Football and its injuries are fickle. Winning championships aren't easy. Tom Brady can speak for the first statement, and Dan Marino can speak for the second.
We're not going to kill Jim Caldwell for his decision to pull his starters in the 3rd quarter with a 15-10 lead. Quite frankly, if you're a championship caliber squad and you have a lead, you should be able to beat a .500 ball club- even with your second string.
And if your second stringers blow that lead, and you end up losing 29-15, then you get to rest your players for a meaningless Week 17 game in frigid Buffalo, and all is still right in your world.
But lets say the Colts had held on to win today, then what?
Peyton and crew would then get to go up to Buffalo to partake in the Froze Bowl- with nothing on the line but regular season perfection- not the Lombardi Trophy, and the risk of injury.
How did that regular season perfection work out two years ago for New England?
18-0 and a David Tyree helmet catch later, it was all for not. Throw in a Week 1 injury to Tom Brady the following season, and that's a bad 6 or 7 minutes of football for Patriot fan.
The Colts have positioned themselves quite nicely- they're 14-1, people! They have home field advantage throughout, in a dome that Peyton Manning seems to have been born and raised in- and to do anything that risks the health of the their starters moving forward- especially that of Peyton Manning's, would be utter stupidity.
Today's loss was a blessing. It will mean nothing to the Colts and their fans, when they defend their turf and record, in week two of the NFL playoffs. And it sets clarity for both the coaches and players moving forward.
Fantasy owners, Monday morning quarterbacks, and ESPN's Tom Jackson need to chill out with their criticism of Caldwell. We can only imagine the criticism, had they been referring to this post's bogus headline. 29-15 Jets should make all that moot.
By the way, did Tom Jackson ever win a Superbowl ?
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Sunday, December 27, 2009
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