The Indianapolis Colts' 62-7 loss last night to the New Orleans Saints goes beyond embarrassing, to out-right disgraceful. After such an inexcusable performance, in which the Indy players clearly quit...it's time for heads to roll...beginning with Jom Caldwell and his staff, and ending with the Polians.
The Saints averaged nearly one first down per minute
last night...picking up 36 of them in just over 38 minutes! Drew Bree completed 31 of 35 passes
, and threw 5 TD passes. The Saints put up 557 yards in total offense...321 threw the air, and 236 on the ground:
Does anybody still belieeve that the sole problem with the Colts is that they are Peyton-less? Here's what IndyStar columnist Bob Kravitz had to say about this pounding:
Dolphins are bad, but Colts just might be worse
NEW ORLEANS Sorry, Miami Dolphins. Andrew Luck isn't going to take his talents to South Beach without a bare-knuckle fight from the Indianapolis Colts, who want to bring those talents to Beech Grove, or maybe Pike Township.
On a day when the winless Dolphins seemed to establish themselves as the worst team in the NFL, blowing a 15-point home lead to the Broncos in the final three minutes, the winless Colts outdid them, losing 62-7 to the New Orleans Saints while establishing themselves, unofficially, as the WTL (worst team in the league).
Now the question is, if the Dolphins or Colts start to tank their seasons in an effort to procure Luck, how will anybody be able to tell?
It was as if the Colts looked the nation in the eye and said, "You think the Dolphins are bad? You think that's bad. Wait until you see us."
Let that marinate for a while.
It was so bad, it's hard to imagine that Jim Caldwell and most of his staff will somehow survive beyond the season. Caldwell didn't just lose a game Sunday night, he lost his team, and it was obvious whether Antoine Bethea was whiffing on Darren Sproles or Austin Collie, invisible again, was dropping a perfect pass over the middle. (Oops, Brody Eldridge just dropped a pass as this sentence was being written.)
"Were you OK with your team's effort?" I asked Robert Mathis in the locker room.
"No," he said tersely.
"We can put forth a lot better effort," he said, the anger simmering just below the surface. "That's the first time I've seen it. First time. And it reflects badly on me and all our leaders."
Whether it's Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck next season, it seems like a fait accompli that somebody else will be coaching them. I like Caldwell, think he did a fine job the Super Bowl year and last year. But this team should not be 0-7 and heading to 0-9. He's not alone in culpability -- start first with Chris and Bill Polian -- but New Orleans will be Caldwell's Waterloo. Jim Irsay doesn't like to be embarrassed, especially not on national TV.
I believe Caldwell will last the season.
Not so sure about the defensive coordinator, Larry Coyer, who looked so dazed walking out of the locker room, you'd swear he'd been walloped by a baseball bat.
Here's how ridiculous it got:
On the Saints' four opening touchdown drives, they didn't have a single third down. Not one. The chain gang was gassed by the second quarter.
Late in the second quarter, country-music star and national anthem singer Kenny Chesney stepped into the booth where Saints coach Sean Payton was calling his team's plays. No word on whether Chesney actually called some plays, although if he did, they'd have surely resulted in long passes to wide-open receivers.
When the Saints got the ball with a 31-7 lead, 1:52 left in the half and two timeouts, they scored when they weren't even trying to score. They were huddling up, killing the clock, not even interested in using timeouts. And still, they ripped all the way down the field, kicking a field goal to go up 34-7 at half.
At halftime -- and I'm not making this up -- the Southern University band marched into a formation that read "34-7." Now, when the band is dogging you, things are hitting rock bottom.
My favorite number on a night filled with them: Drew Brees, who was 31-of-35 for 325 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters, threw more TD passes than he had incompletions.
"We just got whupped across the board," Caldwell said. "We've just got to face facts."
Said Saints tight end Jimmy Graham: "It did seem like everything we called worked."
Saints fans ask, "Who dat?"
Colts fans ask, "What dat?"
Dat was embarrassing. Dat was a joke. Dat was the kind of performance that gets coaches fired -- especially defensive coordinators whose defenses are comically bad and whose players aren't within 10 yards of receivers.
For the Saints offense, this was a glorified seven-on-seven drill. By early in the second quarter, the Colts were petitioning the NFL for a running clock. The league, meanwhile, was thinking about starting the flex-scheduling option well before the eighth week of the season. We've seen more entertaining episodes of "Hoarders."
This isn't going to get any better, either, no matter how many times Bill Polian talks about "correctible errors" or players, who've run out of things to say, talk about having no place to go but up.
Did we see a little bit of quit in the Colts on Sunday?
Sixty-two-seven says we did.
Anyway, if that's the way they perform when they're still playing hard, heaven help them. Then they're even more bereft of talent that anybody could have imagined. As time wound down, Polian stood in the tunnel at the back of the end zone, the giant scoreboard flashing before him like a taunt: "62-7."
There is some good news, though: The Colts' schedule the rest of the season is tougher than the Dolphins. Indy isn't giving up Andrew Luck without a fight: http://www.indystar.com/article/20111024/SPORTS15/110240336/Kravitz-Dolphins-bad-Colts-just-might-worse