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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Colts Head To Playoffs With Questions Galore

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Questions? Oh yeah, I have some for you Colts fans.

Will the layoff hurt the starters or will it provide time for some injuries to heal? Will Peyton Manning be as sharp as ever or a bit rusty on his patented out route throw to Reggie Wayne?

Will Bill Polian be a genius (Just ask him, he will say of course) or a goat for mandating the rest the starters have received lately?

Welcome to the latest edition of “As The Colts World Turns” as we seek answers to these and many other questions.

Still angered by the decision to sit the starters in the second half of New York Jets game, Colts fans got a huge dose of the same in the season finale at Buffalo which had all the significance of a pre season game at best. After playing the starting offense for about a quarter and a half, the Colts reverted back to the strategy implemented against the Jets the previous week and pulled their offensive stars from the miserable playing conditions in Buffalo in a 30-7 loss that just barely had the appeal of an unscheduled visit from your in-laws. Translation: bad football.

Manning did manage to complete 14 of 18 passes for 95 yards and one interception, while Dallas Clark and Wayne both were able to get their 100th catch of the season before heading to the warmth of the heaters surrounding the bench.

But beyond the aforementioned it was truly an exercise in futility, as this meaningless game offered nothing for those who braved the elements to attend or those watching at home.

The main question for Polian and company is why play the starters at all with nothing at stake but an injury before the playoffs? With that in mind, why not simply emulate last week’s blueprint and let Manning, Clark and Wayne struggle to keep warm on the sidelines?

It’s almost as if the Colts brass forgot about Manning’s knee or the numerous concussions Clark has had in his career – that is more than simply playing with fire, it is just plain stupid. Not the kind of decision making you would expect from an organization that has made its bones on the backs of those players, and one that will be questioned during the off season if all these late season antics do not produce a Super Bowl trophy in the process. But hey, I am just a sports hack (a title graciously given to me by the Colts PR staff) who saw numerous players go down this year in meaningless games, so what do I know, right?

One thing is for certain, if the Colts do not play lights out against their first round playoff opponent and should get defeated in the process, it will be time for leadership changes in the front office. If that happens maybe this hack can work there part time. Someone will be needed to fetch coffee for the new General Manager, why not me?

Notes: While the defensive starters rested quite a bit against the Bills, those on the field managed to give up 248 yards in net rushing and another 155 through the air. Those numbers are glaring considering the terrible weather conditions.

The Colts defense sure looked listless against Buffalo and is indeed under the microscope in the playoffs, as too many teams have moved the ball with ease against them in the second half of the season. Stay tuned, this thing just may get ugly.

Peyton Manning was unusually short when asked about how the last two games unfolded. “The regular season is over and we are not thinking about it or talking about it,” said the odds on favorite for league MVP. Yours truly thinks he should consider it and learn from it, and despite his comments, I think he will.

The national weather service said six inches of snow fell during the game. All the more reason to not play the starters in my book. ESPN is reporting that the Buffalo Bills have discussed their head coaching vacancy with former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher. Cowher has worked as a studio analyst the past two seasons for CBS Sports and will probably have no shortage of job offers this off season. Look for talented Cowher to be coaching when the 2010-2011 season kicks off this fall.

The next Colts game will be Jan. 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium. It will be televised locally at 8:15 p.m. on WISH-TV.

To the gentleman who e-mailed me and told me I was stupid for writing that the Colts owed no apologies for benching their starters in the second half against New York, you do have a point. I do not pay to get into games as you do, and when you stated you spent $428 on four tickets, I got sick to my stomach thinking what it must of been like for your children to not see their heroes on the field. I apologize in that sense to you, but still feel the decision to sit down the stars was a sound one.

Danny Bridges, who relishes the hate mail and thinks the readers rule the roost, can be found waiting patiently and cheerfully for your comments at (317) 578-1780 or Bridgeshd@aol.com. His views are not necessarily those of the Indianapolis Recorder.

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