The Right and Wrong Way

Jordan HeckContributor IIIDecember 28, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 13: Jim Caldwell the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts is pictured during the NFL game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 28-16. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

     There were five minutes and 36 seconds left in the third quarter. There was a new quarterback under a new center. There were upset fans. There were upset fantasy owners. There was chaos.
    Heading into the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets game, there was speculation as to whether or not head coach Jim Caldwell would rest his starters since they had clinched everything except, well, an undefeated season. Now, I am as big of an Indianapolis Colts hater as there is. My parents can’t even watch the game with me because I get so heated during their games. However, as happy as I am that they didn’t achieve perfection I still believe Caldwell made the wrong decision.
    During the televised game, the announcer said something along the lines of, “There is no right or wrong way to go about this.” I disagree. Peyton Manning has the second longest streak of any quarterback for most consecutive starts. The chances of him getting injured are very slim. There’s a better chance of Tiger not getting divorced then Manning getting injured.
    If Caldwell was trying to “rest” his players, then he should send them on a month long cruise. Seriously, it is the second to last week of the season, and they have a bye week to open the playoffs. How much rest do they need?
    The only thing that bothers me about the benching of Manning is how this affects the rest of the AFC playoff picture. Obviously we do not know whether or not the Jets would have pulled out a win had Manning stayed in there, but under the assumption they wouldn’t then they would be out of the playoff picture currently. Now they are in a win and in scenario for next week.
Is it fair for the teams in the hunt such as Houston, Pittsburgh, and Denver to have a possible playoff berth handed to the Jets? I bet the Broncos would have liked the Philadelphia Eagles to bench all of their starters on offense and defense as well, but they had to fight out against the starters for 60 minutes like every team should.
There are only two occasions in which to bench your starters. You’re either way ahead or way behind. Notice how ‘on path to make NFL history’ wasn’t on the list. The best scenario for me as a Colts hater now, is for the Jets to make the playoffs and come into Indy for the playoff game and blow the Colts out of the roof. Seriously, how hilarious would it be if the team they let into the playoffs defeated them in the playoffs? Maybe Colts fans won’t find it funny, but its still good karma for Caldwell. You screw up the playoff system, and the playoff system screws you back.