The Colts abandoned their quest for a perfect season in Week 16, when the New York Jets rallied for a 29-15 victory after Indianapolis decided to pull star quarterback Peyton Manning and several other starters in the third quarter.
So with nothing really to play for, why did the Colts trot Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and the rest of their regulars onto a snowy field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday?
Well, there were streaks to be maintained and records to be achieved.
Wayne and Clark were each trying to reach 100 receptions, and Manning was preserving his streak of consecutive games played (now at 192).
No matter. Indy quickly removed its regulars and subsequently was drubbed 30-7 by Buffalo, finishing the regular season 14-2 instead of 16-0.
The whole thing didn’t sit well with Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz.
“Chase statistics, yes. Chase immortality, no. Color me confused,” Kravitz wrote.
Manning tried to explain the moves, saying: “These guys are our two main weapons. I’m just trying to find ways to move the ball down the field. The goal and the intent was to get some flow from our offense.”
Kravitz and others found it hypocritical.
A perfect season for a football team? Doesn’t matter.
An individual statistical mark? By all means.
• HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS? — Acknowledging his shortcomings in the 13 years since the Cowboys’ last playoff victory, team owner Jerry Jones told The Dallas Morning News that he accepts the failure as a product of his personality and management style.
“It invites big bumps and bruises,” Jones said, “but you get to have some good things happen to you, too.”
Like somehow winning a Super Bowl with Barry Switzer as coach.
• WINTER CLASSIC, PART 2 — The ice at Fenway Park remained intact after the Boston Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. The college kids will take over the makeshift rink Friday as Boston College and Boston University square off.
“We’ve been talking about this game over a number of years,” Boston University coach Jack Parker told NHL.com. “This will be the biggest crowd, bar none, in BC and BU history.”
The Eagles and Terriers will meet in the second half of a Fenway doubleheader, following a women’s game between New Hampshire and Northeastern that will mark the first women’s outdoor game in the modern era.
• TANKED-UP OILERS? — Alberta’s liquor commission is investigating a high-end Italian restaurant in Calgary for allegedly serving too much alcohol to the Edmonton Oilers during a New Year’s Eve bash.
Neil Hoffman, a spokesman for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, told the Toronto Sun that an anonymous tipster has accused staff at Osteria de Medici of continuing to serve the Oilers even after they were obviously drunk.
New provincial regulations took effect on New Year’s Day requiring staff at licensed restaurants to be trained to look for signs of intoxication.
COMPILED BY STEVE CARP LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL