When you lose on the road to a better team, it's expected. Normally, if the better team is the home team, it will be favored, which is what the Indianapolis Colts faced when they went into Foxborough to play the New England Patriots.
But when you lose 59-24, regardless of who you're playing and where, I have to call you frauds, because that's what the Indianapolis Colts are: frauds.
Well, maybe I'm being a bit too tough on the Colts by calling them frauds. The reality is they are still a very good team with a very bright future and probably the best young coaching staff in the NFL. I still think they're taking the playoff spot opposite whoever finishes No. 2 in the AFC North, and against the right opponent, they could even pull off a playoff victory.
But I'm very weary of teams who underperform on the road and have a defense bad enough to make the term mediocre a compliment.
Now for this loss as a whole, I can't place the sole blame on the defense. Andrew Luck did throw three interceptions, with two of them being returned for a touchdown.
Take those interceptions out of the equation, though, (and I'm not trying to downplay them, they were bad), and he did play decently, using his athleticism to get out of sacks (imagine if Andrew Luck had a decent offensive line) and throwing for 339 yards while completing 27 of his 50 passes.
While the interceptions were a killer, Indianapolis' defense and special teams were even worse. Indianapolis' horrible rushing defense came back to really haunt them for the first time since their Week 6 loss in the Meadowlands to the Jets. New England ran for 115 yards on 25 attempts, and they allowed Julian Edelman to break a 47-yard run from scrimmage.
Edelman also made a big impact on special teams, when he returned a punt for 68 yards in the second quarter when Indianapolis was up 14-7. This turned out to be the play that swung the momentum towards the Patriots, who didn't exactly get off to the best start.
Is it fair for me to call the Colts frauds after their drubbing in New England? It depends on what side of the ball you're discussing. If it's about the offense, I can easily say that Andrew Luck had his first terrible game since Week 1 against the Bears (and that it wasn't even that terrible), and the offense still produced, for the most part.
Will Indianapolis make the playoffs in 2012?
But if you're asking me about the defense? It's a fraud. Any team with the ability to run the ball knows that it can attack the Colts' run defense and get a good chunk of yardage out of it. Indianapolis' best chance will be to force teams to throw the ball towards the end of the game, and even then I still wouldn't trust the defense all that much.
The good news is that this team is so well built as it stands that it know exactly what to go after in the 2013 draft and in free agency. Plus, at 6-4, its playoff chances still look great for this season, with its only two games left against a team over .500 being its two contests against the Houston Texans, who likely won't have anything to play for the second time these teams go head to head.