If you thought Indianapolis Colts fans were upset on Sunday, just imagine how the guy signing paychecks feels.
Team owner Jim Irsay released a statement on Wednesday addressed to fans regarding the Colts' stunning 26-11 loss to the league-worst Jacksonville Jaguars that cost them a playoff bid. He, understandably, is displeased.
In addition to using some standard public relations "buck stops with me" language and promises of better things to come, Irsay laid bare the reality of Sunday's loss.
"We ended our season in perhaps the worst way possible and missed our chance to compete for history," Irsay wrote.
By all accounts, Irsay is a man who genuinely places a premium on winning. It's a standard that seems an obvious baseline for the owner of an NFL team, yet Daniel Snyder exists.
But after an 0-3 start turned into late-season, Super Bowl-sleeper chatter around the Colts, the way the season ended was particularly bitter. Indianapolis had two chances to lock up a playoff spot, then lost to fellow AFC playoff hopeful the Las Vegas Raiders before Sunday's debacle in Jacksonville secured its fate.
The crash inspired an hours-long meeting called by Irsay with head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard. It prompted speculation that the Colts might look elsewhere from Carson Wentz at quarterback after trading for the former first-round pick last offseason.
To make matters worse, Wentz's snap count this season triggered a trade clause requiring the Colts to send the Philadelphia Eagles their first-round pick in the upcoming draft instead of a second-rounder. And since the Colts are out of the playoffs, that now-departed draft pick is that much more valuable.
It's all a giant mess just weeks after the Colts were among the hottest teams in football. "Worst way possible" sounds like a fair assessment.