Resting My Case

by

The Colts did the right thing.

That’s all you really need to know. Specifically, the Colts did the right thing in not worrying about winning games 15 and 16, going for a perfect regular season, and saying, ‘eff-you’ to every team out there. And there’s really only reason to say that they did the right thing.

You can try to convince me all day that the “integrity of the game” was comprimised by the¬†Colts laying down to the now-sixth-seed Jets and the hapless Bills, but I wouldn’t believe you. It’s a basic understanding in the NFL that teams take weeks off when they’ve earned the right to (see the Cardinals, Eagles, and Chargers from last week). Ultimately, it’s a right that you earn by dominating from Week 1 to week 14.

And you could try to argue that in the past, the Colts have developed rust, because they are a rhythm offense. But look at the final drive for the first team in each game:

vs. NYJ:  9 play, 81 yard touchdown drive.

@ BUF: 12 play, 72 yard touchdown drive.

Just like in practice, they went in, got some work done, felt the speed, and got out. So don’t tell me they didn’t get anything positive done. It’s not like the Bills defense is exactly postseason-like.

But if you’re looking for the real reason that the Colts did the right thing, all you have to do is take a look down into the depths of hell… er- make that New England. You saw what happened. Wes Welker blew his knee to bits- on a non-contact play! Seriously, he didn’t even get touched when his season ended. Can you imagine what would have happened if Dallas Clark injured his knee during the third quarter of the Jets game? Or if Reggie Wayne separated his shoulder in the snow in Buffalo? The entire city if Indianapolis would have spontaneously combusted.

The reality is that we, the Indianapolis Colts, are extremely thin in the skill position area. We just don’t run out 5 different receivers for a certain number of plays each game. Our offense is about continuity, abut reading the same thing in the defense. You can’t get the efficiency that our offense requires by playing multiple sets of different guys, like the Patriots or the Saints. We need Wayne, Clark, Garcon, and Collie out there on every down. Period.

Same goes for the defense. We are physically incapable of replacing the value of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney (don’t believe me, ask the Bills, who looked like the freaking 2000 Rams on Sunday). So their health is significantly more important than the Defensive Linemen from, say, the Ravens.

So I continue to applaud Jim Caldwell for taking the guys out when he did. In both games. No one will remember that we tanked two games if we win the Super Bowl in a month. All they will remember is that Peyton Manning solidified himself as the Batman of modern-day NFL quarterbacks to Tom Brady’s Robin. Simply the best.

And you know what? The best doesn’t need 48 minutes to make his presence felt. He just needs to be healthy.

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