In response to UD6's comment:
In response to Paul_K's comment:
Arguments for the real Colts playing on Sunday:
Truth be told, the Colts are a pretty bad team and utterly undeserving of the playoffs, but they had a fourth place schedule plus two awful teams in their division that they each played twice. Cheap wins are wins.
The Colts are working off the NFL's worst cap Hades situation -- paying off Peyton Manning who plays for the opponents while they try to field a team under their cap. That's why gaining this regular season victory over rival Houston in week 17 could be an argument two years down the road for saving the coach's job. It's all about appearance for the Colts.
Indy needs to learn the confidence to tell themselves, yes we can come back and beat a good team, we just did it last week. Indy already snuck by Green Bay in week 5 but they flopped badly against Chicago and New England. Who better than Houston? Two weeks ago Indy was on the same field as Houston in the middle of the fourth quarter but they couldn't drive for the tying touchdown.
Finally, Coach Pagano can only pull the "I just recovered from cancer this week" excuse once, and this is the week. "Tell em to go out and win one for the Zipper!" Profiting off of your own life and death illness is a crass thing to say but real NFL coaches are mondo crass in their actions and motivations. It's in a coach's blood to go out and win, and winning is almost the sole criteria for the coach's job tenure. Bill Belichick will whisper smack in his players' ears, he'll put bulletin board material up, he'll put his shadow in the kicker's way to try to distract the kicker in practice, he'll do anything within reason. What's really wrong with Coach Pagano playing a little trump card that he has?
If the Colts pull their chin straps tight, they are 2.6 point favorites to beat the Houston Texans in front of their home crowd at Indy's Lucas Dome.
Miami is as good as Baltimore these days but they probably don't like January weather. They haven't been north since November 15. I have New England by only 8.6 points, but we could see a bit more fight out of the Pats if New England sees a good chance of a bye week.
If BB is 1/10 on the ball he will post Coach Pagano's message as bulletin board material. Beat Miami and maybe get a bye.
Undeserving in what manner? Define what is deserving?
Profitting off his own life and death illness? Wow. And you are calling him crass? I think you need to look inside yourself a bit Paul.
I know its not the point you were trying to make, but what Paul, would you have Pagano do in this situation so as to show he's not crass? Did he do anything to deserve his cancer?
Got to admit, I haven't understood you since you told the board that the 4th quarter was never important in assessing the value of a team, this cements my opinion.
Looking forward to your response.
I rank Miami (8.5 wins out of 16 if the season started anew), San Diego (7.4) and Pittsburgh (7.1) as playing better football than Indy (6.3). The NFC has nobody nearly that bad in contention for a wild card this year. Not that these three other teams are playing well, but Indy has been squeaking by bad teams all year. Putting Indy on the road is a pretty easy call unless they play Baltimore (8.9), the worst of the NFL division champs.
On a human level I think it's good that Coach Pagano went through his chemo. Some people die in chemo, others get sick as a dog and it takes guts sometimes to not quit early. Now he might stay cancer-free.
On a coaching level, Coach Pagano is mostly paid to win football games. I only expect that he's not going to go far out of his way to mess up a potential edge for him and his team. If he says his team is playing to win, there's reason to believe that he might be telling the truth. UD, do you think your own coach is lying to his hometown fans this week?