INDIANAPOLIS –Rarely has a season gone by in the NFL without a little adversity hitting.
Adversity comes in various dosages and something Indianapolis wants to do as its sixth game rolls around is to avoid its first losing streak of the season.
Twice the Colts have rebounded from defeat to post victories in 2012.
A 41-21 setback at Chicago was followed by a 23-20 victory at home over Minnesota.
After Jacksonville scored a deflating last-minute win in Lucas Oil Stadium on September 23, the Colts used their bye week and bounced back to defeat Green Bay, 30-27.
Sunday's 35-9 loss at the Jets was a difficult outcome for the Colts. New York out-gained Indianapolis on the ground, 252-41, rushed for 14 first downs to the Colts' zero and passed sparingly in earning the win.
One pass came on special teams and went for 23 yards to set up a touchdown just before the half as the Colts trailed, 21-6. Indianapolis ended the afternoon by losing a fumble on its last play, a miscue that put the Colts at minus-four in the category for the game.
What the players must do is put the result behind them, focus on preparations and aim to execute like they did in the final 30 minutes two weeks ago against Green Bay. Indianapolis erased an 18-point second-half deficit in winning.
The best medicine is the old approach, regardless of the result – the 24-hour rule.
"It's just like the win after Green Bay, the loss after New York, you have the 24-hour rule. You have another team coming up. You can't dwell on it. You fix it. You look at the tape, identify what happened right and wrong and go on to the next day," said Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians. "We've done that. I think everybody sees what we're capable of being. If we don't play the way we're capable of playing, we'll get beat like that."
Tackle Anthony Castonzo firmly believes the team's ability to be resilient in games after a loss is because the approach remains the same.
"I think it's a result of not changing our mindset, just going out and playing. Winning practices leads to winning games," said Castonzo. "We don't like to lose any week. We go out to try to win the game every week. Losing two in a row is not an option.
"The approach is still the same. To change the approach is to panic. There's no panic with the team. The approach is that we continue to do what we're doing, just do it better."
The Rhodes candidate with a degree in biochemistry has broken down enough problems in a laboratory to know how to attack the 2-3 position in which his team resides. He said it is necessary to hit the mental reset button and not to over-react.
"We're professional athletes. At this point we have gotten pretty good at it," said Castonzo of taking a firm mental approach. "Once you watch the film, get over it and make the corrections, it's pretty easy to kind of throw it behind you and look ahead.
"I think that's how it is. We've won some games and we know what it's like to win. We just have to go out there and get it done. We just have to do what we do a little better to get that win."
One problem for Indianapolis Sunday was ineffective finishes to drives. The Colts snapped 27 plays in New York territory, but settled for three field goals.
The club's second drive reached the Jets' two before an incompletion forced a field goal. There were other instances when an offense that has clicked sputtered a bit. Arians thought the team pressed a little, but thought quarterback Andrew Luck, who hit 22-of-44 passes for 280 yards with two interceptions, handled the rough day well.
"(He was) too amped up," said Arians. "He's got a great resiliency about it. The water (rolls) off his back, 'I did this. I messed it up. What happened on this (play), what was this coverage?' (He'll) look right at the pictures, grind it out, get ready for the series. (He's) asking me what I'm thinking the next time around. He's always in tune and ready to get to the next play. (There's a) great look in his eye on the sidelines."
Luck was sacked four times and hit on some other attempts. He endured two interceptions and conducted the club on five series in the no-huddle attack, two of which resulted in scores. Still for himself, and 44 others, it was a tough day.
"I think like a win, a loss you flush it. You watch the film, you learn from the mistakes, realize that it's a loss, but it's one loss," said Luck. "We have another game next week and hopefully we can get a win, one win. Learn from the mistakes, get back after it."
Head Coach Chuck Pagano often has said that Luck is his own harshest critic, something seconded by Arians. Arians is not concerned, though, about Luck being too self-critical. Luck did take a keen look at himself.
"I was angry at myself and disappointed in myself. I know a lot of guys in the locker room were disappointed with themselves," said Luck. "You realize you wallow in misery for a couple of minutes and realize (it's) one game, put it behind us, can't do anything about it now, try and learn from it, and get back going. I think as athletes, as competitors, that's what you have to do after every game."
Problems were present on all units last Sunday, but the team has shown a knack to bounce back. Guard Mike McGlynn is confident it can be done again. It is just a matter of managing the details.
"The talent is not the question," said McGlynn. "It's everybody firing on one cylinder, getting everyone together and looking to see what we have to work, what we need to make sure happens come game day.
"Just like we won last week against Green Bay, it was a big win. You come in work on Wednesday, and it doesn't matter anymore. It has to be an intensified focus because we're coming off a loss. We can't think about last week. We have to move on."
Arians was not able to provide any updates on the injury front. Defensive end Cory Redding missed a large part of the game after re-aggravating a previous knee injury. Redding was among players under observation. Arians noted cornerback Vontae Davis dressed Sunday without playing and should return Wednesday, and he hopes linebacker Pat Angerer and guard Joe Reitz will be available.