Colts Throwdown!

I thought it was interesting that Don Shula was quoted saying he thinks the Colts will reach 19-0. I’m not so sure. I think they’ve got a loss, even two in them somewhere. Can they do it? It’s not an easy schedule.

They’re going to lose to the Cardinals.

Dungy already has said that he’s going to sit Manning et the rest of the starters as soon as they lock up home field. The risk of injury is far greater than the risk that they get “cold.” Imagine if he played Manning and he went out with a broken leg… he’d get no end of it.

Assuming they win out till Game 15, the game with the Seahawks could be interesting. The Seahawks could lock up home field by then, as well. At which point, it’s a potential Super Bowl preview, but with no one willing to commit to winning what is essentially a garbage game.

And what do the Colts do? No one has gone undefeated in the regular season since the Dolphins. It would really suck if they come that close and just say fuck it. I could understand the reasons why, but it would suck for fans of football in general.

Of course, there are a lot of “ifs” going into that above scenario.

Honestly once the Colts lock up home field there’s not much of a good case to be made for not resting your starters for at least a week if what you want to do is win a Super Bowl.

Sure it’d be nice and something I’d like to see - but if you play your starters through week seventeen the odds are probably near 100% that you go into the playoffs with at least one key player injured. And frankly, going 16-0 in the regular season means next to squat if you lose in the playoffs.

That being said, I think there’s a decent likelihood of them going 16-0. The Steelers were probably the toughest game they had left - I don’t think Jacksonville is as good, and I know Seattle isn’t.

JD

Does anyone have a link to Dungy saying he’ll sit starters once home field is clinched?

On the MNF broadcast, Al Michaels said that both Dungy and Manning have a healthy respect for history, and if they have the chance to go 16-0, both would want to do so. Madden (who is little more than a dolt at this point) also seemed to think that as long as they were undefeated, the Colts would continue to play starters.

Saying that it’s about 100% certain that a key starter will be injured between now and week 17 is silly. You’re saying that 1 key starter is injured every 5 games per team and that every team will lose 3 key starters per season.

Even IF a key starter is injured, there’s no certainty that the injury would cause significant missed time. If Marvin Harrison sprains his ankle Sunday and has to miss 4 weeks, it doesn’t really matter. He’d be healthy by the time the first playoff game rolls around.

If the Colts beat Tennessee and then Jacksonville, they clinch the division at 13-0. It’s entirely possible that Denver goes 14-2, which means that the Colts can’t clinch home field until they win their 15th game in Week 16. i don’t know the tie-breaker for home field, so if Denver loses to KC and then beats Baltimore to be 10-3 with Indy at 13-0, that might be a clinch.

It seems likely that Indy will have to play starters until they win their 14th game in Week 15. So the Seattle game is where it gets fun. I could certainly see, if Seattle has locked up all they can lock up, Seattle playing starters for maybe a series, while Indy plays them for a half to try and build up a lead, then coasts in the 2nd half. If they’re 15-0 going into the last game, you’d have to think that the starters would play into the 2nd quarter, again to try to build a lead against the hapless Cardinals that the 2nd string could protect for the record.

Also, if you sit your starters for a few weeks until the playoffs, your starters aren’t going to be rotting on the bench, losing stamina, and getting out of practice. Yes, they’ll be able to practice Monday through Saturday, but there’s no substitute for being on the field in a game. Sitting the starters until the playoffs is a good way to lose the first game of the playoffs with out-of-shape, out-of-practice players. So I think you want to be careful with your starters, but you don’t want to bench them, either.

Where’s the “Huh?” response?

Huh?