The Indianapolis Colts entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations, but they played like the opposite of a championship club in Sunday's 24-0 shutout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Colts offense generated 218 yards and a measly nine first downs, while Matt Ryan threw three interceptions and took five sacks. Indy's defense, meanwhile, gave up 331 yards to the Jags and couldn't get off the field, allowing scores on four of the first six Jacksonville drives to blow the game open before the fourth quarter.
It was the second disappointing outing for the Colts after last week's 20-20 tie to Houston.
When the schedule came out in the spring, Indy fans likely circled the opening two weeks against division opponents as W's. Instead, Indy is 0-1-1 to open the season and looks like a club searching for answers.
"I certainly had high expectations coming in," Ryan said. "And you certainly don't think you're going to be 0-1-1. That's just not in the competitor's mindset. We are where we are, and I think being realistic about where we're at is important. It has to be brutal honesty."
Nothing worked for the Colts. Without Michael Pittman on offense, they didn't lean on Jonathan Taylor. The running back's nine carries for 52 yards were his fewest in a game since Week 10, 2020, and his four rushing yards in the first half were his fewest since his first career game (0 yards vs. Jacksonville in Week 1, 2020).
Missing key players like Pittman and Shaquille Leonard played a significant role in the Colts' struggles. But Sunday's loss was more than just not having contributors. Indy looked punchless.
Luckily for head coach Frank Reich, there is still a lot of season left.
"As pathetic as that was today, where this is and where we need to be, the distance is not that far," Reich said. "We have the players and coaches to do it. I know that doesn't play in the outside world, and I'm fine with that. We'll take our medicine and I'll take my medicine and we'll just keep doing what we do."