August 20, 2016: Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano during the NFL preseason week 2 game between the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
Indianapolis Colts

Chuck Pagano’s job will soon hang in the balance

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Off to their worst start since starting 0-13 in 2011, the Indianapolis Colts are searching for answers in 2016. And if they don’t find some soon, it could cost their head coach his job.Chuck Pagano and the Colts agreed to a four-year contract extension in early January, but that means next to nothing in a league that cannibalizes head coaches regularly.

And with how the last season-plus has gone, Pagano’s job security has to be in question at this point.

Not only did the Colts stumble their way to an 8-8 record last year, but their start to the 2016 season has been about as bad as it could be.

If not for a late touchdown against a bad San Diego team, the Colts would be winless right now. As it stands, they’re 1-3 and just lost their first division game of the year they played. Add that to the fact that the Houston Texans won their first division game they played, and Indy is already several notches below the AFC South leader.

And there’s the fact that Indy’s issues don’t seem to be fixable in the foreseeable future.

Andrew Luck has done his part. Luck is averaging 286.8 passing yards a game and has tossed eight touchdown passes. He’s also only thrown three picks, a far cry from the turnover-heavy campaign he had in 2015. Luck is also averaging 6.6 yards a carry on his 10 rushing attempts.

But just like last year, he isn’t getting any help from the roster around him.

Once again, the Colts are among one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL. Indy is only averaging 88 yards a game on the ground, placing them 24th in the league for rushing yards per game. And, yet again, Frank Gore is doing all the heavy lifting. Gore has 64 of the Colts’ 91 carries on the season and 253 of the team’s 352 rushing yards. Luck is the team’s second-leading rusher, and no other running back has more than nine carries or has totaled more than 25 yards on the season.

Then there’s the injury-stricken and woeful Indianapolis defense.

The Colts have the 24th overall defense in the NFL, allowing teams to gain an average of 382.8 yards a game against them. But they’re even worse when it comes to points allowed per game, giving up 31.3 points a contest. That’s the third-highest total in the league.

Indy’s defense isn’t generating disruptions either. The Colts have only sacked opposing quarterbacks seven times all season, and they’ve only forced four turnovers in four games.

Indy hasn’t gotten better since Pagano has taken over as head coach; they’ve become much, much worse.

January 3, 2016: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) talks to Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano before the NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.  (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Pagano and the front office have largely ignored the needs on the roster the last two offseasons. They addressed the offensive line this offseason, but it was too little too late. Indy has allowed the most sacks in the NFL to this point, and the line isn’t blocking for running backs well either. And speaking of those running backs, Pagano and the front office haven’t attempted to bolster depth there either. Nor have they made a concerted effort to freshen up their pass rush depth.

The failure of the Colts last season could be partially explained by the season-ending injury to Luck. Indy’s offense just isn’t the same without the franchise quarterback running the show. But they don’t have the luxury of that excuse in 2016.

Indy can still turn their season around. It’s highly improbable, but it can happen. But right now, the Colts are in deep water. And with the team showing no signs of improvement the last season-plus under Pagano, he will understandably shoulder a lot of the blame.

The Colts aren’t fighting for Pagano’s job just yet, but that’s not a far off possibility if their play doesn’t improve quickly.

Chuck Pagano’s job will soon hang in the balance

More of Your Colts with Locked on Colts Podcast


To Top