Perfection? 12/28/2009Posted by sportretort in NFL, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: 1972, indianapolis colts, miami dolphins, new england patriots, nfl football, perfection, Super Bowl, xlii
No one is perfect.
The Indianapolis Colts lost to the New York Jets 29-15 yesterday, becoming the last team to taste defeat in the NFL this season. The Colts had become just the third team
in history to reach the 14-0 mark. The New England Patriots did it two seasons ago, reaching 18-0 before losing in the Super Bowl to the ew York Giants. Of course, the 1972 Miami Dolphins completed the only undefeated season in NFL history, completing the 17-0 season with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. Leading 12-10 in the third quarter, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell pulled Quarterback Peyton Manning and several other key Colts players from the game. Indianapolis had already clinched their division, a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They had nothing to play for other than perfection. But perfection had never been their goal. Their goal, heck every teams goal is to win the Super Bowl.
No team enters the season saying that their goal is to finish undefeated. They all want to win the Super Bowl. In 2007, the Patriots finished 18-1. They set the record for
consecutive wins to start the season, reaching 18-0. Ask any player on that team if they would rather have been 18-0 or been Super Bowl champs, and 18-0 would not get even one vote. Perfection adds stress to an already difficult task. Winning the Super Bowl is hard enough. The added stress of perfection is not needed. The 1998 Denver Broncos were defending Super Bowl champs. They reached 13-0 that season before they lost a game. In fact, they lost 2 in a row then went on to win their second consecutive Super Bowl. Many members of that team, a team that had just won the big game the season before, talked about how bad the pressure was to remain undefeated. Many feel that the loss lifted a weight from their shoulders. So the Colts may have done themselves a favor. But don’t tell that to the fans in the stands Sunday that were booing the home standing Colts in the fourth quarter. Caldwell has been roundly criticized for his decision. But teams rest their players in the same situation every season. If the Vikings lose tonight at Chicago, the Saints will lock up home field advantage in the NFC. If that were to happen, do you not think that several Saints players will have an early end to next weeks game? Of course they will. But since the Saints are not playing for perfection, most will not even notice. In fact, if they do not pull their starters early and some one gets hurt, they will be criticized for taking an unnecessary risk. Why should the Colts situation be any different?
Sure, 19-0 would be nice. But ask the Patriots if they would feel any better if that one blemish in the 18-1 season had come in week 16 rather than in the Super Bowl. The next mont will tell if the Colts will win the Super Bowl. With the loss their task just got easier