There's no point in doing a real recap for Sunday's meaningless "contest" with the Buffalo Bills. The Colts did not put forth a maximum effort to win the game. Therefore, we won't do the same to cover it. They played it because the NFL would have skinned them alive if they'd forfeited the game, which is essentially what the Colts did by not having people like Dwight Freeney travel with the team.
With players like Erwin Baldwin and Ramon Humber playing on defense, the Colts surrendered over 200 rushing yards and made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Jim Kelly. And please, save me the "snow affected their play" crap. Fitzpatrick is a career back-up, and his QB rating for the game was 120. Curtis Painter, who played most of the game at QB for the Colts, managed a paltry QB rating of 15. The Colts ran for only 25 total yards.
At least a forfeit would have been more honest, not this pretense of "competition" CBS was forced to broadcast despite no one giving a crap about the outcome.
It is also important to point out that while the Colts seem to view 16-0 as unimportant, they are clearly in favor of players padding milestone stats in meaningless games. Despite the fact that doing so exposes them to unnecessary risk, especially in the snowstorm witnessed in Buffalo, the Colts played key players like Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne just long enough for both to earn 100 catches on the season. After both players reached their milestones, the Colts sat them. Bob Kravitz elaborates on this:
Explain this to me again:
A perfect season, which has been accomplished just once in NFL history, wasn't important, but 100 catches, accomplished numerous times by numerous receivers, that goal mattered?
Chase statistics, yes. Chase immortality, no.
Color me confused.
Not to mention dubious, especially as the Colts insisted after the game that the numbers weren't on their radar.
"Those guys' records, we don't go into any ballgame looking to achieve anything in terms of individual records," coach Jim Caldwell said after the team's meaningless 30-7 loss. "If those (marks) get close in the natural flow of things, we will address those issues . . . We got close, so we decided to let them finish it."
"It's not something we set out to do," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "Face it: Pierre (Garcon) is out, G (Gijon Robinson) is out, Joseph Addai -- who do you think I'm going to throw to?
"Those guys are our two main weapons. I'm just trying to find ways to move the ball down the field. I have the freedom to move guys around and get the ball into our playmakers' hands. The goal and the intent was to get some flow for our offense."
Even if this wasn't all about statistics -- and you can still color me dubious, by the way -- why expose Manning, Clark and Wayne to the risk of injury at all? If it didn't make sense to play them one additional series against the Jets, what was the logic behind keeping those players on the field Sunday (and in weather conditions a penguin would find unpalatable)?
So, to recap: Allowing Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne to play a meaningless game in a blizzard so they can both reach personnel statistical milestones = ok. But, playing them an extra quarter in a game that could have moved the Colts to 15-0 = bad.
Like last week, there is no real recap. There is no poll for "game balls." This was a forfeited game, which resulted in another blowout loss for a team that was once 14-0. Bill Polian better hope and pray his philosophy pays off in the playoffs. His reputation with fans, media, and the players depends on it.
My apologies to Buffalo Rumblings for not doing more cross-blogging. For a game like this, there seemed to be little point.