I always get bummed after New Years as it usually is followed by the end of the NFL regular season. Only 12 of 32 teams will continue playing football after today. This means 20 teams begin the long process of wondering what 2010 will bring them. 20 teams will start focusing more on the NFL Draft by assessing Bowl games, scouting reports, and hopefully reading Mocking the Draft (cheap plug, I know). Some of those 20 teams will wonder if their head coaches will be fired, or if coordinators will be replaced. And while much of what I have written this past week has expressed my disappoint with Colts management, I'm not so upset that I don't appreciate the fact that my team is definitely in the post-season. They don't need to win today. They don't need help from other teams.
They are in because they earned it.
With severe weather conditions expected in Buffalo, with lake front winds and snow likely to blanket the stadium, look for Colts starters not to play much against the Bills. 30 Colts players were listed on the injury report this week, a report that (quite honestly) is laughable. Bill Polian is just thumbing his nose at critics with that report, which claims 56% of his roster is hurt. The message from Polian is, "SEE! SEE! WE'RE HURT! THIS IS WHY WE RESTED AGAINST THE JETS!"
Whatever. It's pathetic, and Polian's continued arrogance only makes things worse. 30 people on an injury report is positively Belichickian.
The irony is that with the likely conditions today, if the Colts had rested starters and not tried for "perfection" because of those conditions, not one would have complained. Everyone would have understood that thinking, and those that didn't would have been dismissed.
I'm concerned that players like Adam Vinatieri did not make the trip to Buffalo. This pretty much tells me Adam's knee did not hold up after last week's game. If he makes the playoff roster, I'll be shocked. Also not making the trip is Clint Session. Just FYI: Session did not play last week. He will not play this week, and next week is the first round of the playoffs. The Colts have a bye in the first round. This means Clint Session will not play any real football for over almost a month. If Session is rusty in the playoffs, it pretty much destroys Polian's "practice is just as good as playing real games" excuse. Obviously, I don't want Session playing against the Bills. However, four weeks is an awful lot of time away from the game.
But, all I can do now is sigh at Bill Polian and give thanks that my team is in. I'm more interested in the drama that will unfold in the AFC than I am in the Colts v. Bills. Will the Jets and Ravens win and get in? Will the Steelers get some luck and get in, making them a VERY dangerous team? Hell, will the Texans make their very first playoff appearance? All these scenarios offer far more drama than Colts v. Bills, and that's a shame. But, can't control that now. Now, just sit back and watch the book close on another regular season. Seems like yesterday is was early September. I was getting married, and all of y'all were glued to the blog while shake n bake, mgrex03, Colt Homer, and King Richard covered the Week One action.
Amazing how fast the season goes.