INDIANAPOLIS – Players in the Colts locker room on Monday were somber, but business-like.
They talked about the disappointment of their performance in New England that, combined with the Patriots’ talent, contributed to the season’s most lop-sided loss, 59-24.
Players and coaches viewed the tape not for criticisms, but for corrections. The tone did not need to be encouraging for a team that has won six games, but it needed to offer analysis to keep the squad moving forward as the regular season dwindles.
“The coaching staff is doing a great job making sure we don’t dwell on anything too long here,” said Moala. “We come in on Monday. Once the film is done on Monday, the game is done. We don’t linger on it. We look to the next opponent. We just have to get better and not make the same mistakes that we made on Sunday.”
The Colts have shown bounce and resilience this year in responding to each of the first three losses with a victory. The Colts responded to a third loss this year – a 35-9 setback at the New York Jets – with very firm resolve. They won four straight games, the franchise’s longest winning streak since 2010.
“I think it’s a measure of pride. We don’t get discouraged,” said Moala. “We don’t start blaming each other. We just come in and fix the issues we’ve had and go from there.”
In his fourth year, Moala is a veteran locker room and field presence. He endured a 0-13 start last year and knows the sobering aspects of a losing streak.
“It’s very important (to avoid). We don’t want to (do that). We’re not nervous. We know we lost. It is what it is. We didn’t play our best football, and we know that,” said Moala. “We were out-executed at New England. They were fundamentally sound and played well together. At the same time, we’re more than capable.
“That’s the most disappointing part. We didn’t help ourselves. They scored points, don’t get me wrong, but we didn’t help ourselves. That was disappointing. It was a minor bump in the road. We want smooth sailing from here on out. It happened, and we just have to get through that. We’ll come in Wednesday excited to practice and eager to get ready for Buffalo.”
At 6-4, Indianapolis is in firm stead as it continues the chase of aspirations. The team is 4-1 at home, and it hopes to extend the success. Doing so will come through the instruction it has received this year.
“It’s like Coach Pagano and Coach Arians pound into our minds – work the process and at the end of the day, we’ll look up and see where we stand,” said Moala. “We’ll continue to do what we’re told, believe in the process, then see where we are.”
For the second straight week, Indianapolis will face a potent offense. New England led the league overall, while Buffalo owns the seventh-best rushing attack. The Bills own a 5.2 rushing average, fourth in the league. Running back C.J. Spiller shares the NFL lead with a 6.6 ground average, and he has a five-game streak of topping 100 scrimmage yards.
Backs Fred Jackson and Tashard Choice also have 4.0 averages, while quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick owns a 4.5 mark on 30 attempts.
Indianapolis has been solid against the rush lately, and it must continue. Buffalo has been productive on the scoreboard, hitting for 24 or more points six times and topping 30 three times.
The Bills dropped a 37-31 decision at Foxborough a week before Indianapolis went there. A last-chance drive ended with an interception in the New England end zone with 23 seconds remaining.
“The offensive scheme is very similar,” said Moala of Buffalo and New England. “They have great wide receivers, a shifty running back and an offensive line that plays well together. If we don’t come ready and prepared to play this game the same outcome might occur. (We’ll be prepared.).”
ROSTER MOVES – The Indianapolis Colts today waived guard Justin Anderson from the active roster and released running back Alvester Alexander from the practice squad.
Anderson, 6-5, 342 pounds, was originally selected by the Colts in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He was placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List on August 27, 2012 and was activated on November 19.
Alexander, 5-11, 204 pounds, was originally signed by the Colts on August 15, 2012 before being waived on August 26. He was signed to the practice squad on September 3, released on October 9 and signed back to the practice squad on October 30.
NFL NOTES – 25 teams are within two games of a playoff spot entering the weekend…through week 11, 85 games have been decided by eight points or less, the most since 1988 (86) and the second-most at this juncture in league history…the Colts are 5-1 in games decided by eight points or less…Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin has 1,019 scrimmage yards in the last six games, the third-highest NFL total ever in a six-game period…the player in second-place and fifth-place is Edgerrin James, who had 1,045 and 1,003 scrimmage yards in two different six-game stints in 1999, his rookie season.