INDIANAPOLIS – Monday morning’s film session at the Colts’ complex turned into a horror show.
Defensive players had to relive all those missed tackles and blown gap assignments and the 252 yards rushing and 35 points they gave up all over again.
Andrew Luck had to watch himself throw two interceptions and lose another fumble, and the offensive line got a long look at a plethora of missed blocks.
Interim coach Bruce Arians made sure each player got the point – correct the problems now or run the risk of returning for the sequel in the weeks ahead.
I think everyone sees how we’re capable of playing, and if we don’t play like we’re capable of playing, we’ll get beat like that, Arians said.
It’s already happened twice, and both blowout losses came on the road, 41-21 at Chicago in the season opener and 35-9 at New York on Sunday.
But the most troubling concern for Indianapolis (2-3) has been the defense, ranked No. 17 overall and No. 29 against the run.
The Colts were hoping a new formula, adding bigger defensive lineman and operating out of a base 3-4 hybrid system, would improve one of the Colts’ biggest weaknesses – stopping the run.
So far, it hasn’t really worked.
Opponents are averaging 5.0 yards per carry, and twice in the past three games Indianapolis has allowed individual runners to top the 150-yard mark. Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew had 177 yards in Week 3, and on Sunday, Jets running back Shonn Greene had a career-high 161 yards and two scores.
If the Colts can’t find a quick fix, Arians knows the Sunday afternoon matinee may become a regular feature attraction Monday morning.
Everybody is going to try it until you show you can stop it and put that fire out, said Arians, who has stepped in as head coach Chuck Pagano continues to undergo treatment for leukemia.
Injuries have hurt the defense.
Both Pro Bowl defensive ends Dwight Freeney (ankle) and Robert Mathis (knee) have been converted to linebackers and have missed games because of injuries.
Starting linebacker Pat Angerer (foot) missed the last three games of the preseason and the first five of the regular season, and 345-pound nose tackle Brandon McKinney (knee) went on season-ending injured reserve.
Even cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle) has missed two straight games because of a sprained left ankle.
The Colts say that’s no excuse.
You never want to see a game like that, but we are all in it together, Mathis said. We will pick ourselves up and continue to fight.