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D'Qwell Jackson: Colts D 'played like (expletive)' in loss

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Scoring 35 points should be enough to win an NFL football game. Taking the lead with 37 seconds remaining should be enough to lock down a victory.

Should.

Unless you employ the Indianapolis Colts' defense.

Chuck Pagano's defense gave up 448 total yards to Jim Bob Cooter's offense in a 39-35 loss to the Detroit Lions.

"If you expect to win in this league, you can't give up that many points," Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said, via ESPN. "Any other team, that would have been a blowout. Defensively we played like s--- and we have to play better."

The Colts entered Sunday already depleted on D, missing two out of its top three defensive backs and without a starting safety. It then lost rookie starting safety T.J. Green and cornerback Patrick Robinson during the contest.

Jackson refused to use injuries as an excuse.

"Whoever is out there, we expect you play to winning football," Jackson said. "No matter who is out there. The season isn't going to stop for us."

Matthew Stafford was sublime for the Lions, swiftly conducting Cooter's scheme. But Sunday's game tells us more about Indianapolis than it does Detroit (even if Lions fans don't want to hear it).

Stafford threw for 340 yards, three touchdowns and only took one sack. It wasn't as if the strong-armed quarterback was throwing bombs all over the Colts injured secondary. Most of his yards came on quick routes to backs and receivers in space. It was good scheming by Cooter, aided by poor tackling from Indy.

"The tackling sucked," safety Mike Adams said.

Tackling can improve, but the talent won't be getting better soon. Even when players return from injury, the Colts talent-deficient defense continues to regress under Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson.

Asking Andrew Luck to win shootouts every week isn't fair, but it's the reality with which the NFL's highest-paid player is saddled.

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