It is heartbreaking to even have to write this article, but it must be done.
During the game I tweeted, win or lose, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton will be a main focus of my criticism when it came time to write this article. So here it is:
Really? You start the game off calling a play for Jack Doyle? Not to mention the amount of times he was in the game was far too high.
And then you have the audacity to call a FULLBACK SCREEN? To Stanley Havili! Why? Just why? Why is he even going out for passes at all?
What kind of stupidity does it take to play your worst players and keep your better players on the bench?
We saw at the end of the season how well the three receiver set was working for the Indianapolis Colts, yet Hamilton came out and tried running several plays off a two tight end set.
What was he thinking!
The answer is that he wasn’t thinking, not one bit.
And those play-calls down inside the 10 with the game at a 21-12 were frustrating at best.
I don’t mind calling two runs back to back to try to punch it in, but from those damn jumbo formations that haven’t worked all season, handing off to Trent Richardson? NO, just no.
Speaking of Richardson: he had a wide open lane on a run to the left side and it was COMPLETELY obvious. Yet, for some reason he hesitated, shuffled his feet and got tackled instead of running for a big gain, like any other back in the NFL would’ve done.
I don’t understand why Hamilton resorted back to his old ways when we all thought he finally realized that the Colts don’t have the personnel to do the things he originally wanted to do.
The worst part is he wasn’t the only problem the Colts had.
As well as Andrew Luck played, and he had some spectacular plays, he made some critical errors.
He threw one too many interceptions, most of which could’ve been avoided, outside of the Havili (THE FULLBACK!) drop, if Luck was being a little more intelligent with his throws.
But, at the same time, Luck is the only reason the Colts had any sort of chance at all and you can’t blame him for trying to make something out of nothing, because the rest of his team was giving him minimal help.
Including the defense. Who couldn’t stop my 13-year old brother from running it down their throats last night.
LaRon Landry has been an awful waste of money for 95% of the season and had yet another atrocious outing against the New England Patriots.
But really, nobody stood out on the defensive side of the ball. It was collectively a sad sight to see and they gave limited help to Luck and the offense.
And most of the blame goes to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
The Colts were getting pressure when they were dialing up blitzes and attacking the middle of the offensive line, yet this barely happened.
It was mostly just rushing four and hoping they can stop Tom Brady and the running game.
Manusky is an awful coordinator and should be fired this off-season. And this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction, I have been saying this since last year and it SHOULD happen, but I doubt it will.
But Chuck Pagano might’ve had the worst day of them all.
Why call a timeout at the end of the first half, when the Patriots still have the ball in their hands, only to get another possession and run out the clock anyways.
And why punt it in the fourth quarter with a 21-point deficit on a fourth-and-1?
I hope Pagano is a fast learner because he has a lot of mistakes to correct this off-season.
Finally, I want to spend a very small segment of this article talking about the referees.
How can that be a pass interference call against Julian Edelman but none is called against a man jumping on top of T.Y. Hilton?
Or even worse, when a Patriots defender took down Griff Whalen on a critical third down play?
Yet the biggest moment of the game was when the Colts had the ball down 7 on a 2nd & 9. Luck had miles of open grass when he took off.
Yet he was TRIPPED by a Patriots defender and stumbled to the ground.
How do you miss such a crucial call?
I understand they were only a few plays in the game, but a few plays can change the entire layout of a matchup. And those were some HUGE plays.
I am not blaming the refs for the loss, but I am saying that they SEVERELY limited the Colts chance of winning this game.
The zebras have been awful all season and Roger Goodell and the NFL front office really need to re-evaluate their refereeing crews and grading system.
Regardless, congratulations to the Patriots and I hope they get smashed in the AFC Championship by Peyton Manning and company.
It was a hell of a season for Colts fans, and the future looks bright in Indianapolis. Go Colts!