BY Tom James Tribune Star
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — For the Indianapolis Colts offense through the first two weeks of the season, it’s been a tale of two halves.
The Colts have prospered moving the football in the first and second quarters in games with Oakland (a 21-17 win) and Miami (a 24-20 loss), scoring 31 of its combined 41 points and combining for 471 of its two-game total of 822 offensive yards.
In both games, opposing defenses have been able to limit the number of times that Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has been able to find receivers Reggie Wayne, Darrius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton on a regular basis over the final two quarters.
The Colts have also put themselves in bad positions through penalties or not coming up with big plays when given the opportunity.
So what’s the deal?
Luck thinks it’s more about what the Colts aren’t doing well as compared to what opposing defenses are coming up with.
“I think we just need a little more focus. I realize it’s a long ball game. We’ve got great veterans in the locker room and I think we’ve got great football players,” Luck said.
“We realize we can’t survive on mistakes every week. We can’t make as many mistakes, especially in the second half [of games]. Maybe that is a little bit of a lack of focus or whatever it is. But it’s something we’ll focus on and hopefully improve upon.”
One thing is certain. Close, down-to-the-wire games have become the norm through the first two weeks of the National Football League season.
Because of that, even the most minor of mistakes will be magnified.
“You can’t [make crucial mistakes]. In my short time frame in this league, you realize that everybody’s good. There are freak players on both sides of the ball. There are great coaches all over the place. And you really got to limit your mistakes,” the Colts second-year quarterback said.
“Often times it does come down to who’s made the less mistakes. And they will come back to bite you in the rear as they did last weekend to us.”
Forget it and move on -- That’s what the Colts are going to attempt to do heading into this week’s road game in San Francisco.
“We had our chances to win. Looking at the [game] tape, you look for positives,” head coach Chuck Pagano said of Indianapolis’ 24-20 loss to the Dolphins.
“We pointed [the positives] out [to the team]. We made the corrections and tried to emphasize in all areas the mistakes being made and the corrections we’ve made. We can’t have repeat offenders.”
San Francisco has the same feeling. The 49ers dropped a 29-3 road decision to NFC West rival Seattle Sunday night.
“Yeah, I think both facilities will be similar in their approach this week. Any time you lose, it’s never fun. We talk about that 24-hour rule all the time when you win. But it doesn’t apply when you lose, for some reason. I don’t know why but it just doesn’t apply,” the Colts coach said.
“You come in after a win and you look at the tape and hey, 24 hours and on to the next one. Everybody is miserable until you get to tee it up again the following Sunday and hopefully get a win and get that sour taste out of your mouth. They’re coming off a tough loss. We’re coming off a tough loss. I think the mind sets will probably be very similar.”