As we may remember, the Colts were brutally criticized for resting their starters in a December 27 home game against the Jets, thus ruining their chance at a perfect season and pretty much handing the Jets a playoff spot. While Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeney and the rest of the starters were in the game, it looked like it was going to be an easy win for the Colts, but as soon as head coach Jim Caldwell pulled Manning, Freeney and the rest of the gang out of the game, things began to fall apart for Indianapolis. The end result: Jets 29 - Colts 15.
The win ended the then-unbeaten Colts (14-0) chance of making history and put the Jets in a position to control their own destiny for a playoff spot. Well lo and behold, guess who's playing who in the AFC Championship Game-- Jets vs. Colts
This whole thing could turn into an ugly nightmare for coach Caldwell and the Colts. It's bad enough the Colts were hammered for basically giving the game away to the Jets and ignoring history-- so just imagine if these same Jets go into Indy and eliminate the Colts from the playoffs next week? That would be a surreal case of destiny coming back to haunt them.
After the stunner in San Diego, coach Ryan (who's becoming somewhat of a legend with his one-liners) had this to say about going to Indy one more time--
- "A matchup that probably nobody wanted, but too bad. Here we come!"
- "I don't know if Santa Claus will be that good to me again, but I will say that I'd like to see Peyton Manning play this week."
- "We believed the whole time, the whole year, when it probably wasn't the popular choice. We don't have to apologize to anyone."
Critics can say what they want (if there are any left)-- win or lose at Indy, coach Ryan has proven he's a man of his word. Everything he said he was going to do, he's already accomplished. And they ain't done yet.
Here's a clip from his press conference when he was named the Jets' new head coach:
You've shut a lot of people up, coach, including myself. Win, lose or draw in Indy-- the fact that you've made it this far, is an incredible accomplishment and a testament to your work ethics. Good for you!
Good luck in Indy, coach!
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