“Stop! Stop! They’re Already Dead!”

AnvilThere just isn’t much left to say about the 2022 Colts. Rigor mortis has set in and I’m pretty sure Dallas committed several felonies against Indy’s stiff body in the fourth quarter, but if you think we’ve run out of words for these beloved Indy Monthly game recaps, I have good news (or bad news, depending on how you feel about Nate Miller): Yyou’re wrong! It’s a goddamn miracle you even clicked on the recap of the Colts’ 5743924-19 loss to the Cowboys; therefore, we’re going to reward you with words! Lots of them! In fact, when I created this Google Doc, the Colts were down 40-19. Now it’s 47-19. Who knows where we’ll be when this thing wraps? Nate, do you have some words? Let’s type some words …MILLER: [Dr. Ellie Arroway voice] No words. No words to describe it. A complete clusterfuck. Should. Have. Sent. Cleansing fire. Long. Ago.SCHULTZ: Uh, it’s 54-19 now. Anywho … this isn’t the death knell for the 2022 Colts. That bell rang weeks ago. This was just the latest in a long list of embarrassments the franchise has suffered in the post-Peyton era. Like both the 2011 (62-7) and 2019 (34-7—trust me, it was not that close) primetime disemboweling in New Orleans, the Colts couldn’t hide behind Spero Dedes and the 1 p.m. AFC South divisional game window on CBS. Instead, everyone was able to see them get buried beneath a 33-point avalanche perpetrated by the NFL’s most popular franchise. We keep pretending like this team is “close,” but without a general manager (are we sure Chris Ballard hasn’t already fled Indianapolis?), a head coach, and a quarterback, how “close” can you really be? Being “close” against the Eagles or Titans is seemingly meaningless when a near quarter (quartile?) of your games have been runaway defeats in Jacksonville, New England, and Dallas. The only “close” that matters right now is that this season—the worst this century for the franchise—is nearing its conclusion.The question is, have the players quit?MILLER: Listen here, Derek—I don’t know much. We both know that. But when it comes to the ins and outs of mentally, physically, and spiritually throwing in the towel on a particular season, I. AM. OMNIPOTENT. Godlike, really. (It’s one of the few perks of being a mid-’90s Stetson Hatters basketball “player.” The others involve various hepatitis immunities, FYI, which can prove useful.) One word out of my mouth on this subject will explode your sweet, never-say-die, very naïve brain.Rest assured, though: They gone. They gone in every way possible, and even a few more that you wouldn’t think could be. They gone and they’re not coming back. Not meaningfully, that is. Not consistently. Just look at them!! I see my younger, stupider self in their disinterested, miserable eyes. They just want this to end. They just want peace. Matt Ryan in particular looks like a chemo patient.SCHULTZ: I just can’t believe what a spectacular failure the Matt Ryan signing has been. 18 turnovers. 18! That’s really hard to do even if you were intentionally trying to give the ball away. Many of us (*raises hand*) thought he would raise the floor of this offense, but instead the entire house has caved in. Even if your expectations for Ryan were tepid, I can’t imagine anyone would’ve fathomed this outcome. Sure, it’s not just him, and the offensive line remains the team’s weakest link, but still. He’s doner than done. He’s like crappy buffet steak sitting under the heat lamp for two hours–level done. MILLER: I said it in Week 2, I’ll say it again:I hate this team. I hate its gutlessness. I hate its construction. I hate its philosophy. I hate its arrogance—its continuous and prolonged refusal to accept reality. I hate its identity. I hate its inauthenticity. I hate its hashtags. Fuck this team with an anvil.Land this dead stick, Derek. Let’s get out of here.SCHULTZ: Thankfully, the bye week is here, which means you won’t have to voluntarily turn your television to the Colts game and immolate yourself for the next four hours. Enjoy a nice, brisk walk in the December air. Cuddle up under a blanket with a good book. Plan a fun activity with the kids. Go see Santa and ask him for Cardinals, Jaguars, Panthers, Saints, Rams, and Broncos wins. Forget that the Colts exist for a couple of days. There’s only a month left of disappointments to endure.