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View Full Version : The Colts and the Saints: when will they lose a game?



redsfandan
12-01-2009, 07:39 AM
It's been a long time since the '72 Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VII becoming the only NFL team to go undefeated in the regular season and the playoffs with a 17-0 record. Only a few teams have come close to matching the feat with New England the latest contender a couple of seasons ago when they became the first NFL team to finish 16-0 in the regular season but eventually lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Last night, the Saints joined the Indianapolis Colts at 11-0, the first time two NFL teams have opened with that many consecutive wins in the same season. So how do people think this season will end for those two teams?

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2009, 07:54 AM
I honestly don't see the Saints losing anytime soon and think they could very well go all the way undefeated. I think the Colts end up losing one or 2 games in the regular season and I don't believe they will make the Super Bowl although they are certainly capable of it. Just my gut feelings on the subject.

Chip R
12-01-2009, 09:21 AM
Just off the top of my head, it seems that going late into the season undefeated happens more often than it used to.

GIDP
12-01-2009, 09:37 AM
I refuse to believe the saints are this good. I think their D is too built off turn overs.

DTCromer
12-01-2009, 10:07 AM
I refuse to believe the saints are this good. I think their D is too built off turn overs.


Agree. Same with the Colts. They've played with fire too much and are bound to get burnt.

BRM
12-01-2009, 10:10 AM
I refuse to believe the saints are this good. I think their D is too built off turn overs.


Agree. Same with the Colts. They've played with fire too much and are bound to get burnt.

I sort of agree. I do think both teams are very, very good. I can't see either finishing the season undefeated though.

cincrazy
12-01-2009, 10:11 AM
I think the Colts lose to the Texans.

And the Saints... the only game I could see them losing is against the Cowboys.

However, come playoff time, even if both go undefeated, I don't think either is a lock for the Super Bowl by any stretch. The Colts clearly have weaknesses, and if the Bengals met them in the playoffs I wouldn't be intimidated by them. You can run on them, and if your line can give your QB enough time, you can throw on them. A tough defensive team that can run the ball and control the clock can knock them out come playoff time (does that team sound familiar? It should :)).

And while the Saints are a very good team, I still like the Vikings better in the NFC. The game being in the Superdome would obviously be a tremendous advantage for the Saints, but top to bottom, I think the Vikings have the better team, and they are actually my favorite to come out of that conference.

BRM
12-01-2009, 10:19 AM
I think the Colts lose to the Texans.

:confused:

Indy already swept Houston this year.

GIDP
12-01-2009, 10:25 AM
Agree. Same with the Colts. They've played with fire too much and are bound to get burnt.

I expect the colts to lose but Peyton is the best player in the NFL so unless he has a bad game it wont happen.

Hoosier Red
12-01-2009, 10:27 AM
:confused:

Indy already swept Houston this year.

I'm guessing he meant Titans and I agree, I think the streak stops this week.
Of course I've picked that for the last 3 weeks too.

Tony Cloninger
12-01-2009, 10:27 AM
I think the Saints could lose at Atlanta...IF Ryan id healthy.

The Cowboys..as has been the case the last few years...are over rated again. I think the Colts have a tougher schedule. Either the Titans or Jacksonville could beat them.

I am not going to say the Dolphins were not a dominant team back in the 72-73 years.....but in 1972 during the regular season they faced 0 teams with a winning record. The closest was MIN who was 7-7. They played 2 of the worst teams in football that year in BUFF and NE twice...and HOU which was 1-13. Their schedule was very easy that year.
However...saying that...the fact that they had to go to PITT to play the AFC Championship game beacuse of the stupid rule to rotate the games instead of teams with the best record hosting the game....shows that they clearly were the best team in football..even before beating WAS in the SB.

I just do not think they would have gone undefeated if they had to play an Oakland or Pittsburgh during that year.

Razor Shines
12-01-2009, 10:29 AM
The Colts don't have that tough of a schedule to finish up the season. The Titans will probably end up being their toughest test, but I don't think they'll go undefeated. They could lock up home field with a couple more wins and they have a history of taking it easy after that.

REDblooded
12-01-2009, 01:35 PM
The Colts don't have that tough of a schedule to finish up the season. The Titans will probably end up being their toughest test, but I don't think they'll go undefeated. They could lock up home field with a couple more wins and they have a history of taking it easy after that.

Which I absolutely hate... Their whole offense is predicated on timing, and whenever they mess with that, their offense comes out flat.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2009, 02:42 PM
I'm guessing he meant Titans and I agree, I think the streak stops this week.
Of course I've picked that for the last 3 weeks too.

Good call the Titans are the perfect fit to beat them. A run oriented offense and a decent pass defense. The Colts should run the ball more in this game but if for whatever reason they can't they are gonna have their hands full.

Caveat Emperor
12-01-2009, 03:08 PM
Just off the top of my head, it seems that going late into the season undefeated happens more often than it used to.

Yup. The NFL's rule changes re: pass defense restrictions and QB hits have been *very* kind to teams with elite-level QBs, like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady.

Dom Heffner
12-01-2009, 04:17 PM
I'm guessing he meant Titans and I agree, I think the streak stops this week.
Of course I've picked that for the last 3 weeks too.

The Titans barely beat the Cardinals at home- I don't think Indy has too much to worry about.

Vince Young is still Vince Young, I don't care how well he's doing the past month.

The Colts will lose once they rest their starters- and they will- so once home field is wrapped up, they are going to play Manning one series, and that's where they are most vulnerable.

The Fall Festival of Sorgi is about to take place.

Chip R
12-01-2009, 04:25 PM
The Titans barely beat the Cardinals at home- I don't think Indy has too much to worry about.

Vince Young is still Vince Young, I don't care how well he's doing the past month.

The Colts will lose once they rest their starters- and they will- so once home field is wrapped up, they are going to play Manning one series, and that's where they are most vulnerable.

The Fall Festival of Sorgi is about to take place.


And even though N.O. is undefeated, if they want home field advantage, they can't rest their starters since Minnesota's only loss is out of conference.

Razor Shines
12-01-2009, 04:55 PM
Which I absolutely hate... Their whole offense is predicated on timing, and whenever they mess with that, their offense comes out flat.

I hate it too. The year they won the Super Bowl they had to play until the last game. In years they perform poorly they take it easy their last two games and then site out the first week of the playoffs.

cincrazy
12-01-2009, 06:11 PM
:confused:

Indy already swept Houston this year.

Whoops. Final exams are getting to me. Definitely meant Titans :).

deltachi8
12-01-2009, 10:54 PM
The Titans barely beat the Cardinals at home- I don't think Indy has too much to worry about.

Vince Young is still Vince Young, I don't care how well he's doing the past month.

The Colts will lose once they rest their starters- and they will- so once home field is wrapped up, they are going to play Manning one series, and that's where they are most vulnerable.

The Fall Festival of Sorgi is about to take place.

Dom - I usually disagree with you on many things football, but agree with you here completely. I think Indy drops one late when everything is tied up and Peyton gets to be OC off the field instead of on it.

With all due respect for my Bengals fan friends on this board, I am rooting for both teams to go undefeated and meet in the Super Bowl. (as my Steelers are cooked, might as well have a new short term goal)

SandyD
12-03-2009, 08:34 PM
As a Saints fan, I'm not casting a vote. But after Monday night, I feel that the Saints "can" beat any team in the NFL. But ... I can still see the Saints losing more than one game the rest of the way. Hope they don't, but there are a lot things that could happen.

The next 3 games are the most dangerous.

Washington: at Washington. Seems like the Redskins have played better the last few weeks. And the Saints always seem to lose to a team you don't expect them to. Remember a few years ago when the 0-14 Bengals got their first and only victory vs the Saints? Other more serious factors: Short rest, road game after big win. The Saints are pretty banged up. The Saints have 18 players listed on the "no practice" or "limited practice" lists. On offense: 3 OL, 4 RBs (Bush, Thomas, Bell, Hamilton), and Shockey.

Key players on defense: DE Bobby McCray, LBs Vilma and Fujita, DB Randall Gay, Jabari Greer, Tracy Porter, Chris McAllister.

Atlanta: at Atlanta. This is a rivalry game, and anything can happen.

Dallas: At New Orleans. Big game. Sat night in the Superdome. This is clearly the Saints "toughest" remaining opponent. We'll see how that goes.

After that, it's Tampa Bay (In the 'dome) and Carolina (on the road). Both division opponents, but both also having down years. Saints "should" win those, other than the "any given Sunday" thing.

Forgot to say: Sean Payton and Greg Williams so far have done really good respective coaching jobs with this team. Williams has a lot to do with the improvement on Defense. And Payton sounds like he's done a pretty good job keeping the players focused on this week's game rather than the record. (a recent article said he's placed mouse traps around the locker room to remind players "not to eat the cheese" from the media questions, hype, etc.)

Things that worry me most: They can't seem to run the clock out at the end of the game. Also, the kicking game. Namely Carney. They won't try a FG longer than 40 yards, and he's been a bit inconsistent even at those. There have already been situations where they've had to punt or go for it on 4th down because they didn't trust Carney's leg. Hasn't cost them a game yet, but it could.

Razor Shines
12-06-2009, 06:05 PM
I'm guessing he meant Titans and I agree, I think the streak stops this week.
Of course I've picked that for the last 3 weeks too.

Keep guessin' :).

GIDP
12-06-2009, 06:30 PM
I still think the Saints are no where near as good as their record indicates. This returning things for TDs will not last.

cincrazy
12-06-2009, 07:10 PM
I still think the Saints are no where near as good as their record indicates. This returning things for TDs will not last.

They almost remind me of the 2005 Bengals. Explosive offense, and an opportunistic defense... but not what I'd call a good defense.

I think the Vikings are a better team than them.

But the Superdome is such a HUGE home field advantage, that it might not matter who the better team is if the Saints get home field advantage.

Redsfan320
12-06-2009, 07:30 PM
IMHO, the Colts now basically have a golden path to an undefeated season. Their remaining schedule:

vs. Denver Lions
@ Jacksonville Jaguars
vs. New York Jets
@ Buffalo Bills
GO COLTS!

From sunny Florida :cool:,
320

gilpdawg
12-07-2009, 03:50 AM
IMHO, the Colts now basically have a golden path to an undefeated season. Their remaining schedule:

vs. Denver Lions
@ Jacksonville Jaguars
vs. New York Jets
@ Buffalo Bills
GO COLTS!

From sunny Florida :cool:,
320

Denver Lions?

Redsfan320
12-07-2009, 08:04 AM
Denver Lions?

The Lions are one of the worst teams in the league. I'm positive that the Colts will take them down. Are you a Lions fan maybe? ;)

From sunny Florida :cool:,
320

DTCromer
12-07-2009, 08:11 AM
IMHO, the Colts now basically have a golden path to an undefeated season. Their remaining schedule:

vs. Denver Lions
@ Jacksonville Jaguars
vs. New York Jets
@ Buffalo Bills
GO COLTS!

From sunny Florida :cool:,
320

@Buffalo will be the game to watch. If Caldwell was smart, he'd play his starters the entire game and ensure the win if they are 15-0.

GIDP
12-07-2009, 10:28 AM
The Lions are one of the worst teams in the league. I'm positive that the Colts will take them down. Are you a Lions fan maybe? ;)

From sunny Florida :cool:,
320

Its the Detroit Lions.

Hoosier Red
12-07-2009, 10:47 AM
Its the Detroit Lions.

Yeah but the Colts are playing the Denver Broncos.
AFC North gets the NFC North this year.

GIDP
12-07-2009, 12:08 PM
Yeah but the Colts are playing the Denver Broncos.
AFC North gets the NFC North this year.

I dont even know what he was talking about. I just assumed he got the location of hte team wrong not the actual team.

Redsfan320
12-07-2009, 04:14 PM
Its the Detroit Lions. [/QUOTE
[QUOTE]Yeah but the Colts are playing the Denver Broncos.

Whoops. Just realized my mistake. Sorry about that. All I saw on their NFL.com schedule was a big DEN, and for some reason that went to my mind as Denver Lions (of course, they don't exist). :redface:

From sunny Florida :cool:,
320

redsfandan
12-13-2009, 10:46 PM
Indianapolis' Jim Caldwell is the first coach to win his first 13 games in the NFL. Noone else is close. Dungy was also lucky to get the Indy gig. Must be nice to get hired on to coach a team that's already a contender and has a HOF qb to boot.

GIDP
12-19-2009, 11:32 PM
Saints finally lost.

Like most of us thought once they face a team that doesnt give them the ball on turn overs odds are they were going to lose.

Tony Cloninger
12-19-2009, 11:50 PM
Yet they still almost won despite their mistakes. Of all the teams to lose to....now we will get triple the Cowboy stories beacuse 10 is not enough.

GIDP
12-19-2009, 11:52 PM
They really didnt come close to winning.

Tony Cloninger
12-20-2009, 12:00 AM
Well they came close to almost tying it? :D

GIDP
12-20-2009, 12:01 AM
they had a chance to tie it but they really sucked the whole game.

redsfandan
12-27-2009, 07:05 PM
Looks like the last of the unbeaten is about to fall with the Colts down 29-15 to the Jets with 4+ minutes left.

cincrazy
12-27-2009, 07:51 PM
Indianapolis' Jim Caldwell is the first coach to win his first 13 games in the NFL. Noone else is close. Dungy was also lucky to get the Indy gig. Must be nice to get hired on to coach a team that's already a contender and has a HOF qb to boot.

I don't think that's fair to Dungy. He put that team over the top. He also took a moribound Tampa franchise with NO QB whatsoever, and built a monster. The man is a great, great, great coach.

Captain Hook
12-27-2009, 07:57 PM
Looks like the last of the unbeaten is about to fall with the Colts down 29-15 to the Jets with 4+ minutes left.

Not a big Colts fan but I know they took Manning out at some point when the final outcome was still in question.I wonder what Colts fans think about the coach giving up on the perfect season?

I think that it was a good move.Colts loose and it doesn't seem like anyone cares because they benched Manning and that's the reason they went down today.The Saints loose while playing their best guys and it seems like they have big problems.

Besides, what did going 16-0 get New England a few years ago?

redsfandan
12-27-2009, 09:42 PM
I don't think that's fair to Dungy. He put that team over the top. He also took a moribound Tampa franchise with NO QB whatsoever, and built a monster. The man is a great, great, great coach.
I would subtract a couple greats. I would agree that he took the Colts to the next level. But my point was that it wasn't like the Colts didn't already have talent when he took over. Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, they were all waiting for him in Indy. What the Colts needed most at that point was a defense. I bet I wasn't the only one that thought it was a good fit considering Dungy's background.

Apparently Cowher is thinking about coaching again. I bet he doesn't start off with so much talent at the offensive skill positions.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2009, 12:07 AM
Besides, what did going 16-0 get New England a few years ago?

What does pulling their foot off the gas do to Indy most years?

Captain Hook
12-28-2009, 12:43 AM
What does pulling their foot off the gas do to Indy most years?

It's a very debatable strategy for sure.

I think that in most sports it has been proven to some extent that once you get to the playoffs anything can happen.Number one seeds can be eliminated by teams that barley qualified or just limped into the postseason.We've even seen those lowly qualifiers make it to the cusp of a championship or even win it all.

Who knows what the Colts will do but I'd be willing to bet that they wouldn't do much with Manning sitting on the sideline injured.IMO one or two meaningless losses will have no affect on the outcome of their first playoff game.

GAC
12-28-2009, 06:10 AM
Why take the risk of injury to your QB in a meaningless game? He gets hurt, then what happens to your season and post-season chances?

What is more important to Indy fans? 16-0 or a SB victory?

Decisions like this are usually a lose-lose scenario on coaches with their fans.

Donder
12-28-2009, 07:45 AM
What is more important to Indy fans? 16-0 or a SB victory?

People like to talk like these are mutually exclusive. Is there anyone out there who believes that the Patriots lost to the Giants because they played hard to the end of the season?

Indy fans (like myself) are admittedly spoiled. We're watching one of the great QBs of all time and have won at least 12 games for seven consecutive seasons. Although we'd love for the team to have more than one championship, we have gotten to see a championship. But you know what else Colts fans would absolutely love to see? Manning being considered the greatest QB ever. He'll likely own a lot of the major records, but being the only 19-0 quarterback would add a certain mystique to his career. So I don't think it's fair to say what's more important when trying for one (16-0) most likely doesn't hurt the chances of the other.

Right or wrong a sad side effect of Caldwell's decision is that they took what could have been a must see game and a chance for a great celebration next week in Buffalo into a game that I probably won't even watch. In fact after yesterday can Caldwell legitimately justify making the team fly to Buffalo? Let's go all in, Jim, and forfeit the game next week and stay at home to rest. You have absolutely nothing to gain by playing the game at this point.

blumj
12-28-2009, 08:30 AM
Not a big Colts fan but I know they took Manning out at some point when the final outcome was still in question.I wonder what Colts fans think about the coach giving up on the perfect season?

I think that it was a good move.Colts loose and it doesn't seem like anyone cares because they benched Manning and that's the reason they went down today.The Saints loose while playing their best guys and it seems like they have big problems.

Besides, what did going 16-0 get New England a few years ago?

It gave them the opportunity to do something historic, something that would have been truly special, and the fact that they happened to fail doesn't change that, they tried their best to make the most of that opportunity, while the Colts just spit in its face.

RANDY IN INDY
12-28-2009, 08:35 AM
If Manning plays a down against Buffalo, it is every bit as dangerous from an injury standpoint as going after the win in the third quarter yesterday. Let's see how they handle this week and see if they are consistent. Very rarely do teams and players get the chance to do something that is truly special. I was very disappointed in Caldwell's decision, and I believe his players were, as well. The Colts basically mailed it in yesterday, and it really affected the teams in contention for the playoffs. I would not have as much a problem with it if they were playing someone who had already qualified or someone who was already out of contention. Something not right about basically giving a game to someone in contention. I think the integrity of the decision is awful, given the circumstances.

blumj
12-28-2009, 08:52 AM
And what happened to Sorgi, why Painter?

Eric_the_Red
12-28-2009, 08:52 AM
I don't understand the Colts resting their starters in a game that was still close during a perfect season. They will get a week to rest before the playoffs already, and could possibly get a big lead against Buffalo next week and rest their starters then.

Strange decision, to say the least.

mth123
12-28-2009, 08:53 AM
Why take the risk of injury to your QB in a meaningless game? He gets hurt, then what happens to your season and post-season chances?

What is more important to Indy fans? 16-0 or a SB victory?

Decisions like this are usually a lose-lose scenario on coaches with their fans.

This was about how they did it though. They played everybody for 2 and a 1/2 quarters anyway. They will still be bruised and sore and now they have this horrible taste in their mouth. They get into a competitive game where they have a lead that amounted to less than one score and stopped and just let the other team win. That was pulling the rug out from under the players, the fans and everyone and they really didn't rest anybody. Either play or rest. If they go out and build a big lead or fall into a big hole, then I can see pulling guys, but if the team is going to start out the game by trying to win with the starters, then they should stay in there until its clearly decided. If they decide its not important, then Manning and Wayne should be in Street Clothes when the game begins.

They also accomplished nothing as far as the reserves getting work. If the back-up QB is going to be given a little work, it should at least be while Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne are in there. Not much that a team can learn about its number 2 guy when Tom Santi is his top target.

mth123
12-28-2009, 08:55 AM
And what happened to Sorgi, why Painter?

Sorgi is out for the year. Not sure of the exact injury.

mth123
12-28-2009, 08:55 AM
I don't understand the Colts resting their starters in a game that was still close during a perfect season. They will get a week to rest before the playoffs already, and could possibly get a big lead against Buffalo next week and rest their starters then.

Strange decision, to say the least.

Agreed.

blumj
12-28-2009, 09:04 AM
Sorgi is out for the year. Not sure of the exact injury.
Thanks, I must have missed that, or forgotten it.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 09:30 AM
Ah, the pulling starters debate. This is a no-win decision in the area of popular opinion. I guess Caldwell said "hmmmm, priorities, Super Bowl or perfect season? I say Super Bowl." Personally, I don't think Indy has any responsibility for the opponents effect on the playoff picture. They are eyeing the prize, which obviously wasn't a perfect season. I can respect that decision.

macro
12-28-2009, 10:45 AM
Given the reaction of the players on the sidelines, I'm wondering what this might do to the chemistry of the team. They were making no effort to hide their frustration. Also, they'll enter their divisional playoff game without having played a game in almost a month. How much is that going to hurt?

I thought the decision was a horrible one, and one that will be discussed a lot in the coming weeks, months, and years. And if the Colts don't at least make the Super Bowl, it will be questioned even more.

BRM
12-28-2009, 10:48 AM
If Manning plays a down against Buffalo, it is every bit as dangerous from an injury standpoint as going after the win in the third quarter yesterday. Let's see how they handle this week and see if they are consistent. Very rarely do teams and players get the chance to do something that is truly special. I was very disappointed in Caldwell's decision, and I believe his players were, as well. The Colts basically mailed it in yesterday, and it really affected the teams in contention for the playoffs. I would not have as much a problem with it if they were playing someone who had already qualified or someone who was already out of contention. Something not right about basically giving a game to someone in contention. I think the integrity of the decision is awful, given the circumstances.

It's an interesting debate. There is an unwritten rule in baseball that you don't lay down against teams in the playoff race. Play it tough, make them earn it. Not so in football. Teams do what Caldwell did all the time. Only they usually only play the starters for a series or two, if at all. Caldwell's decision was strange in that he let them play until midway through the 3rd quarter before throwing in the towel.

As to the "what if Peyton gets hurt" question. It is a tough choice. You let him rest the last game and a half plus a bye week, and you run the risk of the offense being flat and they are a first round exit. Or you play to win the final two and run the risk of him or one or the other starters getting hurt. Touch call indeed.

BuckeyeRedleg
12-28-2009, 10:49 AM
I think it was pretty weak to pull the starters.

Not only to his team (who deserved the shot at making history), but to the rest of the teams trying to make the playoffs.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite and think the Bengals should rest up and give the Jets another one if NE wins next week. Can you imagine if the Jets get in because their last two opponents laid down? Wow.

BRM
12-28-2009, 10:51 AM
Given the reaction of the players on the sidelines, I'm wondering what this might do to the chemistry of the team. They were making no effort to hide their frustration. Also, they'll enter their divisional playoff game without having played a game in almost a month. How much is that going to hurt?

I thought the decision was a horrible one, and one that will be discussed a lot in the coming weeks, months, and years. And if the Colts don't at least make the Super Bowl, it will be questioned even more.

Absolutely. If they come out flat in that 1st game and get beat, this will be a very hot topic. However, if Manning had suffered a season ending injury in the 4th quarter yesterday, Caldwell would have gotten reamed for that decision too.

BuckeyeRedleg
12-28-2009, 11:04 AM
Absolutely. If they come out flat in that 1st game and get beat, this will be a very hot topic. However, if Manning had suffered a season ending injury in the 4th quarter yesterday, Caldwell would have gotten reamed for that decision too.

True, but realistically what is more likely to happen? Manning has never been injured in his career. If you had to bet everything on it, the percentages lean to a first round exit. It already happened a few years ago when they were in the same situation.

It just seems to be kind of a scared way to coach, like coaching not to lose (see: the Bengals yesterday, Jim Tressel) and sometimes that mentality is contagious. Plus, I would think all this worrying about players not getting hurt can lead to a team playing tentative and getting hurt.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 11:17 AM
The only problem with "they'll come out flat" theory is that there is really no way to prove it, and it is just as likely that they'll come out fresh rather than battle wearied from having to win to get in.

Attributing early exits in the playoffs to resting players in the final weeks of the season merely begs the question, and I do not think there is any more than anecdotal evidence to say one way or the other. If teams look to getting injured players back for the playoffs as making their team better, then why wouldn't fresh players for the playoffs that were not injured not be just as desirable?

blumj
12-28-2009, 11:19 AM
I think it was pretty weak to pull the starters.

Not only to his team (who deserved the shot at making history), but to the rest of the teams trying to make the playoffs.

Of course, I'm a hypocrite and think the Bengals should rest up and give the Jets another one if NE wins next week. Can you imagine if the Jets get in because their last two opponents laid down? Wow.
Jets would get in over the "dead bodies" of several teams who lost some really close games to the Colts and Bengals.

BRM
12-28-2009, 12:16 PM
By Tedy Bruschi
ESPNBoston.com

"Our goal wasn't a perfect season."

Those were the words of Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell on Sunday after his team played the New York Jets.

Mission accomplished then.

With quarterback Peyton Manning on the sideline for most of the second half, the Colts lost to the Jets 29-15 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The manner in which Indianapolis' pursuit of a perfect season ended was disappointing.

Having been a member of the 2007 New England Patriots team that completed the regular season 16-0, I expected more from an Indianapolis team that I thought would go for an undefeated season. I was actually rooting for the Colts to make a run for perfection.

Manning will more than likely own every quarterback record known to man by the time he's done, so why shouldn't he be the one to complete a season with a 19-0 record?

There's one problem, though. Manning didn't seem to want it either. Just like his head coach, he seemed to be favoring the decision to rest.

My question is: Rest for what? The playoffs?

The Colts already have a first-round bye. That is the time to rest.

There aren't many times in your life when you have a chance to do something that has never been done before. When you are faced with a challenge like that, my feeling is that you embrace it and see if you've got what it takes to conquer it.

That's the way we felt in New England. And yes, we lost the Super Bowl, but let me be clear: We lost the Super Bowl because the New York Giants played better than we did that day. It was not because we were tired and needed more rest.

Maybe Caldwell, being a rookie head coach, didn't want to shoulder the burden of being the coach of the team that surpassed the 1972 Dolphins. Yes, surpassed, because 19-0 in this day and age would be more celebrated than a 17-0 record 37 years ago.

I didn't see much disagreement from the Colts players on the sideline when they were pulled out of the game either. Manning did look like he wanted to play, but looking like it and telling your coach that you're playing (e.g., Brett Favre) are two different things. Maybe the players didn't want the pressure either.

I understand that they are trying to win the Super Bowl and they have decided that resting gives them the best chance. But I always thought the offseason was the time for rest.

Here's the reality: Some teams don't just play for championships, they play to be the best there has ever been. Others are just satisfied with doing what's required. The Colts decided that resting is more important than making a run at history. They are telling us that what they have done up to this point in the season is good enough. They are satisfied with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. 19-0? No big deal. History? Didn't want it.

Should the Indianapolis Colts go on to win the Super Bowl, do you celebrate them or wonder: What if they did want it?

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/columns/story?columnist=bruschi_tedy&id=4775238

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2009, 12:34 PM
As to the "what if Peyton gets hurt" question. It is a tough choice. You let him rest the last game and a half plus a bye week, and you run the risk of the offense being flat and they are a first round exit. Or you play to win the final two and run the risk of him or one or the other starters getting hurt. Touch call indeed.

They "Keep Peyton healthy" argument is just funny to me. I've never seen a QB more adept at getting rid of the football on time and avoiding being touched than Peyton Manning. He's like the anti-Roethlisberger: Manning not only avoids sacks with his quickness, but he avoids being hit AFTER throws with his incredible anticipation and timing.

He's such a low injury risk on the field that pulling him just doesn't make sense to me. If you're that concerned about injury, leave him in there and go conservative with lots of running. The *threat* of Peyton Manning throwing is more effective than any backup QB actually throwing, as far as I'm concerned.

BRM
12-28-2009, 12:38 PM
They "Keep Peyton healthy" argument is just funny to me. I've never seen a QB more adept at getting rid of the football on time and avoiding being touched than Peyton Manning. He's like the anti-Roethlisberger: Manning not only avoids sacks with his quickness, but he avoids being hit AFTER throws with his incredible anticipation and timing.

He's such a low injury risk on the field that pulling him just doesn't make sense to me. If you're that concerned about injury, leave him in there and go conservative with lots of running. The *threat* of Peyton Manning throwing is more effective than any backup QB actually throwing, as far as I'm concerned.

Agreed. The risk of him getting hurt isn't very high IMO. Besides, if that's really the concern, why play him at all? If Caldwell is truly concerned with injuries and resting starters, sit them the entire game. Playing them for 2 and 1/2 quarters didn't make sense if the plan is to ultimately rest them and prevent them from getting hurt.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 12:47 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/columns/story?columnist=bruschi_tedy&id=4775238Boy oh boy, where to start.

The players weren't pulled to rest, but to avoid injury in a meaningless game.

Who is Teddy Bruschi to criticize someone else's goals? Who is he to say that "making history" is the only acceptable goal? Should I try to climb Mt. Everest just to make history, although doing so is very risky, even unto death?

To say the Colts are "satisfied" with only doing what's required, that is to do what's best for their team in order to win a Super Bowl is less than going for an undefeated season begs the question. I imagine hindsight opinions of which accomplishment the NE players would rather have--undefeated reg. season or Super Bowl ring--are varied.

Finally, the "satisfied" Colts should ask Teddy how things are going with post-concussion syndrome.

All Teddy did with this article is come off as arrogant.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2009, 01:19 PM
This, as Peter King points out on SI.com today, is just another argument against expanding the regular season.

BRM
12-28-2009, 01:27 PM
I agree with him. Here's what he wrote.


3. I think I'd present this scenario to you, regarding the proposed 18-game schedule: Suppose the Colts started the season 14-0, and with four games to play, the closest AFC team to them in the standings were New England at 10-4, and Indy had already beaten New England. So the Colts have homefield through the AFC playoff clinched. And say Weeks 17 and 18 are home games. Now you have four games that mean nothing to a team; this year there were three. More games on the schedule could well mean more going-through the motions to make sure guys don't get hurt.

I also like this one.


2. I think the NFL is going to have to ask questions to the Competition Committee, and soon, about whether it's smart to ask fans to pay real money if teams are going to treat late-season games like exhibition games.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 01:34 PM
2. I think the NFL is going to have to ask questions to the Competition Committee, and soon, about whether it's smart to ask fans to pay real money if teams are going to treat late-season games like exhibition games. Is this opposed to fake money for late season games? ;) This is not a good argument at all. You buy tickets for a game, there is always the chance that the game will be a dud, or that marquee matchups will not happen due to injury, or that a good player will get injured early in the game. This stuff comes up every year, I think they just recycle the articles, or at least cut and paste their same arguments to the same dilemma from the prior year. Sort of like complaining about snow in the winter or hot weather in the middle of summer. It's just the nature of the beast.

BRM
12-28-2009, 01:40 PM
Is this opposed to fake money for late season games? ;) This is not a good argument at all. You buy tickets for a game, there is always the chance that the game will be a dud, or that marquee matchups will not happen due to injury, or that a good player will get injured early in the game. This stuff comes up every year, I think they just recycle the articles, or at least cut and paste their same arguments to the same dilemma from the prior year. Sort of like complaining about snow in the winter or hot weather in the middle of summer. It's just the nature of the beast.

Big difference between one or two starters getting hurt and benching the entire group of front-line players. The argument I'd make is simply that it's just a risk you take when you buy late-season game tickets. There's a chance your team is going to play it safe and sit all the marquee players. If that's a big concern for you, don't buy tickets to those games.

GAC
12-28-2009, 02:05 PM
Boy oh boy, where to start.

The players weren't pulled to rest, but to avoid injury in a meaningless game.

Who is Teddy Bruschi to criticize someone else's goals? Who is he to say that "making history" is the only acceptable goal? Should I try to climb Mt. Everest just to make history, although doing so is very risky, even unto death?

To say the Colts are "satisfied" with only doing what's required, that is to do what's best for their team in order to win a Super Bowl is less than going for an undefeated season begs the question. I imagine hindsight opinions of which accomplishment the NE players would rather have--undefeated reg. season or Super Bowl ring--are varied.

Finally, the "satisfied" Colts should ask Teddy how things are going with post-concussion syndrome.

All Teddy did with this article is come off as arrogant.

Thanks for saving me the time to have to type exactly what you posted above. :thumbup:

Some, like Teddy, suggest.... why not go after BOTH (perfection and SB victory? And I say it's a valid point. But what happens if both are thwarted by an injury to your star QB or other key player?

I'm not necessarily saying I agree with that logic; but that I understand the reasoning behind it. But this is what the the NFL has evolved to with this multi-millionaire players. Growing up, you didn't see teams resting players the last week or two before the post-season. It was just unheard of. But the environment is now different.

We had a similar debate on this a couple years ago, concerning teams, in the last couple games of the season, when they have a post-season berth locked up, resting/pulling their starters.

And very valid points were brought up by many who were in opposition to it....

#1 - as a fan of that team, and possessing a ticket, spending the money and time to go to the game to see your fav players play, it's a "smack in your face" to not be able to see them play. Isn't that what you PAID to see?

It bugs the crap out of me to see teams lacking the "motivation" to play their starters in the last two weeks of the season simply because they've locked up a berth, and don't want to take the risk.

Playing football is a game of risks. You have no greater risk in weeks 15/16, then you do in weeks 1/2, when it comes to injury.

And then there was this scenario two years ago, which was in week #16, and also involved Indy.

My Browns were actually on the brink of making one of their rare (very rare) post-season appearances. The Browns went 10-6. The final piece of the AFC playoff picture came down to the final game on the final weekend of the regular season. Tennessee had to win to make the postseason for the first time since 2003, while an Indy win would have sent the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Indy QB Peyton Manning and other starters were on the sidelines by the second quarter. The Titans won 16-10. Browns eliminated.

Now I fully understand that teams (coaches) have the right to make those types of decisions- and do so to avoid injury to key players - but that doesn't mean I, as a fan, have to like it. It still pee'd me off big time.

That's why I loved seeing 13-3 Indy exit the post season in the first round that year by SD. :D

BRM
12-28-2009, 02:12 PM
That's why I loved seeing 13-3 Indy exit the post season in the first round that year by SD.

And lots of Colts fans blamed that on the team playing flat due to the starters sitting so much at the end of the season.

Back to the injury concern issue - if that's truly the concern, why play the starters at all? Really, if you are concerned about an injury to the star QB, WR, whatever, just sit them the entire game(s) until the postseason.

GAC
12-28-2009, 02:24 PM
And lots of Colts fans blamed that on the team playing flat due to the starters sitting so much at the end of the season.

And while that is possible, I personally have a hard time accepting that line of reasoning. Some how sitting out the second half of the last game of the season, after you've been playing with this same group of guys for the entire year, some how made them flat? I just have a hard time accepting that line of reasoning.

Even though they were "rested", it's not like they were really resting. They're still out there daily on that practice field, running through routines, practicing plays, getting ready for the post-season.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2009, 02:26 PM
Even though they were "rested", it's not like they were really resting. They're still out there daily on that practice field, running through routines, practicing plays, getting ready for the post-season.

Yeah, they were practicing, but I'd guess that the mental edge disappears a bit when you're running through practices knowing you'll be spending the majority of a game on the sidelines watching.

Athletes are cretures of habit -- all of this "resting" and "play 2 series and then come out" disrupts the routines that have made the team successful. That's a bad thing, IMO.

BRM
12-28-2009, 02:34 PM
Someone mentioned this in one of these threads and it's an interesting point. The Jets are likely going to make the playoffs this year thanks in large part to two teams laying down for them in their final two games of the season. This assumes the Bengals sit their starters this Sunday, which I think they will. Is this good for the game? Bad? Irrelevant? I don't have the answer, I know that.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 02:53 PM
I think it is best said that a team earns the right to make the decision in the last few weeks. The league is so highly competitive that the only ethic in play here is taking care of your own business and everyone else needs to take care of theirs.

That is what I said after the Browns incident GAC referred to above and that is what I say now. Indy could not worry about the Browns or the sport because the Browns or the sport don't give a lick if the Colts ever won another football game from that point on.

All these side issues are someone else's problem that they want teams like Indy to care about. Well, they made it clear. They care about doing what they think is best to win the Super Bowl. All the chatter from outside their organization is rightfully irrelevant and ignored.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2009, 02:54 PM
Is this good for the game? Bad? Irrelevant? I don't have the answer, I know that.

Seeing as it gets a New York team into the post-season, I think the league is probably applauding loudly behind closed doors.

BRM
12-28-2009, 02:56 PM
Seeing as it gets a New York team into the post-season, I think the league is probably applauding loudly behind closed doors.

The league might be but what about the fans in Denver, Pittsburgh and Houston? I'm guessing they aren't excited about it. That said, I'm sort of at the point tr mentioned. The Colts and Bengals have both earned the right to do whatever they want by taking care of business earlier. Not that I necessarily like it but they have earned that right IMO.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 02:58 PM
Seeing as it gets a New York team into the post-season, I think the league is probably applauding loudly behind closed doors.This isn't baseball. The NFL isn't dependant on the NY teams.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2009, 03:13 PM
This isn't baseball. The NFL isn't dependant on the NY teams.

The NFL is dependent on New York teams succeeding, but they (and the networks) certainly don't mind seeing the opportunity to televise an additional New York game.

Make no mistake, EVERY league wants their teams in New York to do well.

RANDY IN INDY
12-28-2009, 03:17 PM
I wonder what Johnny Unitas would have said to Caldwell if he would have tried to pull him out of a game in the quest for a perfect season? I think I know the answer to that one. Times have changed.

Eric_the_Red
12-28-2009, 03:50 PM
To the teams that just miss the playoffs to the Jets and their complaining fans: tough. You want to avoid this situation? Then win some games.

Steelers and their fans complaining about not making the playoffs because the Colts & Bengals laid down for the Jets? Hilarious! How about beating the Bengals once this year? How about not losing at home to the Raiders? Take care of business and this is not an issue.

BRM
12-28-2009, 03:53 PM
To the teams that just miss the playoffs to the Jets and their complaining fans: tough. You want to avoid this situation? Then win some games.

Steelers and their fans complaining about not making the playoffs because the Colts & Bengals laid down for the Jets? Hilarious! How about beating the Bengals once this year? How about not losing at home to the Raiders? Take care of business and this is not an issue.

Good point. Take care of business and you don't have to worry about what others are doing or not doing. Still, I definitely see how fans would be upset that another team gets two wins basically handed to them when their favorite has to earn all of their wins to have a chance to get in. Such is life in the NFL though. It ain't changing anytime soon.

BRM
12-28-2009, 04:00 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4776421

Caldwell says the move was about protecting Manning and the rest of the starters from injury. Polian agreed saying this:


"Football logic has to come into play, and that logic is it makes no sense to have guys out there with the potential for injuries," Polian said. "We played for 16 weeks, sharp as any team in football. The good thing is that none of this mattered in the standings."

I understand all of that but I still don't understand why you make that move in the 3rd quarter. If the risk of injury is the reason, then those guys should not have played a single down this week or last. Sit them until the playoffs roll around. Peyton is just as much at risk of injury on the opening drive as he is in the 2nd half.

Redlegs23
12-28-2009, 04:06 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4776421

Caldwell says the move was about protecting Manning and the rest of the starters from injury. Polian agreed saying this:



I understand all of that but I still don't understand why you make that move in the 3rd quarter. If the risk of injury is the reason, then those guys should not have played a single down this week or last. Sit them until the playoffs roll around. Peyton is just as much at risk of injury on the opening drive as he is in the 2nd half.

Maybe he wanted to get them some snaps to keep them sharp. Once he got them the amount of snaps he was comfortable with he sat them to not risk an injury. It makes sense to me.

Roy Tucker
12-28-2009, 04:08 PM
My guess is that Caldwell was trying to balance keeping the first stringers sharp while not getting them hurt. 2 1/2 quarters was his dividing line.

I think this whole perfect season thing is a media-generated bunch of malarkey. As I read somewhere, they don't put your record on the Lombardi Trophy. I haven't heard of a current player yet that was all gung-ho to be perfect.

BRM
12-28-2009, 04:10 PM
Maybe he wanted to get them some snaps to keep them sharp. Once he got them the amount of snaps he was comfortable with he sat them to not risk an injury. It makes sense to me.

Sounds like they are trying to walk the fine line of "stay sharp" and "stay healthy". Difficult to accomplish both.

BRM
12-28-2009, 04:11 PM
I think this whole perfect season thing is a media-generated bunch of malarkey. As I read somewhere, they don't put your record on the Lombardi Trophy. I haven't heard of a current player yet that was all gung-ho to be perfect.

None of the Colts players are going to rock the boat with the coach. They will all show respect and say "we are following coaches orders".

Razor Shines
12-28-2009, 04:45 PM
None of the Colts players are going to rock the boat with the coach. They will all show respect and say "we are following coaches orders".

Yeah, that was one of the problems I had with Bruschi's article. He said "Peyton didn't look like he wanted to play". That's stupid. I'd bet that Peyton would have played if it was up to him, but like you say he's not going to cause any controversy.

redsfanmia
12-28-2009, 04:49 PM
None of the Colts players are going to rock the boat with the coach. They will all show respect and say "we are following coaches orders".

The players followed the company line but you could read into alot what they did not say that makes me think that the players are not happy at all. Jeff Saturday was extremely critical of the decision.

traderumor
12-28-2009, 07:15 PM
I wonder what Johnny Unitas would have said to Caldwell if he would have tried to pull him out of a game in the quest for a perfect season? I think I know the answer to that one. Times have changed.Yes, sir? :p:

George Anderson
12-28-2009, 09:05 PM
Yeah, that was one of the problems I had with Bruschi's article. He said "Peyton didn't look like he wanted to play". That's stupid. I'd bet that Peyton would have played if it was up to him, but like you say he's not going to cause any controversy.

If Bruschi said that then he is a moron. Peyton still had his helmet on, he wanted to play. If he didn't he would have been sitting on the bench with his helmet off drinking gatorade.

George Anderson
12-28-2009, 09:11 PM
My guess is that Caldwell was trying to balance keeping the first stringers sharp while not getting them hurt. 2 1/2 quarters was his dividing line.

I think this whole perfect season thing is a media-generated bunch of malarkey. As I read somewhere, they don't put your record on the Lombardi Trophy. I haven't heard of a current player yet that was all gung-ho to be perfect.

As a Colts fan I am not crazy about what happened but I like the happy medium that Caldwell seems to be trying to do by playing the players enough to keep them sharp but not to much to risk injury. I realize Mannings history tells us he rarely gets hurt but is it really worth risking the chance it could happen and end any chance of a SB just so the Colts would have the opportunity to run the table?


Bottom line is if Indy wins the SB then all will be forgotten and forgiven.

Donder
12-28-2009, 10:56 PM
If Bruschi said that then he is a moron. Peyton still had his helmet on, he wanted to play. If he didn't he would have been sitting on the bench with his helmet off drinking gatorade.

The commentators said he kept his helmet on so he could hear the play calls. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the past when he's been pulled out hasn't he actually had the headset on calling plays as a way to "stay sharp?"

That said I do agree that he still wanted to play.

Donder
12-28-2009, 10:59 PM
Bottom line is if Indy wins the SB then all will be forgotten and forgiven.

I've heard this a lot today but I don't buy it. If they win the Super Bowl, Colts fans will be asking "what if" for years. Forgiven? Probably. Forgotten? Not soon.

Captain Hook
12-29-2009, 12:10 AM
I've heard this a lot today but I don't buy it. If they win the Super Bowl, Colts fans will be asking "what if" for years. Forgiven? Probably. Forgotten? Not soon.

Why is an undefeated season so important?I would be very surprised to hear that any team in the NFL makes going undefeated one of their goals.

As far as fans go.If you don't feel that a SB win isn't the most important thing that can be accomplished by your team and that if accomplishing that doesn't completely trump anything that has taken place during the course of that season then imo your priorities as a fan may be in question.

George Anderson
12-29-2009, 01:08 AM
I've heard this a lot today but I don't buy it. If they win the Super Bowl, Colts fans will be asking "what if" for years. Forgiven? Probably. Forgotten? Not soon.

But Colts fans could also be asking "what if" the Colts hadn't of played Manning in the meaningless Jets game where he broke his leg in the 4th quarter and ended their SB hopes.

The whole thing was a gamble....do they play all their starters and hope all stay healthy or do they do the safe thing and give them enough playing time to keep them sharp but pull them soon enough to avoid injury. The Colts could of rolled the dice and went for the undefeated season with a SB victory or they could have went with the safer bet of keeping the players safe and improving the chance of a SB victory.

Bottom line is I am not a huge fan of what happened but I would rather be dissapointed now in that the Colts will not go undefeated as opposed to a early exit in the playoffs due to a Manning injury.

blumj
12-29-2009, 02:57 AM
Why is an undefeated season so important?I would be very surprised to hear that any team in the NFL makes going undefeated one of their goals.

As far as fans go.If you don't feel that a SB win isn't the most important thing that can be accomplished by your team and that if accomplishing that doesn't completely trump anything that has taken place during the course of that season then imo your priorities as a fan may be in question.

If a team makes winning their first game their first goal, and winning their next game their 2nd goal, and the next game, and game after game all season long, how is that any different from going undefeated being one of their goals? Because they don't call it that?

blumj
12-29-2009, 03:10 AM
But Colts fans could also be asking "what if" the Colts hadn't of played Manning in the meaningless Jets game where he broke his leg in the 4th quarter and ended their SB hopes.

The whole thing was a gamble....do they play all their starters and hope all stay healthy or do they do the safe thing and give them enough playing time to keep them sharp but pull them soon enough to avoid injury. The Colts could of rolled the dice and went for the undefeated season with a SB victory or they could have went with the safer bet of keeping the players safe and improving the chance of a SB victory.

Bottom line is I am not a huge fan of what happened but I would rather be dissapointed now in that the Colts will not go undefeated as opposed to a early exit in the playoffs due to a Manning injury.

I'm a Pats fan, so you could imagine how little I'd want to see the Colts go undefeated, but even I feel a little cheated out of something, like, I read the whole book except for the last chapter before someone stole it, and I can't get another copy of that book.

Captain Hook
12-29-2009, 04:34 AM
If a team makes winning their first game their first goal, and winning their next game their 2nd goal, and the next game, and game after game all season long, how is that any different from going undefeated being one of their goals? Because they don't call it that?

Every team I've ever been on sets goals, usually on the first day of practice.In the end we have a few small goals and usually a main goal.If at any point, accomplishing one of those smaller goal jeopardizes the chance of accomplishing the main goal what do you think happens?

If Manning had a slightly sprained ankle do you think he would have seen the field in week 15 with the play off seeds decided?If there was something on the line he would play without a doubt but with nothing on the line and even at 14-0 I guarantee you he wouldn't have played.At this point in the season there isn't too much difference in sitting to rest an injury and sitting to prevent an injury.

Donder
12-29-2009, 06:13 AM
As far as fans go.If you don't feel that a SB win isn't the most important thing that can be accomplished by your team and that if accomplishing that doesn't completely trump anything that has taken place during the course of that season then imo your priorities as a fan may be in question.

So if it's the last week of the season and the Reds have the best record in the NL (far-fetched I know) and Cueto is pitching a perfect game going into the ninth and the manager pulls him because he has pitched 100 pitches and want to prevent an injury, you're not disappointed? You won't wonder "what if"?

Or let's say the Orioles were heading into the playoffs and the manager decided to rest Cal Ripken Jr. after game 2100. As a fan you're not disappointed?

You can question my priorities as a fan all you want, but when I watch sports I hope to see something special. I want to see something I haven't seen before. That doesn't mean a championship isn't what I want to see more than anything else.

GAC
12-29-2009, 06:24 AM
Yeah, they were practicing, but I'd guess that the mental edge disappears a bit when you're running through practices knowing you'll be spending the majority of a game on the sidelines watching.

Athletes are creatures of habit -- all of this "resting" and "play 2 series and then come out" disrupts the routines that have made the team successful. That's a bad thing, IMO.

Very good point Caveat. But if that is true, then wouldn't the coaches be the first ones to know that, realize how "disruptive" it was to that habit/routine, and not do it, but play them to the very end?

Or are they making the choice of the "lesser of two evils" by resting them to avoid injury?


Someone mentioned this in one of these threads and it's an interesting point. The Jets are likely going to make the playoffs this year thanks in large part to two teams laying down for them in their final two games of the season. This assumes the Bengals sit their starters this Sunday, which I think they will. Is this good for the game? Bad? Irrelevant? I don't have the answer, I know that.

Is it bad for the game of football? Very good question. I'm sure fans will be very divided on this, depending on the scenario.....

If you're the fan of a team that has already locked up a post-season berth, and maybe, again depending on the situation, a first week bye/home field advantage by weeks 15/16, then you're probably all in favor of resting your star players in what has now been labeled as "meaningless" games.

But isn't that bad for the game that we've even come to the point where there are meaningless games?

And the scenario you lay out above - where a team that probably doesn't deserve to be in the post-season, but will probably make it simply because a team will "lay down" for them in the final two weeks - how is that good for football?

Again... I'm sure the fans of that team will love it; but what about the fans of a team fighting/competing for that same post-season spot, but are not in the fortunate position of playing a team where the opposition is laying down? Is that other team getting an unfair advantage because the oppostion is sitting their star players?

Some may contend - "Well, that's football". True; but the point raised is... is it good for the game?


I wonder what Johnny Unitas would have said to Caldwell if he would have tried to pull him out of a game in the quest for a perfect season? I think I know the answer to that one. Times have changed.

Yep. Times have a changed. I'm sure both Unitas and Namath, with their bad knees, and if they played in today's game, would have welcomed the rest. ;)

But didn't Farve just get into it with his coach a week or so ago when he tried to pull him? Of course that was mainly because Favre was having a really bad game, not because the coach wanted to rest him.

gilpdawg
12-29-2009, 07:05 AM
And lots of Colts fans blamed that on the team playing flat due to the starters sitting so much at the end of the season.


I didn't. I blamed it on the fact that nobody could tackle Darren Sproles, and no amount of "sit or no sit" is going to change that.

traderumor
12-29-2009, 08:55 AM
You can question my priorities as a fan all you want, but when I watch sports I hope to see something special. I want to see something I haven't seen before. That doesn't mean a championship isn't what I want to see more than anything else.I watch sports because there is little else worth watching on TV ;)

blumj
12-29-2009, 09:00 AM
Every team I've ever been on sets goals, usually on the first day of practice.In the end we have a few small goals and usually a main goal.If at any point, accomplishing one of those smaller goal jeopardizes the chance of accomplishing the main goal what do you think happens?

If Manning had a slightly sprained ankle do you think he would have seen the field in week 15 with the play off seeds decided?If there was something on the line he would play without a doubt but with nothing on the line and even at 14-0 I guarantee you he wouldn't have played.At this point in the season there isn't too much difference in sitting to rest an injury and sitting to prevent an injury.

I get that they don't consider the opportunity to go undefeated as "having something meaningful on the line", it's their choice, and they have the right to define that however they want and choose whatever they think is best for them. I just really dislike their definition of "meaningful" and the choice they made.

BRM
12-29-2009, 09:58 AM
And the scenario you lay out above - where a team that probably doesn't deserve to be in the post-season, but will probably make it simply because a team will "lay down" for them in the final two weeks - how is that good for football?

Again... I'm sure the fans of that team will love it; but what about the fans of a team fighting/competing for that same post-season spot, but are not in the fortunate position of playing a team where the opposition is laying down? Is that other team getting an unfair advantage because the oppostion is sitting their star players?

Some may contend - "Well, that's football". True; but the point raised is... is it good for the game?

It turns some late-season games into exhibitions. Tryouts for 2nd and 3rd stringers basically. No, it's not good for the game but what can be done? No way the league mandates teams play their starters. Owners would throw a fit. Besides, teams would just get creative with the Injury Report and keep their stars out anyway. The Jets get a gift this year so their fans should be thankful. It's just the way it is in the NFL.

Razor Shines
12-29-2009, 11:13 AM
I didn't. I blamed it on the fact that nobody could tackle Darren Sproles, and no amount of "sit or no sit" is going to change that.

True, I don't know how much it affects the defense, if any. But the offense looked very out of sync, as it always seems to after they do the rest the starters thing at the end of the year.

BRM
12-29-2009, 11:33 AM
Here's Jerome Bettis' perspective.


From the NFL's perspective, there is something wrong with the system when over the final two weeks of the season the Jets have to go through backup quarterbacks Curtis Painter and J.T. O'Sullivan to make the playoffs. Winning two games at the end of the year to get to the playoffs is supposed to be harder than that.

To a degree, they get the luck of the draw. But I will say that the Colts and Bengals of the world have earned the right to play these games a certain way. You cannot knock what they've done. The Bengals swept Baltimore and Pittsburgh. If they want to pull their front-line guys the final week, they've earned the right. I can't be mad at them for what they're doing.

But in the spirit of football, I would hope they would play their best players and the Colts would have done something different.

I did think it was revealing how Peyton Manning handled coming out of the game, the week after Brett Favre and Brad Childress had their sideline disagreement.

If that were me in Manning's shoes, I'm disappointed. I would want to do a little more and then maybe come out of the game. My competitive spirit would want to score another touchdown and win the game.

You knew Peyton was going to play it the way he did, because he said would play it that way. He didn't say anything. He didn't argue. But you saw the competitive spirit of the guy. You can appreciate it both ways. He understands the importance of resting and not getting hurt, but that spirit inside of him wanted to keep going and win the game.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jerome_bettis/12/28/bus.stops/index.html?eref=sihp

Razor Shines
12-29-2009, 03:00 PM
Here's Jerome Bettis' perspective.



http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jerome_bettis/12/28/bus.stops/index.html?eref=sihp

Wait, I thought Tedy Bruschi saw that Peyton didn't want to play?

BRM
12-29-2009, 03:05 PM
Wait, I thought Tedy Bruschi saw that Peyton didn't want to play?

Bruschi clearly didn't watch the same game the rest of us did.

Captain Hook
12-29-2009, 04:26 PM
So if it's the last week of the season and the Reds have the best record in the NL (far-fetched I know) and Cueto is pitching a perfect game going into the ninth and the manager pulls him because he has pitched 100 pitches and want to prevent an injury, you're not disappointed? You won't wonder "what if"?

Or let's say the Orioles were heading into the playoffs and the manager decided to rest Cal Ripken Jr. after game 2100. As a fan you're not disappointed?

You can question my priorities as a fan all you want, but when I watch sports I hope to see something special. I want to see something I haven't seen before. That doesn't mean a championship isn't what I want to see more than anything else.

In the Cueto scenario I wouldn't mind one bit.It's likely that he wouldn't pitch pass the 6th if the team had nothing further to accomplish in the regular season.Sure I would wonder what if but I wouldn't blame the Reds.

In the Ripken scenario he would play the required innings to keep the streak alive then he would sit.

It's also not like 300 lb monsters are trying to rip Cueto or Ripkens head off.The NFL is an extremely violent sport and anytime you can sit your star player when there is nothing on the line for your team you should do it.

Donder
12-29-2009, 05:10 PM
In the Cueto scenario I wouldn't mind one bit.It's likely that he wouldn't pitch pass the 6th if the team had nothing further to accomplish in the regular season.Sure I would wonder what if but I wouldn't blame the Reds.

In the Ripken scenario he would play the required innings to keep the streak alive then he would sit.

It's also not like 300 lb monsters are trying to rip Cueto or Ripkens head off.The NFL is an extremely violent sport and anytime you can sit your star player when there is nothing on the line for your team you should do it.

I guess we'll just disagree. I understand that an injury could happen, sure, but with guys like Manning, Clark, and Wayne who never get injured it just seems like the risk isn't that great. Some people talk like an injury was inevitable if the starters stayed in. I just don't see that being so highly probable.

blumj
12-29-2009, 05:38 PM
Wait, I thought Tedy Bruschi saw that Peyton didn't want to play?

I loved Bruschi as a player, but, I have to admit, not so much in his new job. The sad thing is that he's so close to this topic that he doesn't need to try to get into other players' heads and try to read body language and garbage like that, he could tell us honestly exactly what it would have felt like to him if the Pats had made the same choice at 14-0 in '07. And he doesn't.

traderumor
12-29-2009, 05:58 PM
I guess we'll just disagree. I understand that an injury could happen, sure, but with guys like Manning, Clark, and Wayne who never get injured it just seems like the risk isn't that great. Some people talk like an injury was inevitable if the starters stayed in. I just don't see that being so highly probable.My house hasn't caught on fire ever either, but I still pay my insurance just in case it does.

blumj
12-29-2009, 06:23 PM
I think that there just isn't a lot of middle ground to be found in between seeing going undefeated as a major historic accomplishment or a meaningless record.

redsfanmia
12-29-2009, 07:05 PM
I guess we'll just disagree. I understand that an injury could happen, sure, but with guys like Manning, Clark, and Wayne who never get injured it just seems like the risk isn't that great. Some people talk like an injury was inevitable if the starters stayed in. I just don't see that being so highly probable.

Wayne is nursing a foot injury and Dallas Clark is injury prone and takes some big hits. I was upset at first but am now fine with the decision.

BRM
12-29-2009, 08:33 PM
Wayne is nursing a foot injury and Dallas Clark is injury prone and takes some big hits. I was upset at first but am now fine with the decision.

I'm fine with it only because I knew it was coming. I never believed Caldwell was going to "go for broke" concerning the undefeated season. Resting starters has never helped the Colts before but I sure hope it does this time around.

gilpdawg
12-30-2009, 01:54 AM
In the Cueto scenario I wouldn't mind one bit.It's likely that he wouldn't pitch pass the 6th if the team had nothing further to accomplish in the regular season.Sure I would wonder what if but I wouldn't blame the Reds.

In the Ripken scenario he would play the required innings to keep the streak alive then he would sit.

It's also not like 300 lb monsters are trying to rip Cueto or Ripkens head off.The NFL is an extremely violent sport and anytime you can sit your star player when there is nothing on the line for your team you should do it.
Happened in 1975. The Vida Blue/bunch of other guys combined no-hitter on last weekend of the season. They pulled Blue so he would get extra rest before the ALCS.

blumj
12-30-2009, 06:19 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/joe_posnanski/12/30/colts.perfection/index.html

Posnanski:


The point, again, is I was prepared to not care at all if the Colts rested their starters in order to prepare for the playoffs. I felt sure that I was burned out on perfection.

And then they pulled Manning and the first-team guys, and a funny thing happened. Suddenly, inexplicably, I was furious. I yelled at the television. All of those feelings I had so clearly drawn up in my mind went out the window. It was one thing, in theory, to say that the Colts owed it to themselves to play it smart and do what they felt they had to do in order to make a Super Bowl run.

But it was quite another thing to watch an undefeated team pull its starters and throw a game against the New York Jets. I know what I WANTED to feel. But what I DID feel was that the Colts had spit in the eye of history. What I DID feel was that that Colts had cheated their fans and football fans. What I DID feel was that the Colts had cheated themselves.

You could see it on the faces of the players, too. They did not want to lost their undefeated streak this way. They KNEW that it was wrong to lose from the sidelines--they just knew it. Football players only have so many games. Football teams only have so many chances to do something memorable. Everyone in football only has so many shots at writing sports history. Laugh at the '72 Dolphins if you like, but here they are, 37 years later, and you know who they are, you know they went undefeated. They are men in later life who once a year get the chance to toast...themselves.