Loss Might Help Colts... But They're Still Irked
IRVING, Tex.--The Indianapolis Colts had won tight, tense games all season, with four victories by three points or fewer in their 9-0 start.
But they didn't come through in crunch time here Sunday, squandering a 14-7 lead entering the fourth quarter to lose to the Dallas Cowboys, 21-14, at Texas Stadium.
"We've had some of this show up in the past and we've been able to dodge bullets," Colts Coach Tony Dungy said. "Today we couldn't dodge a bullet. We played a good team. You make mistakes, it's going to cost you. And we did today.... We have to go back and try to get another streak started."
Before this loss, the Colts had won 30 straight regular season games in which they had not yet clinched playoff seeding.
They became the first team in NFL history to have 9-0 starts in consecutive seasons. They learned from last season--the hard way--that it's not about chasing an unbeaten season. It's about reaching the Super Bowl, and the burden of a sustained run at an undefeated regular season perhaps can detract from that.
So losing a game at this point probably was not the worst thing for these Colts. But that didn't mean they took it in stride. Dungy seemed annoyed by the way his team unraveled when it mattered Sunday.
"Fundamental football still wins in this league," Dungy said. "You can't do the things we did today and win. You're playing with fire, and today the fire caught us.... We played well at the beginning. But then when it got to14-14, we got into a panic mode. We started doing things that are hard to explain instead of just doing our technique and doing what we should do. That was a disappointing part. I thought we played pretty well until the fourth quarter."
By Mark Maske |
November 19, 2006; 9:37 PM ET
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