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    INDIANAPOLIS 鈥?Andrew Luck made his thoughts perfectly clear after another loss last week.聽He expects the Indianapolis Colts to clean things up.Whether it’s missed throws [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Marlon-Mack-Jersey]Marlon Mack Jersey[/url] , dropped passes, penalties or turnovers, just about every glaring flaw that could strike has, and it’s left the Colts in a major early-season bind.“Basically, what he’s talking about is we’ve got to stop making self-inflicted mistakes, the penalties, things that we can control, ball-handling and things like that,” running back Robert Turbin said Monday.“If we can execute, obviously, it’s not going to be perfect, but we’d definitely like to execute more times than not and definitely not beat ourselves.”Until the Colts start making more plays 鈥?and fewer mistakes 鈥?the results aren’t likely to change.Indy (1-4) has lost three straight, falling two games behind AFC South co-leaders Jacksonville and Tennessee.And with just a few corrections, things could look very different.Cincinnati snuffed out one comeback chance when usually sure-handed tight end Jack Doyle fumbled in the final minute of the season opener. The Bengals returned the fumble 83 yards for a touchdown to seal a 34-23 victory.Two weeks later, at Philadelphia, Luck again had Indy in position for the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes left 鈥?only to be sacked on fourth-and-3 from the Eagles’ 4-yard line.In Week 4, at home against Houston, receiver Marcus Johnson failed to haul in a third-down pass on the opening possession of overtime, forcing the Colts to settle for a 44-yard field goal. Luck’s errant throw on fourth-and-4 from his 43-yard line allowed the Texans to drive for the winning field goal as time expired.On Thursday, Luck’s strong second half cut a 21-point deficit to seven until Zach Pascal‘s inability to make a catch at the聽New England 38-yard line led to an interception.聽The Patriots converted the turnover into a TD and a 38-24 lead.“That was one game, that was the last game,” receiver Chester Rogers said, referring to a long pass he dropped against the Pats.聽“We’ve got to fix that. It’s fixable, you know, something that’s just been happening. We’ve had some drops. We’ve got to fix it, plain and simple.”While the receivers’ miscues certainly have been in the spotlight, they are far from Indy’s only problem.Luck’s postgame comments began with a self-critique. Since returning from surgery on his right shoulder, Luck has thrown a league-leading 245 passes with eight touchdowns and five interceptions and blamed himself for misreading a blitz the only time he was sacked Thursday.Only eight teams have committed more penalties than Indy’s 38.“I saw Andrew’s statement about kind of getting out of our own way. Certainly, that is apropos,” coach Frank Reich said Friday.聽“We’ve just got to play cleaner football. We’ve just got to play good football. We talk about it all the time. We believe in our players, we believe we have the talent to win games.”It would help if the Colts could get some of their playmakers back on the field.The offense played Thursday without Doyle, Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton,聽both of its starting offensive tackles and starting running back Marlon Mack.The defense began the game without rookie Darius Leonard, the NFL’s leading tackler through four weeks, and cornerbacks Kenny Moore II [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Quenton-Nelson-Jersey]Quenton Nelson Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Quincy Wilson and Nate Hairston. It finished without safety Clayton Geathers (concussion), linebacker Anthony Walker (concussion), defensive tackle Denico Autry (hamstring) and safety Mathias Farley (hamstring).Reich 鈥?and everyone else inside the team complex 鈥?hopes a few extra days off between the loss to New England and Sunday’s visit to the New York Jets will help get some key players back.“Two weeks ago, it was pretty stiff, but now it feels pretty loose when I go out there,” Mack said Monday. “Each and every day they add more stuff for me.”Leonard also believes he’ll play this weekend.But the Colts know the actual solution is less about who is on the field and more about just playing smart football.“I think when we look at ourselves, we’re going to have to learn how not to lose before we can give ourselves a chance to win,” Luck said Thursday night. “It’s frustrating, the stuff out there. We’re all frustrated, but I don’t think anybody’s losing the belief.”NOTES: The Colts signed defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and safety Tray Matthews to the practice squad Monday. Muhammad was originally claimed by the Colts off waivers from New Orleans following the final cutdowns and played in two of Indy’s first four games. Matthews was an undrafted rookie who was cut by Minnesota on Sept. 1. … Indy also re-signed tight end Mo Alie-Cox to the practice squad late last week.100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta For 15 years, the Indianapolis Colts were coached by men who had a conservative approach to offensive decision-making. Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, and Chuck Pagano all preferred to “play it safe” in difficult offensive situations almost as a rule. For Colts fans, it was infuriating. With one of the more dominant offenses in the league, led by two of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL for most of those years, the coaches would often take the game out of the offense’s hands and ask an outmatched and often bad defense to step up and give the offense another chance. By the way, this happened in nearly every game, against nearly every opponent, in almost every circumstance fans could dream up.In fact, conservative play-calling by Jim Caldwell at the end of the first half against the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV turned the momentum of the game. This conservative play-calling not only came in the Super Bowl, before half time, with the one of the league’s best quarterbacks in the two minute offense at his disposal, it came at a time where the Saints had just run their own 7 minute offensive drive that stalled on a 4th-and-1 run call. An offensive score to close out the first half would pushed the Colts to a 10 or 14 point lead. It would have punished New Orleans for failing to convert on fourth down. It would be devastating to the Saints heading into the locker room down 10 or 14 points, only to kick the ball off to Indianapolis in the second half.It didn’t happen. Three straight runs, two by backup running back Mike Hart, forced the Colts to punt the ball away after using only 1:03 of the game clock. Drew Brees and the Saints offense had good field position, remained aggressive and closed out the first half with a field goal, cutting the lead to 4. This momentum emboldened the Saints to start the second half with an onside kick that will be burned into the memories of Colts forever.It didn’t take hindsight to know that three straight run calls in the Super Bowl, against the Saints and its high powered offense, with Peyton Manning and the Colts high powered offense in a two minute situation was a catastrophic coaching failure. It was a conservative decision. Run the ball, force the Saints to use timeouts, try to pickup the first down on the ground, and end halftime with a 7 point lead. It was deferring the option to go for the jugular or otherwise try to cripple the Saints heading into the half. The rest is history.Colts fans have witnessed bad aggressive decisions as well. The 4th-and-2 decision by the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, in their own territory in the fourth quarter, with the lead [url=https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Andrew-Luck-Jersey]https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Andrew-Luck-Jersey[/url] , was stupid. He allowed his fear of Peyton Manning to cloud an otherwise brilliant coaching mind. He should have punted the ball away and forced Manning to march the distance of the field for a late-game score. He had a 6 point lead, only a touchdown would beat him and he gave the Colts phenomenal field position. It doesn’t take hindsight to know that it was an epic failure as a coaching decision. In real-time watching the game I felt like it was a gift the moment the Patriots snapped that ball. I was stunned Belichick would do something like that. It was like living in an alternate universe. It was awesome.This season, Frank Reich has made a series of bad aggressive calls. It was an absolutely wrong decision to go for it on 4th-and-4 in Colts territory in overtime. The chances to convert were against him and the likelihood for the Texans to win the game sky-rocketed if he failed — which he was considerably more likely to do. Unsurprisingly, the attempt failed and Houston exploited the Colts’ zone defense to use one play to get into field goal range to win the game.To this day, the Texans point to the Colts victory in Week 4 as the turning point of the season. They earned their first win of the season on the road, against a divisional opponent, and it took a comeback to get it done. It emboldened them as a team and helped to kick start a winning streak that has them one game away from clinching the division.Good coaches don’t make that decision. The consequences of wins and losses, particularly in the division, are drastic every season. Haphazardly throwing away that game wasn’t inspirational to a young team, it was a loss that inspired a divisional opponent. It very well could have been a loss that cost them a chance to make the playoffs or win the division.It has been discussed at length that in another divisional game, Reich had a profoundly negative impact on the outcome. On the road, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a must-win game the Colts were shut out. Not because they were actually never in a position to score, they were in position to score at least three times during the game but aggressive play calls early in the game forced them into a go-for-broke late that failed.Without any hindsight, when the Colts had the ball at the one yard line early in the second quarter I felt like the right decision, clearly, was to kick the field goal. One offensive drive resulted in an interception, the second was a punt, the third stalled at the 11-yard line and forced a field goal. Adam Vinatieri hit that field goal to take a three point lead but a penalty on the Jaguars gave Indianapolis a new set of downs.In three straight plays the Colts managed to get only four yards. They could take the 3 points they just earned by kicking an easy field goal or gamble on the goal line to score a touchdown. The smart decision, the right decision, against this opponent and in this situation was to take the points. The Jaguars offense had a backup starting quarterback, was without its biggest backfield weapon, and even at full strength is not very good. Points would be devastating to Jacksonville.The decision to go for it failed. For those who think it was clearly the right decision statistically or because of analytics, Troy Russell completed a bit of research for me leading up to this story. Jacksonville’s red zone defense is one of the best in the NFL, 9th overall. Their defense with 1 yard to gain on third and fourth downs is the best in the NFL.This was not a no-brainer call. I don’t know what sheet Reich had as a reference but if it had the details it should have told him that it was a very risky call against this defense. Knowing everything else he knew about the game, the team he was facing, the environment, and the importance of the outcome — he needs to make the right decision. He should have taken the early lead, put pressure on the Jaguars to respond, taken early momentum, and could have easily been in a position to tie or win with another field goal later in the game.Either way, Colts fans are learning something that is rather interesting. After years of loathing horribly conservative play-calling a fan base has been desperate for an aggressive leader. Now that they have one, the fan base has found itself wishing less for aggressive or conservative and more for intelligent decision-making.Frank Reich is a first year head coach. He is a former backup quarterback who led the biggest comeback in NFL history. Reich is built to be aggressive. As a coach, he’ll need to be something else. He will need to be smart if the Colts are going to be put in the best position to win football games and make it to the playoffs.
    INDIANAPOLIS 鈥?Andrew Luck made his thoughts perfectly clear after another loss last week.聽He expects the Indianapolis Colts to clean things up.Whether it’s missed throws [url=https://www.col...See more
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