I wonder if Patriots fans have a different opinion on resting starters now.
A couple of weeks ago the Indianapolis Colts, who were 14-0 at the time, pulled their starters in the second half of a game against the New York Jets and ended up losing. Journalists and fans from all over the league threw up their arms in disgust. People felt like the Colts gave up on their pursuit of a perfect season. The Colts felt like it was a meaningless game and pulling their starters would ensure that they would be fresh for the playoffs. Their stance was that winning a Super Bowl meant more than finishing the regular season 16-0.
Unlike most people, I agreed with the Colts decision to rest their starters. People would have thrown a fit if someone like Peyton Manning had gotten hurt in a game like that. If Manning (or any of Indy’s other starters) had gotten hurt, it may have ruined their chances to play for a Super Bowl.
I know that an important player getting injured would be a worst case scenario for a playoff bound team. Unfortunately, the New England Patriots encountered this.
This past Sunday, they were playing in a “meaningless” game against the Houston Texans. The Patriots had already clinched a playoff spot and were playing in their final regular season game. Wes Welker, their most productive wide receiver, tore his MCL and ACL in the game and is probably out for the playoffs.
The Patriots are still a really good team, but without Welker, their chances of winning the Super Bowl are greatly diminished. I’m wondering how many Patriot fans now wish that their team would have adopted the Indianapolis Colts way of thinking.