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At the Crossroads
The Colts must stem the tide of mental lapses as division race heats up
written by Stephen Conway

No one can claim that the Colts didn't play more focused in the second half this week. That's because the team didn't bother to show up until halftime!  The Colts obviously came into Soldier Field expecting to win with less than 100% effort. Throw the Bears' 1-7 record out the window, spotting any team a 20 point lead is a recipe for disaster.

The Colts' attack lacked energy and coherence. The defense continued its penchant for undisciplined play and shoddy tackling. The offense was guilty of several dropped passes, dumb penalties, and costly turnovers. The special teams gave up a first down on a busted fake field goal attempt.

So where do we go from here? Well, the good news is the Colts came out fighting in the second half and came within 3 points of pulling out the win despite their poor performance. This is cause for some optimism. 

But this optimism should be tempered by the knowledge that the Colts have STILL yet to play four consecutive quarters of solid football. The coaching staff should and has accepted their portion of the blame for the team's poor performance. It's not a matter of talent; it's a matter of playing with intensity and focus on each and every down. Clearly the Colts offense is capable of scoring enough points to win most games. And while the defense may still lack several key components to be dominating, they can certainly play well enough to allow our offense to dictate the game. Each week one side of the team is bailing out the other. Coming into the toughest portion of the schedule, with 4 division games out of the next five, the Colts cannot expect to win if this trend continues.

Matchups
Breakdowns of the key matchups on offense, defense, and special teams.

Game Prediction
The Jets themselves are in a bit of a funk, having lost 2 games in a row. They are just as hungry as the Colts to reverse this trend. The real pressure will be on both defenses in this game. The Colts MUST stop the running game of the Jets if they are to have any chance of winning. If the Jets can dictate time of possession by eating the clock through the ground game, the Colts offense will not be able to score as much or as often as they would like. The Jets have shown amazing resilience in the second half, so jumping on them early is no guarantee of victory. Like the Presidential Election, this one is too close to call. Put simply, if the Colts can play well for four quarters, they should be in a position to win.

Score: Colts 21  Jets 20

Next Opponent
New York Jets
11/12/2000

when: 8:30
where: RCA Dome
TV: ESPN

Team Record
6-3

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Archive:

1999 Season
Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3

Issue #4
Issue #5

2000 Schedule
Issue #6

Issue #7
Issue #8
Issue #9
Issue #10
Issue #11

Issue #12
Issue #13
Issue #14

9/03 at KC

W  27-14

9/10 OAK

L   31-38

9/17 BYE  
9/25 JAX

W  43-14

10/1 at Buff W  18-16
10/8 at NE L   16-24
10/15 at SEA W  37-24
10/22 NE W  30-23
10/29 DET W  30-18
11/05 at CHI L   24-27
11/12 NYJ
11/19 at GB
11/26 MIAMI
12/03 at NYJ
12/11 BUFF
12/17 at MIAMI
12/24 MINN

 

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Updated:
04/19/06

1999, 2000