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The Indianapolis Colts (9-7) allowed an uninspiring start to the game trickle down into an upset loss in which the Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) came into Lucas Oil Stadium and steal a 23-20 win on Sunday.

It was a poor outing all around. The quarterback play was lacking extremely while the defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs. There is something to be said about having 14 players activated from the COVID-19 list, but that excuse only gets you so far.

The Colts should have won this game in a relatively easy manner. But they got complacent, came out flat and let the Raiders come in for a massive road victory to keep their season alive.

Here’s what the Colts had to say following the big intraconference loss:

Letting the fans down

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Head coach Frank Reich opened his postgame presser admitting how disappointed the team was in their efforts on Sunday. Given that it was likely the last time the Colts will play at home this season, he felt as though the team let the fans down.

Reich: “Disappointing loss. Really disappointed that we didn’t do what we had to do to take care of business in front of our home fans and clinch a spot in the playoffs. So, feel like we let the fans down there. Congratulations to the Raiders, they outplayed us and out-coached us in all three phases. In all three phases. So, give them credit. Coach (Rich) Bisaccia did a great job getting his guys ready. Offense, defense and special teams. They had good plans and out-executed us. I give them credit.”

COVID-19 to blame?

AP Photo/AJ Mast

Quarterback Carson Wentz and several of his teammates battled a bout of COVID-19 over the last week and while it should be acknowledged, Reich still maintained the position that the Colts simply didn’t show up to play.

Reich: “It’s hard to say. Obviously, it’s always great to get every rep you can but at this time of the year, you lean on accumulated reps when you have to. It’s not uncommon for players this time of the year to miss a lot of practice time. It happens all over the league at all positions. For all of us, those players, whoever they are, have to find a way to come in and still play well.”

‘The level of disappoint is very high’

AP Photo/AJ Mast

The Colts had their chances during the game to clinic a playoff berth but wound up failing in that endeavor. Reich wasn’t shy about the feeling in the locker room.

Reich: “Very disappointing. The level of disappointment is very high. In myself and how we coached this game, how we played this game. Everything is still in front of us. At least, I was told in there because of some scenarios, we control our own destiny. So, the good news for us as a team, and for Colts nation is, everything is still in front of us. Everything we want is still in front of us. It really is. The other good news is, we’re still the same team everybody’s been talking about. We’re like anyone else, if you don’t come and just lose a little bit of an edge, if you just let your guard down just a little bit, you can get beat in this league. So, I didn’t think that was going to happen today. I thought we’d come out and have the edge that was needed to finish it out this week and to go in with a ton of momentum next week, but we’ll have to prepare this week. No givens next week. We know Jacksonville is good, despite, I saw the score flash, we know when we go to Jacksonville, it’s a battle. So, we got to have a great week of preparation and I’m sure it’ll be a tough fought game next week and we got to go earn it.”

Carson Wentz on a ‘strange week’

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Wentz had a rough game. Had it not been for a lucky touchdown pass that was deflected into the hands of T.Y. Hilton, Wentz’s stat line would have been one of his worst this season. He wouldn’t blame the week of isolation for his performance but he did mention how strange it felt for him to be away from the team while preparing.

Wentz: “Definitely one of the weirdest weeks of my NFL career, if not the weirdest. I felt pretty good and was locked in on the virtual meetings, but couldn’t be around the guys obviously. It was different, but I wouldn’t say that was the reason for the performance or for the loss today by any means. I felt fine out there and felt good all week, just a strange, strange week.”

One throw to have back

AP Photo/AJ Mast

Wentz is a roller coaster. There’s no way around it. He’ll make some mind-boggling throws and then miss a wide-open touchdown. The latter hit the Colts in the worst way on Sunday as T.Y. Hilton had nothing but green in front of him thanks to a blown coverage. Wentz rushed the throw and sailed it at a time when a touchdown could have put the game away for the Colts.

Wentz: “I’m not sure other than I want it back. Definitely want it back. It was definitely blown coverage. They kind of passed it off and then they miscommunicated, and he was wide open. That one hurts a little bit.”

A ‘grind it out game’

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Wentz mentioned the odd flow of the game and the fact that the Colts couldn’t get into a rhythm in either phase. Having Jonathan Taylor helps but it only goes so far when the offense is one-dimensional.

Wentz: “Yeah, JT (Jonathan Taylor) is a stud. We are going to keep giving it to him and keep going to him. But yeah, it was kind of hard grind it out game. – both in the passing game and the run game. That’s what that defense does. Coach (Gus) Bradley does a great job. That’s just kind of how they want to play, that’s their style. We just didn’t make enough plays.”

Third-down failures

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Darius Leonard hit the mark when he discussed the defense’s inability to get off the field. The unit allowed the Raiders to go 6-of-11 when facing a third-down attempt.

Leonard: “I’m going to talk defensively. I just think we didn’t do enough on third down. Some of the things that we did didn’t work. We didn’t do a great job of getting off the field.”