Here’s to you, Curtis Painter

By Marc A. Greenberg

Yes, the Jets are still in this playoff hunt. Don’t ask how, don’t ask why, don’t ask for how much longer. The reality is that the 7-7 Jets are in Indy this week against the 14-0 Colts and there is log jam for the 2 wild card spots.

At 8-6, the Ravens and Broncos are currently in the game. At 7-7, the Jets, Dolphins, Titans, Jaguars, and Steelers are a game out. (with a Jets win and a Ravens loss, Dolphins loss, and Jaguars loss, the Jets are in the wild card with 1 game to play).

The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is what happened to Britney Murphy? wait… wrong question.

The real question is how much will the Colts first team play on Sunday.

Having already clinched home field and a first week bye for the playoffs, the Colts are expected to rest anticipated MVP Peyton Manning and the rest of the first team for the next 3 weeks and go with Rookie QB Curtis Painter out of Purdue.

Yeah, not gonna happen. Sorry Jets.  You think this would be easy?  Did you really think the Colts would start Painter in Indy, whose career stats are a respectable 0-0 with 0 yards?

To convince even the disbelievers, below are three perfectly good reasons why the Colts are not going to rest Manning and all healthy starters this week.

1. This is the Colts last home game of the year. Perfect weather under the dome…. You have to make the fans happy. As long as Manning and all are not getting hit hard by the Jets (which, incidentally could happen), they will play.  And they will break you.

2. The Colts are 14-0. How many times can you say you were perfect in a year? Anyone remember who lost to the Giants in 2007. Of course not. Steelers? Titans? See, you can’t remember.

3. The Colts are in Buffalo for week 17. Hello ???  Buffalo. The expected temperature is going to be something like minus 33. You think Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney want to go to Buffalo? Of course not.  Play the starters this week and rest them for Week 17 and the bye week.

The Jets game on Sunday will come down to Defense. If the Jets Defense can pressure Manning and scare first year coach Jim Caldwell into pulling the star QB, the Jets have a chance here. If the Defense pulls a “sleepy time, me no wanna play hard today”, get ready for a 34-13 game.