The Colts played reverse complementary football in their loss to the Bengals; they stunk on offense, defense and special teams
Not good. Not good at all. And now that Pittsburgh game Saturday looms large.
CINCINNATI – It took 13 games, but it finally happened: The Colts played an absolute stinker of a football game, far and away their worst performance of the season. There have been losses, six of them now after Sunday’s 34-14 loss to the Bengals at Paycor Stadium, but this one was alone in its noxiousness. It was reverse complementary football: All three elements – offense, defense and special teams – stunk out the joint.
Where do we start?
We start with penalties. Pre-snap penalties, questionable penalties, bad penalties, dumb penalties, all kinds of penalties. And all of them, it seemed, came at precisely the worst times. The Colts, who came into the game 19th in the league in penalties, committed nine Sunday for 66 yards. (It felt like more.)
For instance: The Colts were trailing 7-0 when they forced Cincinnati to attempt a field goal. The kick was good but the whistle blew. The call was “leverage” against backup defensive lineman Taven Bryan on the kick. That gave the Bengals a first down and a second life. Then later in the drive, Colts cornerback Jaylon Jones got popped for holding. Three plays later, the Bengals scored a touchdown on a Joe Mixon dive. Fourteen-zip.
“Today wasn’t what we’re about and what we want to be about,” Gardner Minshew said “A lot of self-inflicted wounds. We have to figure it out. We have to learn from this and grow. I think we should still have a lot of confidence in the body of work we put on tape this year and the work we’ve done together, so I think we’re going to come together, get better and be ready to go next Saturday (at home against the Steelers).”
Said Shane Steichen: “We have a drive going and a penalty moves us back. We have another drive going and another penalty moves us back. We have a holding call. A lot of that stuff – the punt, Ameer runs into (McKenzie). In that situation, I was thinking `Jeez Louise’…”