There has been a lot of talk about rest vs. play, and I've gone back and forth on this issue time and time again.
We all know what this defense looks like without Freeney and Mathis coming off the edge - just say it - it's a one-and-done defense. We remember that 07 game against San Diego.
We know how rookies can break down in the latter portion of an NFL schedule, and with this team so reliant on first year starters, resting sure seems like an intelligent plan.
We remember how Antonio Gates torched the D last year without Gary Bracket.
I sat down for last night's game fully expecting to lose a close one. I wasn't too worried about it either. I had simply accepted the fact that Manning would play a half, and most of the starters would rest while the B team tried to keep the undefeated season alive. But as the game progressed, I found myself wanting 14-0. And when Manning stepped back onto the field after half time, it was clear that the Colts' did too. After the game, I got "the feel." The feel that coaches talk about when trying to figure out what to do in these kinds of situations.
That feel said go for it. Go for it all. There are two games left against the Jets and the Bills, one at home, one away. With a 10 day rest ahead of the Colts, the fact is that 16-0 will happen if the starters play - and they want to play. Caldwell probably did the right thing in resting Freeney, Mathis, and Powers on a short week.
But now, it's game time.
Colts Nation has that 16-0 feeling. The Colts team has that 16-0 feeling. That's why Freeney was shaking his head on the sidelines. That's why Manning threw 4 touchdowns and played 60 minutes. That's why Wayne was there in the 4th quarter hulling in a 65 yard TD pass. That's why the football gods smiled on the Colts' special teams unit who I'm still not quite sure actually took one to the house last night. That's why the Colts pulled out another 4th quarter victory, bringing their season total to 7.
At this point, I'm just not sure how they can't go for 16-0.
I'm not sure how they can't extend their 23 game winning streak.
I'm not sure how they can't extend their decade win total.
Most of all, I'm not sure how they could put all of this history on the line for a controversial strategy that hasn't worked out in the past.
Note: With some pretty decent games, Manning could have a new career high in passing yards (currently 4,557). With 7 touchdowns, Manning will have 40 on the year - a very nice number.
Wayne and Clark could get 100 catches, and Clark is a catch away from 1,000 yards.