Why The NFL Needs To Stop The "Lay Down" Games

J HartmanCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 03:  Rex Ryan, Head Coach of the New York Jets, has Gatorade dumped on him by players at the end of the fourth quarter in celebration of their 37-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Giants Stadium on January 3, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

There are a number of issues flying around the NFL surrounding the Colts lay down to the Jets.  Let's look at the reality of these issues.

This happens every year and the teams who get ousted from the playoffs are angry every year......no big deal, it's part of football.

The Colts sold out their chances at an undefeated season.........they earned the right to do whatever they want.

The fans were cheated because they didn't get to see the real Colts play............There are no guarantees when you buy a ticket.

The Colts preached that stats don't matter but yet they started key players yesterday to make sure to keep their consecutive start stats alive.........The impact of one game in Peyton Manning's consecutive start stat in meaningless, he achieved this stat over years of quality play and toughness.

So what is wrong with the picture?  Why does the NFL have to fix this problem?  Very simple......The NFL has a responsibility to make sure the best teams make the playoffs! This year played out a little worse than most previous years because the jets were possibly handed the two most critical games of the season.  THIS IS WRONG!  Maybe the Jets would have made the playoffs anyway, but then so would several teams if they had been gifted their last two games.

Roger Goodell, and the competition committee, has vowed to fix this issue but what can he do?

What can be done?  (I can only think of one, how about you?)

1. Schedule division opponents to play the last two weeks of the season thereby creating a little more incentive to compete.

What can't be done?

1. You can't install penalties to force teams to play key players.

2. We all know the injury report is basically a joke developed for the gambling world anyway, so that won't work.

3. Can you install rewards/incentives which would justify a league MVP getting hurt in a meaningless game?

Do you have any suggestions?