There are plenty of words that came to mind while watching the Colts hand back a 14-point lead in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter of their game against the Texans before losing the game in overtime.
For most people, encouraging likely qualified only as a way to describe the Texans’ resiliency after playing poorly for the first 53 minutes of the game. Coach Chuck Pagano zigs where those people zag, however.
During his Monday press conference, Pagano went that route to describe his mindset in the aftermath of the meltdown.
“I’m encouraged,” Pagano said, via the Indianapolis Star. “You guys probably think I’m crazy, but I’m encouraged.”
On Sunday night, Pagano said his players lacked a killer instinct when they got ahead of Houston and stood by all of his coaching decisions on Monday. That included running a play from the shotgun on fourth-and-inches and disputed safety Mike Adams’ read that the team took its foot off the gas by saying the team didn’t get “passive or soft.” Instead, Pagano said the Texans simply executed better.
Pagano’s optimism about his team surely comes from an honest place, but the results haven’t backed it up this season and it hasn’t been just a matter of on-field execution.