Peyton Manning had one of the worst games of his career, and so did the Indianapolis Colts at home. It was one of the worst home games for the team in a little over a decade ago when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 31-3. Manning threw a season-high four interceptions as the San Diego Chargers cruised towards a 36-14 victory. The Chargers seem to be the new Patriots to Manning. Manning is having deja-vu all over again from early part of the new millennium where he always struggled against New England. Now he is struggling again with a team called the Chargers. San Diego has Manning’s number now.
But maybe not for the Dallas Cowboys. The last time Indianapolis faced Dallas, they lost as the Colts couldn’t get a touchdown in the red zone. They fell 21-14 as the Colts had their first loss for the season. It was the 2006-07 season, and Indy would end up winning the Super Bowl that year. The Colts will host the 3-8 Cowboys at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indiana is 6-5, but don’t let both of these team’s records fool you. The Colts are struggling and the Cowboys have been much improved since Jason Garrett took over as coach.
The Colts need to fix their mistakes as they could lose the division now with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans still behind their tails.
“We try to get to the root of the cause,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “We don’t necessarily try to sugarcoat things. We have to be able to deal with them directly and solve the problem. I think that’s the big thing. It’s not all the same thing. It’s not all the same exact situation that occurs that causes them. Those are the things that we have to address.”
Manning leads the league in most interceptions in the last four games with nine of them, including seven in his last two.
“Offensively, we didn’t do a real good job,” he said about the loss to San Diego. “I didn’t do a real good job. Everybody needs to play better, I need to play better, our execution needs to improve.”
The Colts lost Austin Collie and Joseph Addai for the match-up, and they could have definitely helped out the running and passing game. Indy was limited to 24 rushing yards. With Addai, they would have gotten a lot of help. Addai’s last game was against the Washington Redskins, where he had 17 carries for 128 rushing yards. He has 406 yards for the season currently. Collie could have made the passing game a lot more effective as all he could look at was…well nobody. Everyone was well-covered and Reggie Wayne struggled, dropping a lot of key passes.
Besides the Jags, the Colts are facing losing teams that have no chance at the playoffs. Dallas is up next.
“We have another great opportunity playing Dallas, who seems like they are turning the curve a little bit,” defensive back Jerraud Powers said. “It will be another tough opponent and another fun game, and we will be ready for them.”
Dallas is 2-1 with Garrett now. The Cowboys are coming off wins over the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions and came very very close to beating the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving.
“I think there’s always a tangible goal,” Garrett said. “For different people it’s probably different things. When you’re playing and coaching on a football team, you want to put your best foot forward all the time. You want to take great pride in what you do.”
Dez Bryant struggled in that game, not having a single catch. But thus far, he has been playing well.
“He’s a great competitor,” Garrett said. “I thought he handled that situation well throughout the ballgame, didn’t seem distracted to me, was excited, was passionate, but was ready to go.”
These two franchises host the next two Super Bowls for the NFL. Dallas is 8-6 all-time versus Indianapolis.
The Colts have to get a win. After that, they have some confidence hopefully as they host the Jags.
Come on Indy!
Get things back on track!