The Colts recent trend of slow starts may take more out of coach Chuck Pagano than last year’s battle with leukemia did.
He joked that their latest lethargy, a 14-0 first-quarter hole to the Titans Thursday night, had him in the trainers room getting his heart checked when quarterback Andrew Luck was peeling the paint off the walls with an impassioned halftime speech.
“Whatever he did, I’m glad he did it,” Pagano said, via Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “They had defibs on. Believe me, it won’t be cancer that gets me.”
It might not be quite that bad, but over the last three games, the Colts have been outscored 66-9 in the first half, a persistent problem that even Luck’s penchant for comebacks doesn’t offer complete protection from.
“I was sick to my stomach, I’m sure everybody else was,” Pagano said. “But you have to keep playing, keep fighting. One play at a time, 60 minutes, all you got. I don’t think anybody felt good over there.”
The good news is, they’re three games clear of the AFC South with six to play. But as games become more important later in the season, they know they can’t afford to wait a half to get started, lest they risk the health of their coach.