INDIANAPOLIS — By his standard, Jonathan Taylor appeared to be frustrated in the locker room after Sunday’s 24-0 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Like many of his teammates, he struggled to put into words what had gone so horribly wrong and why the game that had just unfolded was so familiar to the regular-season finale a year ago.
Eight months after suffering one of the worst losses in franchise history at TIAA Bank Field, the Indianapolis Colts did not appear to have improved at all inside the same stadium.
Taylor said the team was well prepared and had a good week of practice, but it’s just not translating to the field on game day.
“I think it’s execution,” Taylor said. “You put in the work, and we always talk about putting in the work and making sure that those daily deposits are there. But there’s always that cutoff point where it’s like, OK, now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, in a sense. You have to do it.
“No matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you train, when it’s time to actually make it count, you have to make the plays. We have to make those plays.”
With 215 rushing yards and an average of 5.4 yards per carry through the first two weeks, Taylor is one of the few players who doesn’t bear much of the blame for an 0-1-1 start.
The problem is too few of his Pro Bowl teammates can say the same.
Indianapolis led the NFL with seven participants in the annual all-star game last season. They added three more Pro Bowlers to the roster in free agency and through trades. But that talent isn’t yet making a difference.
The Colts are the lowest scoring team in the league with just 20 points, and the defense has just one takeaway and one sack in regulation.
The explosive plays have been largely absent on both sides of the ball, but the team doesn’t need a miracle to change that fact.
Indianapolis just needs its best-known and highest-paid players to return to form.
“You can look at a really bad loss like this and you have to resist the temptation to overreact, to make overhaul changes,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said. “Every great coach I’ve been around — as a player and as an assistant coach — I just hear the same thing ringing in my ear. … It’s not about making things more complex. It’s not about overhaul changes. You’ve got to do what you do. We just all have to do it better.
“It sounds like a broken record. It is a broken record. That’s because that’s what’s true. It’s not just true for what’s on our team. I believe every head coach in the league would tell you the same thing. We’ve got to execute. We’ve got to have the best schemes, try to put the players in the best positions and then we’ve got to execute, produce and make plays in all three phases.”
THEY SAID IT
“If you look at 2018, we were 1-5, lost to the (New York) Jets, turned around, came back home and ran for over 200 yards on the (Buffalo) Bills’ really good defensive line. It’s the weird thing about the NFL. It’s week to week. We know it’s Week 3. The time is now. We have to do it right now. I thought we had a good week of practice last week, and looking back at the film, we had a couple of things that we just let slide. Probably led a little bit to how we played Sunday.” — center Ryan Kelly on how quickly things can turn around in the NFL.
Rookie left tackle Bernhard Raimann was the only player not to practice Wednesday.
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (quad) was a limited participant after missing Sunday’s loss. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (back) and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (hip) were also limited.
Safety Julian Blackmon (shoulder), linebacker Zaire Franklin (shoulder), linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back), wide receiver Alec Pierce (concussion) and defensive tackle Grover Stewart (shoulder) practiced in full.
Kicker Harrison Butker (left ankle) and defensive end Michael Danna (calf) did not practice for the Kansas City Chiefs. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman (heel) was limited.