Dungy’s decisions may have Colts tempting the Sports Gods

The Indianapolis Colts have steamrolled their way through the NFL this season. But now, with home-field advantage in the playoffs wrapped up and the laurels of a perfect season too hard to resist, the team may be on the cusp of taunting the Sports Gods.

For thirteen games, the Colts have trampled, trounced, and triumphed over every single one of their opponents. They’ve outscored the competition by over 200 points, lead the league in scoring with 392 points, and have surrendered just 180 points, good for second in the NFL.

But the fun doesn’t stop with winning because the Colts don’t just win. They dominate. This team has trailed in a grand total of two football games all season. The last time in the season they were on the losing end of a score was 11 minutes and 43 seconds into their week six game against the Rams. One second later, they took the lead and haven’t been behind in seven games since then.

Already, the Colts have put the finishing touches on their regular season drive. Secure in their division lead, they wrapped up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But still, Coach Tony Dungy won’t commit to resting his regulars, and the rest of the Colts have not let up. The pressure to go 16-0 is strong.

In football, the perfect season has attained a near-holy status mainly through the machinations of the coach of the first and last perfect team. In 1972, the Miami Dolphins tore through the season and captured the Super Bowl. Now, the team, its coach and former players maintain their lofty position in NFL lore by hosting a champagne toast when the last remaining unbeaten team finally loses. Some people hate the arrogance in this move; others see the charm. And nearly everyone is rooting for the Colts to break the spell of those 1972 Dolphins.

It’s foolish, though, for the Colts to take a risk in their efforts to achieve a perfect season. Of course, everyone on the Colts wants to see their team attain football immortality. It’s the nature of an athlete. Records keep legends alive, and everyone wants to become a legend of their time. But 16-0 isn’t important because it is not a Super Bowl trophy. Once the wins come off the board and everyone starts all over again, that 16-0 is meaningless unless it nets a title.

The Colts moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984. Since then, they’ve made it as far as the AFC Championship game just twice. With a real shot at heading into the playoffs as the favorites to win the title, Dungy’s decision — to rest or not to rest — ought to be a no-brainer. When a Super Bowl is a team’s ultimate goal, the best option is to rest your stars and starters in preparation for the playoffs. Baseball teams understand this in September when the rosters expand; now, it’s time for Dungy to end speculation and scale back playing time for his key contributors.

By sitting Peyton Manning, the superstar quarterback with the league’s highest QB rating, Dungy would be protecting the hopes of the franchise. Having Manning on the field for more plays than are necessary to ensure that important home field advantage could be disastrous. Just as Michael Vick or Tom Brady. Those two men matter just as much to their respective team’s playoff hopes as Manning does to the Colts. When Vick and Brady both went down last weekend, Falcons and Patriots fans everywhere held their breaths in the hopes that both would come back this week as good as new.

What happens when, two quarters, two halves, two plays away from 16-0, Manning gets sacked and twists an ankle or worse? What happens if that one extra throw isn’t the difference between a fresh arm in on February 5 and a dead on during the AFC Championship game two weeks earlier? What if? What if? What if? Those are the questions with which Dungy has to grapple.

So far, Dungy hasn’t committed to anything beyond this weekend. Facing the Chargers and QB Drew Brees, the Colts face arguably their toughest challenge to an undefeated season. If they win this weekend, the could go 16-0 without the help of Peyton Manning. Dungy will be playing his A team this weekend in an effort to keep their streak going.

Will pride ruin the title hopes of an entire city? Who knows. To me, the answer is clear: What’s the point in risking it? Let the 1972 Miami Dolphins keep their champagne rituals if need be; 16-0 be damned. Anything less than the trophy is a disappointment for this powerhouse of a football team.

Advertisements

1 Response to “Dungy’s decisions may have Colts tempting the Sports Gods”


  1. 1 skipn December 17, 2005 at 5:18 pm

    You got also think about how these Colts have to pull off 19-0, not just 16-0. Which is a far stiffer gauntlet.

    Yeah when I was in Fort Lauderdale was disgusted at the Shula restaurant chain. It looked like a night eating there would be like a night eating inside a garrish man’s neck chain, with his curly, greased chest hair.

    Go Indy.


Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • Yankeemetrics: Sweet season, bitter ending (ALCS) October 23, 2017
    I want to thank everyone for being such great followers, fans and readers during this incredible season. It’s been a wild and crazy ride, and your loyal support has meant so much to me and the rest of the RAB crew. The Chase for 28 begins today. #Lovethisteam Trouble in Texas Riding a huge wave […] The post Yankeemetrics: Sweet season, bitter ending (ALCS) a […]
    Katie Sharp
  • Fan Confidence Poll: October 23rd, 2017 October 23, 2017
    Regular Season Record: 91-71 (858 RS, 660 RA, 100-62 pythag. record), second in ALE Postseason Record: 7-6 (51 RS, 42 RA), won AL WC Game, won ALDS, lost ALCS Top stories from last week: The week started with the Yankees down 0-2 in the ALCS. Aaron Judge broke out of his slump with a home […] The post Fan Confidence Poll: October 23rd, 2017 appeared first on […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Sunday Open Thread October 22, 2017
    The first open thread of the offseason. Yuck. At least this one came much later than the last few seasons. It’s been a while since the Yankees went into the offseason feeling like a team on the rise, not a team trying to hang on to past glory and figure out a way to stay […] The post Sunday Open Thread appeared first on River Avenue Blues.
    Mike Axisa
  • Glow and Grow October 22, 2017
    Before we begin, a sincere thanks to you, dear readers, for following along during the season and the playoffs. We all appreciate your day in, day out support and couldn’t do any of this without you. Please continue to read, share, and support the–frankly–great work that goes on here. Yankees Only.  Reflection and feedback are […] The post Glow and Grow appe […]
    Matt Imbrogno
  • Astros 4, Yankees 0: Game Seven loss sends Yankees home for the winter October 22, 2017
    All great things must come to an end. The incredibly fun and better than pretty much everyone expected 2017 Yankees season came to a close Saturday night, with a 4-0 loss to the Astros in Game Seven of the ALCS. Houston will take on the Dodgers in the World Series. The Yankees are heading home. […] The post Astros 4, Yankees 0: Game Seven loss sends Yankees […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2017 ALCS Game Seven: Yankees at Astros October 21, 2017
    So here we are again. Another win or go home game. The Yankees have been through a few of these already this postseason. Except unlike the Wild Card Game or Games Three, Four, and Five of the ALDS, a spot in the World Series is on the line tonight. The Yankees and Astros are playing […] The post 2017 ALCS Game Seven: Yankees at Astros appeared first on River […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Thoughts prior to Game Seven of the 2017 ALCS October 21, 2017
    For the fifth time in the last 18 days, the Yankees will play with their season on the line tonight. They are a perfect 4-0 in elimination games this postseason, and tonight’s Game Seven with the Astros will determine who moves on to face the Dodgers in the World Series. I am weirdly not nervous. […] The post Thoughts prior to Game Seven of the 2017 ALCS app […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Astros 7, Yankees 1: Yanks can’t solve Verlander, Astros force Game Seven October 21, 2017
    What, you didn’t think winning the pennant would be easy, did you? The Yankees and Astros are going to a Game Seven. Justin Verlander shut the Yankees down again in Game Six of the ALCS on Friday night, then Houston’s offense tacked on a bunch of insurance runs late to put the game out of […] The post Astros 7, Yankees 1: Yanks can’t solve Verlander, Astros […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2017 ALCS Game Six: Yankees at Astros October 20, 2017
    For the first time since the championship season of 2009, the Yankees are one win away from going to the World Series. They fell behind 0-2 in the ALCS before storming back to take a 3-2 series lead. Beating up on Dallas Keuchel in Game Five the other day was satisfying. Very satisfying. The series […] The post 2017 ALCS Game Six: Yankees at Astros appeared […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The best way to beat Justin Verlander in Game Six could be swinging early in the count October 20, 2017
    Tonight the Yankees have a chance to advance to the World Series, and they’re in this position because they beat up on Dallas Keuchel in Game Five. Keuchel shut the Yankees down in Game One, which he’s done throughout his career, but the tables were turned in Game Five and he didn’t make it through […] The post The best way to beat Justin Verlander in Game S […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 62,569 hits

%d bloggers like this: