The Scott Tolzien Experiment

Rams 46, Colts 9 in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

And it was even worse than it sounds.  That was a straight hospital job. How bad was that beating? So bad that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had no idea what truck just smashed into them and dragged them the length of a football field:

Credit the St. Louis Rams, they really handed it to us. Much respect to the Baltimore Colts, it was their day today. When you run into a better team, you’ve got to tip your cap and move on. And I’m tipping my cap to the Dallas Texans and their fans. We’ve got to go home and lick our wounds because the Houston Oilers, err, Chicago Cardinals, were the better team today.

Chuck Pagano is such a good dude. Believe me, that hurt me a helluva lot more than it hurt him. But my guy didn’t leave me much choice.

Then again, I’d blank on the name of the other team if the name of my starting quarterback was Scott Tolzien. Andrew Luck had shoulder surgery back in January, which meant that the team had eight months to prepare for the possibility of a season opener without Andrew Luck and their answer was Scott Tolzien.??!

With all due respect to Scott Tolzien, which means there’s a very good chance that Scott Tolzien is about to get disrespected, the only time Scott Tolzien should be the answer is when the question is: What quarterback should NOT start for the Indianapolis Colts in Week One?

But he did. And The Scott Tolzien Experiment went about as well as you could’ve expected. Starting with his first pass of the game.

But if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that when Scott Tolzien gets knocked down, he gets up again. You’re never going to keep Scott Tolzien down. And Scott Tolzien came back swinging in the third quarter.

That’s two for him. Two pick sixes in one game. And it would have been three or four if he hadn’t been taken out of the game.

You know getting pulled from the game hurt Tolzien. He admitted as much afterwards: “You never want to be taken out of a game. But it was the right call.”

It was. And the stats are pretty ugly. 9 for 18 for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Two Rams touchdowns. Sacked 4 times. He was 1 for 7 on third down and that completion was for minus-4 yards. And he had a rating below 34.

As shaky as Scott Tolzien was on the field, Scott Tolzien was a rock off it: “It’s a team effort, but I certainly wanted to own this one and put it on me.”

Much respect, Scott. Seriously. I love that you want to own this, but that’s not on you, Scott Tolzien. You’re Scott Tolzien. You did your best. You were the best Scott Tolzien you could be. This is on anyone who thought that starting Scott Tolzien was the right idea. It’s not like Andrew Luck went down yesterday. He had surgery in January. This can’t be stressed enough. They had the entire offseason to get ready for the season opener and this is what happened. And that’s the amazing thing about this. The Colts saw Scott Tolzien and thought, yep, he’s our guy. That’s what we’re rolling with.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the Colts were tanking. Except why would they Drop for Darnold, Relinquish for Rosen, or be Awful for Allen when they already have Andrew Luck.

And it wasn’t just the Colts offense. The Colts defense made Jared Goff look like Joe Montana. Dude was slinging it. 21 of 29 for 306 yards. 7 completions of 21 yards or more. Either he’s made a huge step forward in Year 2 or the Colts are in serious trouble. Or both. But either way, if there’s one thing we know after yesterday, Scott Tolzien is going to Scott Tolzien. He did. And he will again, on the off chance you actually put the rock back in his hand.

You don’t play Scott Tolzien and expect him to not Scott Tolzien. Really, you don’t play Scott Tolzien at all. At least you shouldn’t. Never mind firing Pagano. Fire whoever recommended bringing Tolzien in the first place.

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