Wearing wraparound shades and his typical suit, Colts owner Jim Irsay took the Regent Street stage and exhorted London fans to root for "the Horseshoe" during the next day's International Series game against the Jaguars.
While promoting his team, he also lauded his franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck.
"We're just trying to get him surrounded with the right guys," Irsay said. "We really think we have a chance to bring a Lombardi -- two or more -- with him."
The guys around Luck right now, however, are deficient. Take him away, and the Colts may have the worst roster in the league.
Though the Colts (2-3) have a shot to win the AFC South -- considering the Texans are missing the best defensive player in the league, the Jaguars are a young team still learning to win and the Titans had the worst record in the league last year -- they are way too incomplete a team to accomplish Irsay's vision of a couple of Super Bowl titles.
It's staggering to think this team reached the AFC Championship Game two years ago because the roster has so many holes. Poor decisions in assembling the team -- particularly in the draft, the best way to build a championship contender -- have left Indianapolis a mess:
- After selecting Luck first overall in 2012, only two players remain on the Colts roster from the 2013 and 2014 NFL Drafts combined. Though trading their second-round pick in 2013 for cornerback Vontae Davis was a shrewd move, the rest of the 2013 draft was a complete wash. No one else is on the active Colts roster.
- Their 2013 first-round pick, Bjorn Werner, who was drafted one pick before Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and three picks before Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, was out of football after just three years. Third-round pick Hugh Thornton is on injured reserve, but he had lost his starting job at guard anyway.
- The Colts surrendered their first-round pick in the 2014 draft by making one of the worst trades in recent NFL history. They traded that selection to the Browns for running back Trent Richardson, who averaged 3.1 yards per carry and rushed for 33.7 a contest in his 20 games for Indianapolis before getting released.
- Only three other players from the 2014 draft are still playing in the NFL, and just two of them, guard Jack Mewhort and wide receiver Donte Moncrief, play for the Colts.
- The Colts' 2015 draft has provided some depth but no stars. Of the players drafted in the first three rounds, only wide receiver Phillip Dorsett has started a game for Indianapolis this season.
It's too early to evaluate the 2016 draft, but their first-round pick, center Ryan Kelly, has started every game.
Though Kelly has promise, the offensive line remains a disaster. On pace to allow 64 sacks, the Colts already have surrendered 20. In the Week 5 home gain against the Bears, the Colts had four false starts.
"We have guys straining on that offensive line," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. "We have to be better."
More than the offensive line, the Colts have invested heavily in their wide receivers, drafting Dorsett and Moncrief with early-round picks and rewarding T.Y. Hilton with a five-year, $65 million contract last season.
Despite the emphasis on that position, the Colts have dropped 11 passes this season. In the first quarter of the Week 4 game against the Jaguars alone, they dropped three. (Fifteen teams had three or fewer drops on the season entering Week 4.)
"It's not just dropped balls. It's missed throws, it's inaccurate throws, it's not a great pocket, whatever," Luck lamented after the 30-27 loss to the Jaguars. "There's a lot of things that we were just not sharp at."
One first-quarter series against the Jaguars, in particular, demonstrated the Colts' problems. On 2nd and 8 at their own 42-yard line, a wide open tight end, Dwayne Allen, dropped a pass that would have netted the first down. On the next play, the Jaguars destroyed the Colts' offensive line. Part of a jailbreak at the line of scrimmage, defensive end Dante Fowler III beat rookie guard Austin Blythe and batted Luck's pass back in the quarterback's face, and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue intercepted the deflection.
Six plays later the Jaguars scored a touchdown.
Luck, who threw the interception, is not innocent in the Colts' demise. He has regressed the past two years, completing just 55.3 percent of his passes during his injury-shortened campaign last season.
But the quarterback, who signed a $140 million contract in the offseason, also looks like a player forcing the issue because so much of the team's success is dependent on him. Both of its wins this season have featured the typical formula of sloppy play before relying on a fourth-quarter comeback by Luck, who has 12 in his career, including the two from this season.
"I honestly think Andrew Luck's playing pretty good despite some of the o-line woes that they're having," former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne told NFL Total Access. "A lot of people are wanting to criticize Andrew Luck instead of really, in my opinion, going after what the big problem is. I think that big problem is a lot of the front-office decisions. Whether it's draft picks or it is free-agent picks, they've missed on a lot of guys."
The talent around Luck is not only lacking, but it's also old.
Two of the better and guttier players -- running back Frank Gore and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson -- are 33. The Colts signed Jackson two years ago and Gore last year.
Gore still runs hard, but he hasn't solved the Colts' issues in the running game. The Colts have gone 61 consecutive games without a 100-yard rusher, and Vick Ballard -- not exactly a superstar back -- was the last to do so when he rushed for 105 against the Texans in December 2012.
Two years before signing Gore, the Colts went on a 2013 offseason spending spree with offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus (five years, $34.5 million), safety LaRon Landry (four years, $24 million), defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois (four years, $22 million), offensive lineman Donald Thomas (four years, $14 million), cornerback Greg Toler (three years, $15 million) and linebacker Erik Walden (four years, $16 million). Only Walden remains on the team.
During this past offseason, the Colts let linebacker Jerrell Freeman sign with the Bears, and he leads Chicago with 48 tackles this year. Meanwhile, the player Indianapolis figured to replace Freeman, Nate Irving, didn't make the 53-man roster, and Irving's replacement, Sio Moore, was released shortly after the Week 4 loss to the Jaguars.
Asked if the Colts made an effort to re-sign him, Freeman laughed and said their disinterest "was shocking."
Right now, the Colts' predicament is more sad than shocking. If they don't turn things around quickly, they risk wasting the prime of their prized, 27-year-old quarterback.
Follow Jeff Fedotin on Twitter @JFedotin.