Chuck Pagano has 'no excuses' for the Indianapolis Colts performance during the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots despite the Deflategate controversy.
The Colts Head Coach said in a recent interview with MMQB's Peter King has 'no excuses' for the AFC Championship game lost to the Patriots, which has been wrapped up in the Deflategate controversy ever since.
He said: “We got our asses kicked. Period. End of story. None of us here will ever forget that day, that final score. We got a damn artery gushing and no sutures to stop the bleeding. You never forget that.”
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Pagano is right, whatever happens in the conclusion to Deflategate, it certainly isn't going to change the 38-point embarrassment the Colts were subject to on that night.
One way the Colts can make sure a loss like that never happens again is to improve on their passing game. Luck's interceptions per season went up from nine in 2013, to 16 in 2014, and he has recognised this as a problem.
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He said: "The decision-making process bit me in the butt, which in turn hurt the Colts more than a couple times last year. Obviously the Patriots games, and Philadelphia, second week of the season, I throw a bad pick in somewhat of a four-minute situation.
"I gotta learn, Just eat it, take the sack, throw it at his feet, whatever. That’s what this off-season’s been about. Don’t give them a chance."
Pagano agrees on this, but he also understands that his quarterback is also just trying to keep the ball moving downfield.
He said: "Some bonehead plays. But all great competitors do everything they can to make great plays. The hardest thing for a great competitor is to give up on a play and throw it away. But you gotta know when to say when, when to throw it away, and Andrew’s learning that now.
"What I like about him is he’s got great amnesia. He’ll throw one [interception], then next series, be back out there, fine.”
It's good to see Luck recognising his mistakes and Pagano giving him the encouragement he needs to drive forward.
Overall though, it's the Colts run defense that needs the most care. The Patriots have rushed for 657 yards and 13 touchdowns against the Colts across their past three meetings, all of which have ended in a blowout.
Pagano said 'we have enough here' in the likes of Arthur Jones and Kendall Langford, but that question will be answered soon enough when the Colts meet the Patriots in October.