NASHVILLE -- It's official. The Indianapolis Colts are in trouble.
|Whatever the reason may be, Peyton Manning is simply not playing like himself. (AP)|
But that's not going to happen. Not with unbeaten Tennessee taking a four-game lead after Monday's 31-21 defeat of the Colts -- a loss punctuated by another second-half meltdown by the Indianapolis offense.
So now we're left to wonder: What's next for Indianapolis?
"It's going to make it doubtful for us to win the division," acknowledged coach Tony Dungy. "But we'll see what the last nine games bring.
"If we play well, get ourselves on a streak and get going we can be a playoff team. And I think once we get to the playoffs anything can happen."
Except nothing is happening with the Indianapolis Colts these days, and that's why they're manning the bilge pumps. What was once the world's most dangerous offense can't make the critical plays, with the Colts failing on two fourth-and-shorts in the second half and Peyton Manning following with another interception.
And that's why this team is in trouble.
In the past, Manning could be counted on to come to the team's rescue -- once throwing 49 touchdown passes as the Colts lapped the field. But those days have been put on hold as Manning struggles to find himself ... as well as an open receiver.
His accuracy is off. His interceptions are up. His touchdowns are down. And his team is off to its worst start since 1998, when Manning was a rookie and the Colts were a 3-13 doormat.
"We definitely need to get our stuff together," running back Dominic Rhodes said. "We need to tie up the loose ends and start making plays. That is the bottom line."
No, the bottom line is this: Tennessee is 7-0, including 3-0 within the division. The Colts are 3-4 and sinking, with New England next on their schedule. Fortunately for Indianapolis, that game is home ... except the Colts are 1-4 at their new stadium, including the preseason.