The NBA has been rattled by a string of high-profile scandals and public relations nightmares, but the league might be able to recover from this PR nightmare if it can find some way to avoid another. The sports world is still reeling after an ESPN report revealed that a third party had purchased data on over 100 players without their knowledge.

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'We Embarrassed Ourselves. Embarrassed Our Owner. Embarrassed Our City'

It would be an understatement to say that general manager Chris Ballard was disappointed with his club. Ballard was clearly in the mood to voice his concerns after his Indianapolis Colts missed the playoffs due to an incomprehensible shock defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For a club that did not reach the playoffs, the postseason “autopsy” is never easy. It must be terrible for a team that just needed to win one game to make the playoffs but instead lost an ugly game.

The Indianapolis Colts’ loss to Jacksonville was unforgivable.

Colts vs. Jags

Colts vs. Jags The Indianapolis Colts’ Carson Wentz #2 on the field during pregame warmups versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts were defeated, and GM Chris Ballard was furious. | Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

In a vacuum, the Colts’ loss to the Jaguars, who had two wins at the time, wasn’t a great shock. After all, the Colts have struggled against the Jaguars on the road for whatever reason. The Colts had lost five consecutive games against the Jaguars when playing in Jacksonville before to this matchup. If the Colts’ defeat to the Jaguars in London in 2016 counted, it would have been six in a row.

In any case, the Colts’ losing skid continued in Week 18, when they were defeated 26-11 by the Jaguars.

Again, the loss is unsurprising in a bubble. In the NFL, bad clubs often defeat good ones. This is especially true when it comes to divisional competitors. The context of the game, though, was what made the Colts’ defeat so heinous. It was all about the prize: a berth in the playoffs. Their fate was in their own hands. All they had to do was win, and they’d be in.

They came crashing down in spectacular way.

They were outscored by the Jaguars by 26 points. The Jags had only scored 23 points up to that point in the season. Prior to Week 18, they were averaging just 14 points per game.

Indianapolis’ defense was not only abysmal, but the offense was also abysmal. Carson Wentz threw for 185 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on 17 of 29 passing. Six times he was dismissed.

As seen by the sacks Wentz suffered, the offensive line as a whole had a bad game. However, it wasn’t only that. Jonathan Taylor, the All-World running back, was only able to sprint for 77 yards on 15 runs.

The Colts were outscored 33:18 to 26:41 in time of possession.

According to FOX59 in Indianapolis, Ballard remarked in his end-of-season news conference, “Sometimes you get your a** beat.” “Our a** has been beaten. I wished I had one (the answer). That’s something I don’t have. I’m afraid I don’t have it. “We got our a** kicked.”

Chris Ballard, the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, didn’t hold anything back.

Chris Ballard, Indianapolis Colts

Chris Ballard, Indianapolis Colts Before the game, Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard is seen | Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Ballard was definitely not in a celebratory mood as he was grilled about his team’s late-season meltdown. Not only did the Colts lose to Jacksonville, but they also fell at home the week before, 23-20, to the Las Vegas Raiders. Those two games were the difference between a post-season press conference and the playoffs, as the team finished the season at 9-8.

The defeat against the Jaguars, on the other hand, was extremely vexing. The Raiders are at the very least a playoff contender. The Jaguars sacked head coach Urban Meyer in the middle of the season, and supporters dressed up as clowns to attempt to persuade owner Shad Khan to replace general manager Trent Baalke.

In Week 18, the Colts were defeated by a genuine clown show. That is why they failed to qualify for the playoffs.

“I’m furious. ‘I’m not pleased,” Ballard expressed his dissatisfaction. “Thinking about that keeps me up at night.”

He went on to remark, “Look, we disgrace ourselves.” “Our owner was humiliated, and our city was embarrassed.”

How will the Colts pick up the pieces as the season progresses?

If there is a silver lining for Ballard, it is that he will be working with some very solid components in the future.

First and foremost, there’s Taylor, who is the finest non-Derrick Henry running back in the league. It’s difficult to put all your expectations in a running back since they have a tendency to fall off a cliff once their legs wear out, but it’s reasonable to assume the star running back will play a key role in Indianapolis’ future. In just his second season as a pro, he rushed for 332 yards and 18 touchdowns on 332 carries. He won the figurative Triple Crown by leading the league in all three categories for a running back.

Michael Pittman Jr., a second-year wideout, had a career season as well, catching 88 passes for 1,082 yards and six scores. He was one of just 26 receivers in the league to surpass 1,000 yards.

On defense, Darius Leonard is a stalwart, and the Colts have a head coach in place in whom Ballard has high regard.

“I guarantee you, we are happy to have him,” he remarked of head coach Frank Reich.

The one place where the Colts have some doubts is at quarterback, which may be the most important component the team needs to add this summer. It looks to be down right now.

Is Wentz the long-term QB solution?

Looking forward to the 2022 season, Ballard couldn’t commit to him as the starter, but whatever the Colts do, the GM wants it to be the real thing. He isn’t interested in short-term fixes.

Ballard stated, “I’d want to stop Band-Aiding it.” “I’d want Carson to be the long-term solution, or I’d like to find someone who will be here for the next 10-to-12 years.”

ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. 

Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts slams his own team after a shocking upset: ‘Always looking for help when we can’t help ourselves.’

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The “Indianapolis colts beat writer” is a piece written by the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel. The article discusses how the Colts embarrassed themselves, embarrassed their owner and embarrassed their city. Reference: indianapolis colts beat writer.

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