I can understand why the Indianapolis Colts decided to rest their starters. What I do not understand, however, was why not pull the starters with a bigger lead. Not to take anything away from the Jets, but this was a mismatch.
There is no way I pull Peyton Manning out with a one-score lead with almost an entire half to play. Matter of fact, I’m going for destiny. It may be for all the wrong reasons, but screw it, I’m going for it.
Reason One - Superiority
I would be out to prove that we are not the New England Patriots. Just because the Pats lost the Big Game after going undefeated does not mean we will. That was them, this is us, and we are better.
Of course, no one will say that in a press conference, but I’m sure a handful of Colts players are thinking it; or at least was before the weekend. The older Colts players share a bitter rivalry with the Pats and are out to prove they are better.
Reason Two – History
There was more at stake history wise than just being undefeated. How many rookie head coaches inherit this kind of opportunity? One. And he just blew it. You are only a rookie once, unless you are Greg Oden, and you will not get this chance again. Sure, as long as you have Peyton Manning you may got 14-0 again, but never again as a rookie head coach.
Reason Three – Intimidation
Playing Peyton Manning in a playoff game is scary enough, but playing a undefeated Peyton Manning who is in-sync with his offense is insane. Nothing could scare a defensive coordinator more than a synchronized Colts team.
Even the defense, who has had its knocks in previous seasons, have seemed to keep pace with the other side of the ball, at least when it matters anyway.
Reason Four – Just because
Who wants to lose? Obviously, Jim Caldwell because he basically forfeited the game. Look, if he was playing against Detroit (sorry, Lions) I can understand. They were playing a Jets team with a shot to make it to the post-season and they basically put in their preseason squad and told them to hold a one score lead.
I don’t know about you, but we call that throwing your team under the bus and gift wrapping the Jets (a former division rival) a Christmas present. You could see by the look of the starters during the sacrifice they wanted to win. They wanted to go into the playoffs unscathed. However, the team got done it by the guy hired to help them win.