Undefeated Super Bowl Matchup?: Sorry, Folks, Not the Indianapolis Colts
The Colts and the Saints are both 11-0, and everybody is dreaming about a Super Bowl matchup between two undefeated teams. The Saints look unbeatable, and the Colts have a relatively easy schedule remaining, so it is plausible.
But it's not going to happen. Sorry, folks.
The New Orleans Saints might pursue perfection, but the Colts won't. Once they clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, they'll mail it in. The team's philosophy won't change, despite the general fan sentiment that momentum won them the Super Bowl in 2006-07, whereas resting players has caused the team several early playoff exits.
"You don't get rusty missing a half of a ballgame or three quarters of a ballgame," said team president Bill Polian on his weekly radio interview. "That doesn't happen. That is fantasy. There is nothing to it. I don't believe in momentum."
The team has made roster moves to reflect this strategy already, signing running back Mike Hart from the practice squad even though there are already three healthy running backs on the active roster. This is a good sign that Joseph Addai and Donald Brown will get plenty of rest once the Colts clinch a No. 1 seed.
According to Bill Polian, the team's preference to rest players in meaningless games dates back to the Colts' 1999 season, in which the team went 13-3 but lost linebacker Cornelius Bennett for the playoffs in a game that had no impact on their seeding.
Polian's disregard of momentum actually dates back to his time with the Buffalo Bills, and they went to four straight Super Bowls.
The Colts' organization is all about winning the big one, and even though some of the players may want to go 17-0, there isn't going to be any dissent if the coach tells them to sit.
The good news for Colts fans is that the team will have plenty of time to get healthy before making their playoff run. Players who have minor nagging injuries that wouldn't normally keep them out of the lineup, such as Dwight Freeney, will certainly benefit from some time off.
Unfortunately, this may make it very difficult for the Colts to get a victory against a team like the New York Jets. Bye bye perfect season.
"I can assure you that if a game is meaningful, every player on our team is going to be out there," emphasized Polian.
Too bad all the games aren't going to be meaningful.
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