INDIANAPOLIS -- A couple weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano joked about the movie "Groundhog Day" when referring to his team's play each week.
Basically, another game, but the same mistakes and the same scenario. Play well for a half and then struggle to get anything going offensively. Or fail to make a stop on defense when needed the most.
It happened again Thursday night in the Colts' 25-13 home-field loss to the Denver Broncos.
Once again, Indianapolis failed to close the deal after playing a pretty good first half.
"Again, another disappointing loss. Pleased with how we started the game, obviously. That's what we talked about all week with a short week. We, again, just didn't have enough to finish in the second half," the Colts coach admitted.
"Denver played a good ball game. Credit them getting the win. That's a good football team and (they have) good players. We just didn't have enough whatever to make some plays in the second half. Too many big plays on defense. Many big plays in the pass game."
Now 3-11 for the season, Indianapolis has a road game at Baltimore on Dec. 23 and then will finish out the year at home against AFC South opponent Houston on Dec. 31.
Pagano stresses that despite the way the season has turned out, and despite questions about his coaching future in Indianapolis, the Colts are committed to finishing out the year on a successful note.
"We're going to finish the right way," he said. "We signed up for 16 (games) and that's what we'll do. Go back to work Monday and prepare for these last two games."
After last week's overtime loss in the cold and snow at Buffalo, there was some concern for how Indianapolis would respond physically against Denver. Pagano, though, said his team passed that test.
"They came back. They rebounded, they responded and they worked. They put the time in," the coach said.
"Denver played better than we played for the entire game. We did some good things. But not enough."
--Indianapolis lost for the seventh time this season after leading at halftime. The NFL record is eight (1990 Broncos).
The Colts have now been outscored 223-88 after halftime this season.
--Rookie cornerback Kenny Moore II registered his first NFL interception on a pass from Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian Thursday night. He fell down twice after making the interception trying to run with the ball.
"I could barely run, man. Just saw straight grass and I don't know but I just lost my footing. I got back up, tried it again and fell again," Moore joked later. "I swear I'd done it before, but I was just so excited."
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--TE Brandon Williams (concussion) suffered a head injury in the first quarter. Williams was placed on a gurney and taken to Methodist Hospital for a brief time. He did have movement in his limbs. Williams was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, but returned to the stadium training room later. He was diagnosed with a concussion.
--ILB Jon Bostic (knee) left the Denver game late in the third quarter and did not return. The severity of Bostic's injury has not been announced.
--ILB Jermaine George (neck) suffered a burner against the Broncos and did not return. His status for the Colts' Dec. 23 game at Baltimore has not been determined.
--T Denzelle Good (knee) was hurt in the third quarter of the Broncos game and did not return. Good's availability for the Ravens game next week is unknown.
--WR Donte Moncrief (ankle/foot) was a pregame inactive vs. Denver Thursday night. He remains listed as week-to-week.
--CB Rashaan Melvin (hand) did not play against the Broncos. Melvin was reportedly getting closer to returning for the Denver game.
--TE Darrell Daniels (hamstring) was held out of the Denver game. He is listed as week-to-week.
--C Ryan Kelly (concussion) was a pregame inactive for the third straight game. Kelly has been close to getting cleared the last two weeks. He has seen practice time the last two weeks.
--Rookie CB Nate Hairston (concussion) was not active to play against Denver. He was injured last week and was not cleared to play against the Broncos.
REPORT CARD VS. BRONCOS
--PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- QB Jacoby Brissett started out fairly well, but things got rough over the final two quarters. Brissett wound up completing 17-of-30 passes for 158 yards and was sacked once. He scored Indianapolis' lone touchdown with a 7-yard run in the first quarter. Brissett ended the night with a 71.2 passer rating. WR T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 41 yards. TE Jack Doyle led the way with seven receptions for 47 yards. RB Frank Gore added three catches, including a screen pass that went for 22 yards. TE Ross Travis continued to see more playing time.
--RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- RB Frank Gore and rookie RB Marlon Mack combined for just 70 yards rushing in 22 total carries. Gore, who had 36 carries for 130 yards in last Sunday's overtime loss at Buffalo, only had 10 rushing attempts for 31 yards against Denver. It appeared as if the short week and fatigue was a factor in the Colts' sluggish run game. The Colts played without C Ryan Kelly, who is recovering from a concussion, and lost T Denzelle Good with a knee injury during the game. Kelly has now missed three straight games. Joe Haeg went from starting at right guard to moving out to right tackle when Good was sidelined.
--PASS DEFENSE: C-minus -- Broncos QB Brock Osweiler came off the bench to complete 12-of-17 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 147.7 passer rating. Osweiler replaced starter Trevor Siemian, who left the game in the first quarter with a dislocated shoulder. He is now 3-0 lifetime vs. Indianapolis. The Colts started rookie Quincy Wilson at one cornerback spot and rookie Kenny Moore II on the other side. T.J. Green and Clayton Geathers got the starts at safety, although Matthias Farley also played.
--RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Early in the game, the Colts' run defense played well. But as the game wore on, Denver continued to pound the ball between the tackles. RB C.J. Anderson finished the night with 158 yards in 30 carries. Anderson had 111 yards over the final two quarters. The Broncos averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
--SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- K Adam Vinatieri connected on field goals from 45 and 39 yards. Rookie punter Rigoberto Sanchez averaged 41 yards on four punts and had two kicks downed inside the Broncos' 20-yard line. He also had three touchbacks on kickoffs. Neither coverage team got much work thanks to Sanchez' kicking.
--COACHING: D -- Same story once again. Can't finish what they started. One good offensive drive in the game. Defense making the same mental mistakes that allow opposition offenses to keep drives alive. This team has not shown a whole lot of improvement overall as the season has progressed. Some areas, like the run defense, have gotten better and shows a lot of promise. But injuries to key personnel hasn't helped the big picture either. Overall, the Colts can't get out of their own way. They have been in almost every game this season. But they continually fail to get over the hump. Clock management and game management issues also keep cropping up.