melter. And Nate and I will still be here, because as you already know, we clearly have nowhere else to go.