Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is one of the most outspoken front-office personalities in the NFL, and he ripped his team on Tuesday after a discouraging 40-11 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12.
Irsay had a little bit of everything in his series of posts on Twitter. He began by saying he is pleased with the Colts' 7-4 record and two-game lead in the AFC South, but is discouraged by what he's seen in the past three contests:
7-4,2 game lead,5 to go with our injurIes n schedule is something we'd take 3 months ago/But the play n last 10 out of 12 quarters-ALARMING— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 26, 2013
He then offered up a cross-sports analogy, implying that the Colts should improvise a little more to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this season.
In Golf you're allowed 14 clubs..but if you're playing with 9 clubs..U got to hood a 8 iron n hIt It like a 4 iron! Improvise n find a way!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 26, 2013
A matchup with the division-rival Tennessee Titans—who are currently in sixth place in the AFC at 5-6—looms on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 54-year-old owner believes Indianapolis must focus on what it does best and figure out a way to get it done:
Must find a way 2 win Division,no excuses,no explanations..hide weaknesses,accent strengthens/We gotta get our heads out of r butts-WAKE UP!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 26, 2013
Then came the bizarre rant of a tweet in which Irsay expressed his frustration over investing a lot in the roster this past offseason, only to see the pieces coming unglued in recent weeks:
I didn't break the bank,millions cash over cap/Load Brinks Truck,only to be hijacked n stormed on the way 2 stadium by machine gun MANIACS!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 26, 2013
The ride was finally over when Irsay arrived at an optimistic conclusion, stating that his team could still win the division as long as it bands together:
We'll close ranks n stick together n BELIEVE! We'll get it fixed n earn our Div/Camp Hats/Failure is not an option!! How Bad Do WE Want It!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 26, 2013
How will the Colts fare for the rest of 2013?
Indianapolis' recent vulnerability began to truly reveal itself in a 38-8 loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 10 at home. That was followed by a Thursday-night road trip to Tennessee for a quick turnaround, but star quarterback Andrew Luck had to rally the Colts back from a 17-6 halftime deficit to claim victory, 30-27.
Luck even made an impassioned speech in the locker room before leading the comeback charge, per ESPN.com's Mike Wells.
All seemed fixed for the time being in Indy.
That is, until the Colts traveled west to take on the Cardinals, who had Indy's 2012 interim head coach, Bruce Arians, at the helm.
Everything fell apart again. Luck had no running game to complement him and completed 20-of-39 passes for a meager 163 yards, a touchdown and a pick-six to Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby.
For the sake of objectivity, Arizona seems to be turning a corner in moving to 7-4 and well within striking distance in the NFC wild-card race.
However, it still showed that Indianapolis' defense is shaky and that its offense is badly missing veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who tore his ACL in Week 7's huge win over the Denver Broncos and is out for the season.
Perhaps some home cooking in Week 13 and a bounce-back performance from Luck will be the proper concoction to cure what ails the Colts at the moment.
The pressure is on, though, and Irsay has intensified the impetus to get things back on track.
Losing to Tennessee would dwindle the division lead to one game, so it is critical head coach Chuck Pagano and Co. find some answers to the Colts' issues and—as Irsay implores—find a way to win.