Game 17: Colts-Jags, Disaster Edition

AnvilSCHULTZ: Welcome to The End. Yes, this is The End of Indianapolis civilization as we know it. From 1821 to yesterday afternoon in Jacksonville was a good run! We got to be a state capital and host a Super Bowl! A one-term president lived here once and so did David Letterman! We had a seemingly contending football team five minutes ago!

Regardless, all of those memories and accomplishments have dissolved, as the Colts dove headfirst into a vat of sulfuric acid on Sunday, completely melting in an historically embarrassing performance against an awful Jaguars team. So, this is now an unincorporated, pothole-filled hellscape without a playoff-bound professional football team.

Overreaction, you say? *loads antique cannon purchased without a background check* SAY IT TO MY FACE. The Colts’ season is over, so is Indianapolis, and guys, I’m declaring martial law. Oh, and we’re going to have to rename this magazine now …

MILLER: We are what we are. All of us. We are the path we’ve already walked, and we are unconsciously guided by the path yet to come. We can stray from that path all we want, but only momentarily—and never with full conviction.

In the end, we will always return to who we are.

The Colts? They are bed-shitters, through and through. That is their heritage—their molecular makeup. They are, after all, descendants of the ancient Chộk Empire: a polite, mediocre people from the Gag Islands (off the coast of what is now Norway). They roamed the mainland almost winning battles sometimes, but not really. Not meaningfully. This is who they are.

Me? I am a 46-year-old dad with an anxiety disorder, an iffy furnace, and a harsh aversion to unnecessary stress. That is why—as we discussed in our Week 1 Recap—I am a Believer. That is why I am a devout follower of Blueddhism, and why I always will be: 

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.

We are what we are, Derek, and I am—in the end—unsurprised. That is why I am not destroyed today, and how I’m more than ready to talk about the big game tonight!! And by that I mean Lance Stephenson tipping off in Boston at 7:30. My God, do I love that strange and wonderful man.

SCHULTZ: I’d rather talk about anything other than what happened in Jacksonville. That was beyond a simple bed-shitting. It’s not that the Colts lost by a last-second field goal—which would’ve been bad enough—but that they were dominated for 60 straight minutes by a team that hadn’t won in two months. A team that lost by 40 last week. A team that was definitely the NFL’s worst entering yesterday. A team that was a 15½ point home underdog. The pass rush being non-existent wasn’t surprising. Carson Wentz’s inability to carry the team wasn’t surprising. But, a two-touchdown loss to that aggressively terrible Jaguars team, despite having everything on the line? Going from the league’s hottest team, carrying over a 90 percent playoff probability, to out of the postseason entirely in eight days? It’s shocking. So, where do they go from here? How do you begin to move forward after arguably the worst loss in Indianapolis Colts history?

MILLER: I bet Lance tries to jujitsu-chop in a free throw tonight, just because. 

SCHULTZ: OK, sure, but getting back to the Colts … I’ve said this before on here and I’ll stick with it: I am on the Frank Reich ship. If it sinks, I’m going down with it* (*Schultz, the actual human, won’t die, just the Colts Blogger portion of me will perish). I think he’s a very good coach and will stubbornly dig my heels in on that take. I believe Chris Ballard has upgraded this roster, too, but the Colts have to have players that matter at the positions that matter (QB and EDGE, especially), and that’s been a theme even when they’ve been successf–

MILLER: *loudly interrupts*

I mean, adding Lance to the Pacers has been like adding military-grade jet fuel to my 1997 Craftsman lawnmower! Performance hasn’t improved much, but it’s a goddamn HOOT to ride now. I wish Lance was on the United States Supreme Court.

SCHULTZ: I think yesterday’s Colts’ flop + Lance’s return has short-circuited Nate’s brain, so I’ll finish my thought here. To me, this is a good braintrust and one you can win with. That’s not to say they shouldn’t be questioned—everything should be questioned after a meltdown like that—but I’m not ready to give up on it. However, as Rubino has pointed out, it’s a results business, and the results have to be better. Going 9-8, with three prolific collapses (Baltimore, Tennessee, Tampa Bay) and a two-week post-Christmas implosion (Las Vegas, Jacksonville), is unacceptable in Year 5 for Ballard and Year 4 for Reich. I believe they’ll be back next season. I believe they’ll eventually get this right. But, they’ve used up the last of their rope.

MILLER: I’ll be here, Derek, not waiting patiently–just as the Blueddha instructs.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Waiting. Eight long months of waiting …

So, that puts an end to both the 2021 season for the Colts and the existence of Indianapolis as we know it. Thanks for following/reading! Now, gather whatever food and supplies you can and get the hell out of here as quickly as you can. You may return in September to see if the Colts have snuffed out any of the flames, and please, PROTECT LANCE AT ALL COSTS.