The Indianapolis Colts needed to lose against the Houston Texans.
By making yet another impressive comeback in the fourth quarter to beat the Texans 35-27 on Sunday the Colts have won the AFC South for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. With home field advantage throughout the playoffs only a couple of wins away the team will have nothing to play for.
That is where the trouble can start. So far Jim Caldwell has yet to have to make the tough decisions of whether or not to play his superstars, but come week 16 and 17 he probably will. He would go from looking like a Coach of the Year candidate to the Goat of the Year were anything to happen to Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, or any of the other Colt standouts.
However, the Colts have not exactly been winning with stellar play lately. Three timely pass interference calls helped the Colts get their offense on track against the Texans defense Sunday. Manning has become interception prone lately having thrown seven interceptions the last four weeks; it has been his play that has forced the Colts to come from behind these last few weeks. The comebacks have managed to pad his stat line, making it appear as if Manning played a better game than he did.
Last season showed that even some of the game’s greatest players need to be in the groove in order to play well. Manning missed training camp last year and did not really catch fire till almost midway through last season. As a result, the Colts lost the division for the first time since 2003.
Manning is not playing his best football even thought the Colts are winning. A few losses might actually bring the team back down to earth. They would also force the Colts to have to out their game face on to finish the season instead of giving their superstars a break.
That way they may get their competitive edge back when it counts because after all there is no such thing as just turning it on. Unlike other professional sports, the NFL is one and done in the playoffs. Eventually the mistakes will catch up with Manning and the Colts if they do not get the kinks ironed out in time.