Chuck Pagano cost the Colts four points by not challenging a would-be TD

The Colts started Scott Tolzien on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. As such, they need all the help they can get when it comes to scoring points and producing offense. Chuck Pagano is not helping things, however, and cost his team four points by not challenging a would-be touchdown.

On the Colts second drive of the game -- the first ended in a Tolzien pick-six --  the offense was moving the ball pretty effectively, with Tolzien leaning heavily on Jack Doyle. Marlon Mack, the Colts rookie running back, was also involved prominently, and appeared to score a touchdown on a really nice catch and run from Tolzien.

Mack was ruled out at the 1-yard line but the play should have been ruled a touchdown: Mack never stepped out of bounds and extended the ball over the plane of the goal line. 

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via NFL Broadcast

Instead of challenging the play, Pagano had the team hurry up, sprint to the line of scrimmage and try to punch the ball in on a running play with Mack. The goal was to catch the Rams napping and get six really quickly, but Mack was tackled in the backfield and lost a half yard on the play. 

The next run play was stuffed and the pass play on third down was nearly intercepted. The Colts would kick a field goal, meaning instead of the seven points they should have gotten (assuming a made extra point) they were forced to take three points. Again, this is a very bad offense led by a backup quarterback. They can't afford to give away points. And Pagano gave away four.

There is a viable argument that you shouldn't challenge on the 1-yard line when you get a first down and that questioning Pagano's decision is outcome-oriented. 

But Pagano voided that argument by declining to even look at a replay of Mack on the big screen. Take 30 seconds, see if the play is worth challenging and then decide what to do. The Colts gained nothing by rushing to the line of scrimmage and running the ball with Mack. 

In fact, they lost something. Four points. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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