This weekend was another reminder that sports are dumb. At least they were to the people – well me – in our house.
You all know that I’m superstitious. So I got a bad feeling as news broke that Tech’s two best players, Terrence Shannon Jr and Kevin McCullar, would miss Saturday’s game against KU. It just seems like anytime people get excited about an opponent missing key player(s) against KU, the Jayhawks decide to lay a big, fat egg that day.
Sure enough, that’s what happened in Lubbock.
The undermanned Red Raiders took it to KU the entire game. They were better on offense and defense. Tougher on the boards. Eventually figured out the junk defense Bill Self threw at them to try to give his team a chance to get back into the game.
Tech was good, yes, but KU was bad. Most of the team looked lethargic or two steps slower than Tech. Just about everyone on the team looked confused when they were actually being guarded tough. They simply refused to rebound and let the Tech players shove them away from every 50–50 ball, be it in the air or on the ground.
(That’s not a complaint. I thought there were a few pushes that should have been called. Tech just moved the KU guys without much resistance all damn day, and it’s on KU to be tougher, work harder, and not be, you know, soft.)
Even a B+ performance probably would have gotten the win for KU. Instead they offered a C-/D+ effort. A lot of teams are going to lose in Lubbock over the next two months. But KU had a chance to steal one against a Covid-reduced team and blew it. The effort is the concern, not the result.
I’ve been pretty lukewarm on the Colts all season. So their loss in Jacksonville Sunday didn’t really cause me any anguish. In fact, I found it pretty funny. Thank goodness I did not have a huge emotional investment in the game, because that was an absolutely inexcusable loss. The local media immediately dubbed the worst regular season loss since the Colts moved to Indy. Which is fair. The Colts were one of the hottest teams in the league, until a week ago. The Jags were just playing out the string, hoping to get to the offseason and hit the reset button for the latest time. A loss guaranteed them the number one pick in the draft. There was zero reason for that team to show up with any motivation Sunday.
Yet them hammered the Colts from the opening drive and never let up.
A lot has been made here in town about the Colts getting a league-high seven Pro Bowl players and pretty much all of those guys sucking Sunday.
It would be easy to blame Covid, as the virus ran rampant through the roster over the past couple weeks. Several players who were unvaccinated and got the virus played notably worse once they came back.
Carson Wentz sucked balls the last two weeks. I’ve said all year you can never trust that guy in key moments. I don’t know that it’s better or worse he turned into a pumpkin at the end of the regular season instead of waiting until the playoffs to go 6–13 for 70ish yards and a couple turnovers through three quarters.
Darius Leonard had zero impact yesterday, other than a needless late-hit penalty that gave the Jags 15 yards.
The offensive line was atrocious.
Johnathan Taylor couldn’t do a thing thanks to the o-line’s woes.
It was a total team effort at turning a gimme game into a total disaster.
Now what should they do moving forward? Do you clean out the front office? The coaching staff? Somehow try to solve the quarterback issues for the fourth-straight year?
I’m guessing there aren’t wholesale changes. That’s generally not how the Colts roll and I think ownership trusts Chris Ballard and Frank Reich to figure it out. And everyone is too invested in Wentz to not give him another chance. This team is close in a lot of ways and a good offseason could put them in great shape for 2022. But a repeat of last year’s offseason misses could mean the end for the current regime.