The Colts in ‘shock’ after the season end up losing to the Jags

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Indianapolis Colts had one task to do: win one of their last two games of the regular season to win a playoff spot.

They could not get it done.

The Colts delivered an embarrassing performance in their 26-11 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and they were officially eliminated from reaching the playoffs about 45 minutes after the game when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 in overtime.

“You’re tired of looking for help,” said Colts linebacker Darius Leonard. “Always looking for help when we can not help ourselves. We’re going into a fight, this team [Jacksonville] is 2-14 and does not take anything away from them, but how do we expect to win or want to get in if we can not even beat the team we were supposed to beat? “

The Colts used the word “shock” countless times during their post-game press conferences. That’s because they didn’t think their season would end on Sunday.

They returned from a 0-3 and a 1-4 start to the season to become one of the hottest teams in the NFL, a team that had seven players named to the Pro Bowl and the type of team some said could go deep in the playoffs.

“Never expected to be sitting here in this moment right now, not like this,” Colts coach Frank Reich said with a look of disbelief on his face. “We just didn’t get it done, neither coaching nor playing.”

The Colts were unprepared for the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17, and it seemed fitting that they had their playoff hopes shattered in Jacksonville. They have not won in Jacksonville (or London) since 2014, and they never really threatened the Jaguars on Sunday, backwards from start to finish.

“Kind of a shock to everyone,” Colts center Ryan Kelly said. “There are not many words to describe it. To come here, to control his own destiny the last two weeks of the season, to go in and not deal with his business is a sting that will hurt for a long time. We have to to look at ourselves for it. We certainly have the talent and leadership in the room to do it. We just did not. “

The Jaguars enjoyed being able to knock their AFC South counterparts out of the playoffs.

“We were playing against a divisional opponent who had a chance to go to the playoffs,” said Jaguars interim coach Darrell Bevell. “I think it’s enough, but there’s so much more [stuff]. I can not even talk enough about how much these guys work, how hard it is, and all the time they put in, the time that people do not see. “

Things should be even better for the Colts this season after reaching the playoffs in 2020. They gave the Philadelphia Eagles a first-round draft pick for quarterback Carson Wentz in an effort to make him an important piece to go back. Jonathan Taylor and a defense that finished second in the NFL in forced turns.

Wentz instead played a role in the Colts’ wobbles. The Jaguars limited Taylor, the NFL’s leading rusher, to 77 yards, which put the game in Wentz’s hands. Wentz was 17-of-29 for 185 yards with two turnovers. He threw more than 200 yards just twice in the last eight games of the season.

“It’s a bad feeling,” Wentz said. “Knowing we had control over our fate for the last two weeks and did not get it done. I certainly left a bad taste in my mouth, a lot of guys’ mouths. Not what stronger we expected. We expected to quit than we did. did. A bad, bad feeling. “

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