It is painful to know that we -chose- to lose the game by pulling Peyton/Reggie/Dallas when we were only ahead by 5 points. Especially because I hadn't seen Peyton roughed much at all in the game, they seemed to be playing very well and getting rid of the ball fast. We even seemed to be playing better than the score shows as we missed the extra point and failed at the 2-point conversion, better even on defense as their only TD was a kickoff return for TD. It just sucks to know that we easily and definitely could have won the game, there is really no doubt in my mind.
If we had to lose at all during the year I rather it to have been now. I mean, if we went 16-0 and then went 1 and done in the playoffs or lost in the AFC Championship round we would ALWAYS be as the 2007 Patriots only BIGGER failures. The truth is the ONLY reason why I really wanted 19-0 at all is because I wanted to be better than that team. But NOW at least, no matter what we do, it won't even be a comparison. We won't have to deal with the nonstop hype and pressure of being undefeated. And IF we win the super bowl we WILL have been better than the 2007 Patriots because we were the best, and WE know, no team beat OUR best. So what it really comes down to is that Polian and Caldwell don't give a damn about the Patriots, they're just doing what they think is best to win the SB. And in a lot of ways I can how going undefeated would really HURT the chances, with all the hype and blahblah.
The main thing I was worried about was losing momentum. Yes I wanted 19-0, but no where NEAR as much as just that I'm so freaking scared of resting starters. Our history has REPEATEDLY shown us that resting starters is NOT the answer and the ONLY thing it seems to do is take away any of our momentum and rythm and make us look crappy due to not playing hardly at all for 2 or 3 weeks. This is the MAIN problem with the Colts. I absolutely love the entire team and organization but I NEVER agreed with Dungy on this when he was the coach. I mean, in 2004-2008 we rested our starters/stars in the final games in EVERY season ASIDE from 2006 - because we were trying to get the bye week. And every single one of those seasons ended in playoff losses - almost all of them 1 and done, lost first game. ASIDE FROM 2006 WHEN WE WON THE SUPER BOWL. It is absurd to me to look at that and STILL think it's a good idea for our team. I GET that we would be shit without Peyton, I mean, if ANYTHING the loss to the Jets should CEMENT him being MVP because of how shitty we were without him (to be fair out Reggie and Dallas too, but STILL), but a loss is a loss and Peyton's a tough guy never NOT started, it's not like he's frail! He's played with a broken jaw against the Dolphins and that Redskins game in 2006! See, proof!
And after that game he went on to play amazingly and threw for 2 TDs in I believe it was 5 minutes and had another after that. While no, I would not want him to get injured - hurt his hand - or anything, I have a little more faith in my team's durability and they clearly WANT to play. The WORST part about that Jets game was having to WATCH them on the sidelines looking so freaking depressed.
I am not mad at Caldwell. I'm really not. Yeah, I'm a little mad at Polian and annoyed at management in general, but, they COULD have only let the starters play one drive against the Jets. They COULD have rested the starters against the Jaguars. In fact, Dungy even said that he WOULD have pulled the starters after one drive against the Jags. And particularly since I WENT to that game I'm extremely grateful to Caldwell that they kept playing AND stayed undefeated longer than the Saints. But Peyton and co. stayed in to play and beat the Jags and played into like half way through the 3rd quarter to have the lead against the Jets. So really, to me, it seems like the Colts do not care about undefeated but they DO care about momentum. They let their offense get into rythm and play longer than one drive. I would really like to see us play at least a full quarter against the Bills as well. Because again, we would not be playing for undefeated but we NEVER WERE. We just play for the SB and in my opinion history has proven we NEED momentum and I just hope we're making the right decisions.
My final thoughts are firstly SHAME SHAME SHAAAAAME upon Colts fans I saw at the boards saying they HOPE the Colts go 1 and done in the playoffs to 'teach management a lesson'. I'm sorry, but WTF, you are horrible fans and for all your 'I'm ashamed to be a Colts fan' talk, I'M ashamed that you consider yourself fans! I was really shocked at how many people feel that way and really hope they get over themselves and go back to supporting the team as I alwaays will. And finally, POOR CURTIS PAINTER. I hope this doesn't screw with his mind, he's just a rookie QB who has never played one snap, force to go in for a healthy Peyton Manning against the league's number 1 pass defense and number 1 total defense. The fans were not boo-ing him and I feel so bad for him! Painter, I hope this doesn't screw you up, they would've booed ANYONE other than Peyton.
Okay, I feel better now and am done ranting :) As always, GO COLTS