The Colts Are Who We Thought They Were—Probably

AnvilAFTER A GORGEOUS early-fall weekend, welcome to October and another fantastic Colts game recap on Indianapolis Monthly! I’m your hayride driver, Derek Schultz, and Nate Miller is here to help you navigate the corn maze. That’ll be $50/head—and oh shit—it looks like the Colts have shot themselves in the eye socket with the apple gun again! Do we have a first-aid kit in the barn??! MILLER: Listen, I love our barn. Great barn. Lots of Barn Stuff in there. As general manager of the barn, I worked all summer on bringing in all kinds of first-aid kits for this EXACT scenario! I brought in military-grade ones. Big ones. Small ones. Fancy, overpriced Premier League ones. In the end, though, we felt confident with the first-aid kit we’ve had all along: this half-empty can of Fix-a-Flat right here. It says it’s expired but these things lie. Want it?SCHULTZ: Can you help me with the blood here, Nate? It’s gushing everywhere after Indy’s 24-17 loss to the division rival Titans. Last week’s fluke win over the Chiefs quickly turned into a rotten jack-o’-lantern as the Colts fell to 0-2-1 in division games this season and now have a worse record than 12 of the other 15 teams in the AFC. *Pours battery acid into a brown jug* Hey, who wants cider???MILLER: You want to know what being a parent of teenagers is like, Derek?SCHULTZ: *guzzles more “cider”*MILLER: It’s 85 percent explaining to them why their “approach” to any given situation sucked ass and was doomed to fail. They don’t listen, Derek. They’re idiots, and even worse, they are supremely confident in their idiocy. They do things their way—and NOT the completely obvious way that me and God and most normal people would prefer—and next thing you know, we’re sitting over here at the University of Phoenix booth at College Fair Day, and not over there at Harvard’s or MIT’s or Stetson’s. There are many, many reasons for how this came to be. It’s our job as parents to explain them all in great detail!Anyway, this Colts team is very much like that. They made their little bullshit zero-point-0-2-1 GPA because they knew best/got mixed up in the wrong crowd/trusted Parris Campbell, and now we get to spend the next thousand days explaining to them how this was so inevitable. Enjoy DeVry, you ingrates.SCHULTZ: I can tell you that this pimple-faced offense wouldn’t qualify for a DeVry degree. It is straight bad right now. I don’t mean bad like limited (2019 with Brissett) or one-dimensional (2021, especially late in the season, with Wentz), but bad like they don’t actually do ANYTHING well! They can’t block, they can’t protect, they can’t run, and they can’t stop turning it over. When Matt Ryan a) isn’t fumbling and b) miraculously has time to throw, they’ve been mildly effective with a group of young tight ends and a rookie receiver in Alec Pierce who have all flashed some promise. But outside of that, there’s nothing this offense does at a level above Convenience Store Hot Dog. In fact, much like a 7-Eleven wiener, it actually physically repulses me to watch this team when they possess the ball. We can talk about all of the other issues the Colts have, but this mess *gestures wildly* all begins with that side of the ball: 17-20 points per game ain’t gonna cut it in post–Cold War NFL football.MILLER: The Colts’ friends are all doing well. They’re all evolving. They’re growing independent and eager—some opened savings accounts and expunged their criminal records. Even the ne’er-do-well Jaguars cleaned up their act and are THRIVING in junior college.The Colts, meanwhile, spent all summer fucking around on their Xbox and being aloof. Now they’ve reached the FIND OUT stage of the proceedings, and it is fairly grim. Are they going to keep doubling down on this philosophy??SCHULTZ: Maybe? Unlike 2018 or 2021, when you could see reasons for optimism after sluggish starts, this 2022 team hasn’t given you much to grasp onto. The next three weeks may dictate how the rest of the slate unfolds: an equally anemic Denver offense on Thursday Night Football, the return game against Jacksonville, and a road trip to Tennessee. Anything less than 2-1 likely kills the season and they might need to sweep that trio. The best the Colts can do versus their AFC South friends now is 3-2-1, which, while catchy, likely isn’t going to be good enough to climb atop this trash pile.It’s do-or-die time now for the Colts and for a head coach and general manager who seem to have already lost grip on their jobs. Let’s hope the Colts have something better to put in our bag than an apple and toothbrush by the end of the month.