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Jim Irsay: Colts must 'be a tougher team'

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The New England Patriots once again beat the Indianapolis Colts to a pulp, in a 45-7 shellacking Sunday night in Foxborough.

In their last three meetings, the Patriots have averaged 43.3 points, 439.7 yards per game and 219.0 rushing yards per contest.

The talent disparity between the two teams was wholly on display Sunday, as the Colts couldn't match the Patriots in any phase of the game mentally or physically. Most disappointing for Indy has to be that, once again, they were manhandled at the point of attack.

"When you get to this level, this championship level, we have to be able to be a tougher team,'' owner Jim Irsay said, per WRTV-TV's Mike Chappell. "We have to be able to stop the run. We can't turn it over.

The inadequacies were plentiful, from lack of defensive depth, to difference-makers on the defensive line, to a lack of a running game helping out Andrew Luck.

Still, when Irsay made the move from Peyton Manning to Luck, he didn't anticipate being in the AFC Championship game in just the quarterback's third season. But the quick ascension doesn't make Sunday night much easier.

"Tonight it's hard to feel the appreciation, but it's there when you take in the whole season,'' Irsay said. "We're really disappointed. We knew this was a measuring stick that we wanted to get over, and we didn't.

"We just didn't have it tonight, and I know how empty that feels. However, we're not that far away. We're close.''

However, close in the NFL doesn't cut it.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps Championship Sunday, and breaks down the Seahawks' historic comeback against the Packers. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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