Colts Head Coach JIm Caldwell Calls His Shot

SportsChLeagueContributor IDecember 29, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 17:  Head coach Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts coaches against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

For those of you who looked at the 13-0 Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints and 11-1 Minnesota Vikings and claimed NFL parity was dead...not so fast, my friends!

The NFL playoff picture is a wild ride as we go into Week 17 with only one seed set in the NFC race and with multiple eight-win teams battling for the two AFC wild card slots.

In addition, three games this week, the Eagles-Cowboys, Cardinals-Packers, and Jets-Bengals could be preludes to first round playoff match-ups.

Adding to the mess, the only team that had their division sewn up weeks ago, the mighty Indianapolis Colts (who pundits are ranking as only the second best team in the AFC despite their 14-1 record), did the unspeakable and took out their players in the third quarter of an eventual 29-15 loss to the New York Jets. 

Fans in Denver, Pittsburgh, and Houston are screaming foul as the Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell pulled his starters while sporting a 15-10 lead and let the Jets waltz to a win, an 8-7 record and the inside track to one of the AFC Wild Card slots.  Are they right? 

In other sports, it’s a time-honored tradition to try to play spoiler and send teams spinning out of the playoffs. 

Only in football, where injuries are so prevalent, is it acceptable (to some…) to lay down and protect your starters for your own playoff run. 

My thought is hey, protect your own, even if it means someone else will suffer for it.  Football teams only get 16 games and if you want a playoff spot, earn it. 

I was a little unhappy with Caldwell’s call as the Colts were going for history as well, but I agree, the most important thing is to win the Super Bowl. 

Or do you think the Patriots were really satisfied with their 18-1 record two years ago???