By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff
There’s so much being written and talked about regarding the Colts decision to basically lay down in the second half against the New York Jets on Sunday and forfeit their chances for a perfect season. But I think some of the real questions here aren’t being asked.
1) If the Colts plan all along was to pull the starters in the third quarter, why were the backups so ill-prepared? Curtis Painter looked like he was pulled out of the stands and sent out onto the field.
2) If they were prepared, is it just that the Colts are just really top-heavy in talent? Bill Polian gets universal praise for his drafting and team building, but those guys on the field didn’t have a chance. There were a lot of drafted players on the field for the Colts, and they weren’t remotely competitive. Painter was a drafted NFL QB. Would Brian Hoyer have looked that bad?
3) Did they bench the stars because they wanted to get them rest, or to avoid injury? Neither makes sense. They probably won’t play much this week, then they have a bye week, and by the time the divisional round of the playoffs arrives, they’ll have gone almost a full month without playing an entire game. The first guy they pulled, Manning, has never missed an NFL game due to injury. Was he going to start now?
4) Peter King has said he disagrees with the decision, but has been curiously quiet overall about it. Since when does Peter King say less about the NFL’s biggest topic than anyone else? Could it be because he’s close with Polian? Nah.
5) The media is very focused on the Colts giving up their chance at the perfect season. You can’t get away from hearing about it, but no one is addressing points 1-3 above. Why?
On the one hand, it’s the Colt’s consistent philosophy to rest starters once their playoff status is solid. On the other, why bother playing Manning and the other starters into the third? They could have played this game (and run away with it, I believe), then mixed and matched next week vs. a listless Buffalo squad. Then, boom, two weeks off.
The Colts are the Atlanta Braves of the new millennium: plenty of wins and division titles, one championsip. Why not go for 16-0 and maybe shake things up a bit?
I don’t get it. Don’t think it will ever be explained, either.
1) Until a few weeks ago, Painter was an afterthought. Sorgi was the (next best) man!
2) The are top heavy. I’ll give credit to Polian, almost that entire D is 3rd round or later, but see when Freeny goes out – they’re a different team. Same with C Saturday – the O line dissolves when he’s out. Without Manning they are nothing. And to be fair – he’s one of the best pocket passers ever, but there’s just no doubt about it, he’s the crown jewel.
3) It’s a really thing argument, for sure. Manning rarely gets hit, let alone sacked. Still, see point #2, above. There is NO player that the Colts can lose more than Manning. Anyone else, they have a chance, without him, they’re finished.
4) Yeah, seriously. Remember after the 4th and 2. I mean, King is STILL going on about that. King’s a personality, and he has access to players – he knows about as much, technically speaking, about the game as I do. And that’s really not a lot! So, yeah, the combine is in Indy, he has all the access he needs when there. Yeah, you’re right…..
5) May I offer one more point that no one is addressing? Why is a GM making player / coaching decisions? Can you imagine, ever, once, Belichick taking game strategy orders from Mr. Kraft, or Pioli, when he was there? Heck, can you imagine Rex Ryan doing it? Coaches coach and managers manage I think would be the response.