This was one bad team beating another bad team.
That isn’t all bad. It beats losing to a bad team!
For a week at least, the constant din from fans and media waiting for Colts owner Jim Irsay to finally pull the plug on the entire football operation and admit his January surprise to extend the contracts of general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano’s was folly.
Those who can talk only about what they have seen lately from the Colts will say all is well, and the Colts will be playing for first place next Sunday in Houston.
But facts are facts, and the fact is that this is a seriously flawed team whose defense allowed 523 total yards to an offense led by Brian Hoyer with a rookie starting running back from Indiana University.
Fortunately for the Colts, penalties and the lone turnover of the game were enough to tip the scales in their favor.
I don’t mean to piss on your Count Chocula tonight. There was some good, and it came as a result of the Colts decision to increase the tempo from the first snap instead of waiting to fall behind by 17. Andrew Luck was very effective when the snaps came fast and furious.
Luck was 28-39 for 322 yards and two touchdowns. The best part of his performance is the stat you don’t see there – no interceptions.
Kicker Adam Vinatieri hit five field goals to extend his consecutive made streak to 38. And they weren’t chip shots either. Four were beyond 40 yards, and two were longer than 50. The soon-to-be 44-year old was straight up incredible as he proved again that age is just a number – until it isn’t.
Two other significant contributors were running back Frank Gore and receiver T.Y. Hilton. Gore ran for 75 yards – more than enough to pass legendary Jim Brown for ninth place of the all-time rushing list. For the season, Gore has 328 yards, which puts him ahead of the pace needed to become the first back 33 or older to rush to 1,000 yard in more than 30 years.
Hilton was typically superb with 10 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown.
The Colts at their best are good enough to beat a poorly constructed Bears team, and that’s a hell of a lot better than losing to them.
Fans will continue to correctly assess this team as mediocre at best, as they all are. And they will continue to view Grigson as a significant part of the problem despite of his assertion on Friday’s Jay Mohr radio show that building the defense will take time because Luck’s contract is so huge.
The truth is that the contract has been huge for exactly five games. What kept the defense from being good during Luck’s first 64 games while he was playing under the terms of his team friendly rookie deal wasn’t revealed by Grigson because Mohr didn’t think to ask that question.
A local reporter who knows something about the Colts would have asked, and maybe that’s the reason Grigson spoke to a stand-up comic and not us.
The Colts did what was needed today, and it gives them a shooter’s chance to compete for a division title.
We’ll see what happens next week.
Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-6p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.