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Indy columnist sides with Pats' philosophy

Posted by Albert Breer  December 28, 2009 11:03 AM

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The Colts still have a chance to go 18-1, which in the end is what the 2007 Patriots did, and what the 1984 49ers and '85 Bears also accomplished while winning world titles.

So did Indy blow it by losing out on the chance to go 16-0, put a chink in their archrivals' armor, and perhaps become the first to make it 19-0? Ask those in the Hoosier State, and it looks like they're saying yes. From Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz's piece this morning ...

They tossed perfection away like a Christmas leftover. They treated it with a casual shrug of the shoulders, disdain even, as if they were beyond such a trivial pursuit. Standing on the precipice of NFL history, the Indianapolis Colts' brain trust arrogantly, foolishly, treated Sunday's second half like a preseason game.

The Colts rested many starters, particularly quarterback Peyton Manning, for most of the second half in Sunday's 29-15 loss to the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium -- the Colts' first loss of the season after a 14-0 start.

What happens now? Does this guarantee the Colts will reach the Super Bowl? Is that how it works?

At least the New England Patriots (2007) and the New Orleans Saints ('09) tried to do something special and noble, tried to do something that had been done just once in NFL history. At least they tried to put a scare into the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who really should be sending a case of champagne up to Colts President Bill Polian and coach Jim Caldwell first thing this morning.
The shame of it is that there was little question that the Colts would've done it, had they gone after it. Fact is, Peyton Manning and Co. were in command (even if the lead was just 5) last night when they exited the game, and it's hard to envision Buffalo beating them (I don't care if that game was on the North Pole) next week.

But here, ultimately, is what I think you can take from it ... The luster is off. Sometime soon, I think, someone will go 19-0. The Patriots took aura away from the accomplishment, in a way, and it'll be easier for teams in the future to go get it. It's just too bad that we missed this chance to get to see someone legitimately pursue it the way the Colts seemed ready to.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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