Colts’ Andrew Luck: ‘I feel like I failed my teammates’
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With the Indianapolis Colts’ faint playoff hopes officially extinguished, Andrew Luck didn’t look far to parcel out the blame.
“We failed. I feel like I failed,’’ he said. “I feel like I failed my teammates.’’
Luck passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a third, but his two first-half interceptions were the catalyst to the Colts’ 33-25 loss Saturday to the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders capitalized on each with ensuing touchdowns.
Toss in Frank Gore’s lost fumble in the third quarter, and Oakland turned the three takeaways into 19 points.
Luck, though, focused on his mistakes.
“The interceptions were bad decisions and bad throws,’’ he said.
The first came with Luck under pressure by linebacker Malcolm Smith and resulted in safety Nate Allen’s second interception of the season. Oakland responded by driving to a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
“The first one I thought I put in a pretty decent spot. The guy made a good play,’’ Luck said. “The second one was bad on all levels. You can’t do that.’’
The Colts trailed 13-7, but were driving near the end of the second quarter. The drive ended when Luck forced a pass to T.Y. Hilton, who was double covered in the end zone. Safety Reggie Nelson came up with his team-leading fifth interception. Six plays later, Derek Carr his Jalen Richard with a 4-yard touchdown, giving Oakland a 19-7 lead at halftime.
“That was a big, big, pivotal moment in the game and there’s really no one else to blame but me,’’ Luck said. “There’s a lot of disappointed guys in our locker room.
“We did have an opportunity and didn’t take advantage of it. Unfortunately that seemed to be the case too many times this year.’’
The end result? The Colts will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98. That after the franchise reached the postseason in each of Luck’s first three seasons, including advancing to the AFC Championship game after the 2014 season.
“It’s not good,’’ Luck said. “It’s not what being a Colt is all about, not what playing for the horseshoe is all about . . . not that the playoffs are the ultimate goal.
“We know what the ultimate goal is, but in order to get there you’ve got to get to the playoffs. That’s the standard many guys set before I joined this club.
“Like all the guys in that room, I feel responsible for not making it.’’
Coach Chuck Pagano admitted failing to advance to the postseason in consecutive seasons is “hard, very hard. Obviously very, very disappointed. Had another opportunity and let it slip away.’’
The loss dropped the Colts to 7-8. Their erratic season included just one two-game winning streak.
“We could never get on a run,’’ Pagano said. “We could never keep it going and have the momentum and string two, three, four, five games together like you need to do.
“We had opportunities and a lot of ups and downs. That’s disappointing.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.