Last season, the Indianapolis Colts‘ newly hired General Manager Ryan Grigson steered clear of using the term “rebuild” as they were moving on from the Peyton Manning-era and a 2-14 record the year before. They went 11-5 and made the playoffs. This season, as the team is moving on into the Andrew Luck-era, head coach Chuck Pagano wants to be done using another term: “slow starts.”
At times this season, the 7-3 Colts have looked like Super Bowl contenders. But slow starts to games have been a problem. The Colts have been outscored 66-9 in the first half over the past three games, and that’s all anyone can talk about. And while it’s somewhat impressive that they have gone 2-1 over that stretch, it still remains a problem.
“That’s all we’ve talked about,” Pagano said, via ESPN. “Now it’s like I’m to the point where they might as well put 14 on the (scoreboard) before we kick off.”
On Thursday night, the Tennessee used a no-huddle, spread offense to jump up on the Colts 14-0 in the first quarter.
“I was sick to my stomach, I’m sure everybody else was,” Pagano said. “But you have to keep playing, keep fighting. One play at a time, 60 minutes, all you got. I don’t think anybody felt good over there.”
Luckily, the Colts have Andrew Luck, whose inspirational half-time speech energized the team to a 30-27 come-from-behind victory.
However, Pagano did not witness it, jokingly stating Friday that he missed it getting his heart checked because of the stress of the half time deficit:
Whatever he did, I’m glad he did it. They had defibs on. Believe me, it won’t be cancer that gets me.
While Pagano was obviously kidding, the Colts’ slow starts might end up killing them once the playoffs roll around.