Colts' Luck is all bad

A Colts fan holds up a sign during a game against the Texans in Indianapolis, Ind., Dec. 22, 2011....

A Colts fan holds up a sign during a game against the Texans in Indianapolis, Ind., Dec. 22, 2011. (BRENT SMITH/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:58 AM ET

TORONTO - The Indianapolis Colts are on the verge of doing the impossible, of replacing a dreadful, embarrassing season with a tragic one.

They are doing so by rising from the grave and winning games.

On Thursday night, the Colts had an opportunity of bestowing their faithful fans with an early Christmas present. All they needed to do was lose to the playoff bound Houston Texans and that would assure the franchise of being the worst team in the league no matter what happened in the final week and would give them the No. 1 pick in the draft — presumably Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

Instead, the feckless Colts, under the direction of quarterback Dan Orlovsky, drove 78 yards in the final two minutes of the game to score the go-ahead TD with 19 seconds left on the clock to provide Indianapolis with a stunning 19-16 victory.

The result boosted the Colts to 2-13 and perhaps flushed the opportunity of picking the next great quarterback to come down the pike down the proverbial toilet.

It may well have been the saddest chapter in a season that has produced nothing but frustration, reflection and failure.

The Colts now have to pull out all stops and lay down like dogs next week when they travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars, a team that is close to being as hopeless as themselves.

If the Colts win that one — and their chances have to be rated 50-50 — they could finish the season with a better record than both St. Louis and Minnesota, two teams that come into Saturday’s action with identical 2-12 records.

The Colts were a seeming lock in the Suck for Luck movement until they replaced the woeful and overmatched Curtis Painter with Orlovsky and he has betrayed them by conjuring up consecutive victories to put them into the mess they now find themselves.

The Colts were thought to be preparing to enter a post-Peyton Manning era but if they blow their chance to draft Luck, they may be forced to retain Manning’s services, pay the hefty salary and put off a gift-wrapped opportunity to clean house and rebuild the franchise under Luck.

Kiss that dream good-bye.

If you’re a Colts fan and happen to be a conspiracy theorist, you could talk yourself into believing that the Texans blew the game on purpose in order to prevent the Colts from getting their paws on Luck.

TEXAN TRAGEDY

In Houston, meanwhile, there is nothing but angst and consternation as reality has finally hit the road.

The Texans with quarterback Matt Schaub at the helm were a force to be reckoned with. With T.J. Yates, now it’s looking iffy.

The Texans, with the loss to Dan Orlovsky and company, look beyond vulnerable and their celebration of achieving their first ever playoff post, has become a fleeting memory. If they can’t beat the 1-13 Colts, how will they not be one and down come playoff time?

Thursday’s game marked the fourth start for the rookie Yates and although his stats looked credible — he completed 13-of-16 passes — he threw for just 132 yards, was constantly kept under wraps, and could not sustain drives, especially when the Texans got down to the red zone.

Yates, other than his final seconds TD pass in their 20-19 victory over Cincinnati, has bogged down in the red zone resulting in Houston being held to 17, 20, 13 and 16 points in his starts.

Even with their great running game and tough defensive unit, that won’t get it done if they have to go up against the Jets in the wild-card weekend.

QUICK HITS

Dallas running back Felix Jones didn’t practise all week and is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against the Eagles because of a tight hamstring. Despite that, owner Jerry Jones expects that he will play. “It would surprise me if Felix does not go,” Jones said Friday on his radio show. “That would surprise me. On the other hand, it would be madness not to recognize he hasn’t practised this week, so you better have another plan in place.” If Jones can’t play there is no other plan, at least no other back of his ability ... As for the Eagles, cornerback Asante Samuel has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will start in his place ... You have to wonder why the Chicago Bears are even bothering to show up for their game in Green Bay Sunday night. Not only are they going to start Josh McCown at quarterback, but they will have to make do without running back Marion Barber who is expected to be sidelined with a calf injury. If Barber can’t start, Kahlil Bell will be the Bears featured running back.


Photos