Game 1: Colts-Seahawks Recap, Cigar-Flavored Red Bull Edition


HI, COLTS FANS, this is Michael Rubino. I’m the editor-in-chief of Indianapolis Monthly and I’ll be doing recaps this season along with friends-of-the-magazine Derek Schultz and Nate Miller.

Sunday, the Colts fell in the opener to Seattle, 28–16, making this the eighth straight year the team has lost to start the season despite generally positive vibes surrounding this squad. Talk about dropping the anvil.

Everyone overreacts to Game 1. But what are the actual things we should be worrying about? That Pete Carroll is turning 70 this week and looks younger than me? (I bet you guys didn’t know Pete Carroll is turning 70. Whoever added that to the game notes earned their paycheck.) Where to begin—the offense/offensive line or the way the defense played in the first half? I saw more energy in the Meijer self-checkout lanes before kickoff.

SCHULTZ: Offense and O-Line, for sure. I know the defense got dunked on by Russ and Lockett for the first half and ended up giving 5+ ypc (not ideal!), but they strung together four consecutive stops in the second half, which the Colts’ offense capitalized on by scoring … zero points. They couldn’t run (3.8 ypc), they couldn’t throw (one pass of 20+ yards—24 to Parris Campbell, his only catch of the day), and they couldn’t protect (three sacks, 10 QB hits). Any success this team has is predicated on them controlling the line of scrimmage, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, and they were completely overwhelmed by that Seattle front today.

MILLER: The Colts are disappointment. This is the first Noble Truth of Blueddhism. There are other Truths, probably, but nobody studies those or cares all that much because why bother. This religion is awful and dumb, you should not subscribe to its newsletter. Our communion consists of burnt clam shells and grape All Sport (the body and blood of Eugene Daniels). There is no enlightenment at the end of this spiritual journey. Only varying degrees of being underwhelmed. And also gout.

RUBINO: RIP, All Sport.

SCHULTZ: Death, taxes, Colts starting 0-1. I promised myself I wasn’t going to overreact to this game—a game I predicted the Colts to lose—but it’s obviously not a great feeling to see them get absolutely manhandled like that. The offensive line, a celebrated unit these past few seasons, was a total catastrophe today. I know many of the members of the O-Line are big into “doing their own research.” Hopefully, they’ll be hard at work researching how to snap, pass block, and run block before next week’s game against the Rams.

RUBINO: Ouch. COVID wasn’t a factor today, thankfully. But if the Colts want to make the playoffs, conventional wisdom says that it’s going to take at least 10 wins. Before the season, it seemed like there wasn’t a whole lot of margin for error to get there. Now there’s even less. That’s life in the NFL, I guess. But COVID provides an added wrinkle and the franchise is going to have to walk the protocol tightrope for the remainder of the year. They were at almost-full strength today. What happens when they’re not?

MILLER: Nothing. Nothing will be different, but only because this team is incapable of playing at full strength. So it shall be, thus according to the Word of the Blueddha. Today it was starting a Domino’s Pizza delivery robot at left tackle, tomorrow it will be something equally absurd/improbable/stupid. Tomorrow the entire defensive backfield may get sick from snorting owl decongestant (“IT’S THE SECRET COVID CURE THAT BIG PHARMA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT”). The end result will be the same, though: disappointment.

RUBINO: Nate, at least you didn’t have to pay $6.99 for a Peacock subscription to watch this. And, speaking of pizza—I know this is way, way off-topic—but I went to an event at the Major Taylor Velodrome and saw … the pizzamaker formerly known as Papa John in the stands. The guy has had his issues, but let it be known: John Shattner is jacked.

MILLER: Papa John looks like if Geist’s Cocktail Cove morphed into a divorced 62-year-old dad who’s recently gotten into CrossFit, golf, and Cuban cigar–flavored Red Bull.

SCHULTZ: Papa John (Did he have to give the title of “Papa” to someone else because he’s a total creep-o? Is there a Shitty Pizza Chain Governing Body that decides this?) and his pizza both completely disgust me, so I’m not surprised he’s looking all muscle-y and vein-y and gross.

RUBINO: In the Papaverse, titles are like starting quarterbacks—everyone has one until they don’t. Derek, how would you rate the Colts’ starter? What did you think of Carson Wentz’s debut?

SCHULTZ: I thought Wentz was fine. I know it probably pained him to take a bunch of ***INVOLUNTARY SHOTS*** behind that porous O-Line, but overall, he had the day I expected him to have. He appeared a tick off, but that’s going to happen when you’ve had the rushed practice schedule he’s had with the foot surgery and the no-vax protocol repercussions. I don’t feel like he had much of a chance for anything to develop down the field (one play of 20+ yards) and that’s where they need him to be great.

MILLER: You know who WAS great, though? Zach Pascal. He is my favorite Colt at the moment, although that may only be my #DadSenses tingling. He is so very not-flashy, this Zachary fella. Affordable. Dependable. He is not a Ferrari. He is not a supercar. He is a AAA truck here to help at 3:19 a.m. along a dark stretch of road, and it is always 3:19 am here along C.R. FML East. The problem is that he is a Colt, and as such, it is only a matter of time until he gets, like, turf-lung or something and evaporates into the ether. After all, there are only two constants in Blueddhism, and one of them is change. Change is inevitable, but never for the better. Not here. The other constant is “Bachman Turner Overdrive.” Namaste.

RUBINO: And I’ll be taking care of business (every day). Taking care of business (every way). I’ve been taking care of business (it’s all mine). Taking care of business and working overtime, work out.

Words to live by. Hopefully, the Colts heed them and can get things squared away. The Rams (1-0) are coming into town Sunday. Until then …