Colts already considering strategy for playoffs
Jim Caldwell has been preparing for the playoff questions since he was hired as
Providing the answers before December, well, that is a surprise.
One day after becoming the first NFL team to lock up a playoff spot this season, the rookie coach acknowledged he has been pondering how best to get Indianapolis ready for the postseason – even if he’s not ready to announce those plans.
“Not today,” he joked Monday. “I’ve certainly thought about it. It’s not that we don’t have some idea of what we may do, but I don’t like hypotheticals. I don’t like spending money before I have it.”
In other words, Caldwell believes the unbeaten
Yes, the numbers are impressive:
-They have won 20 straight regular-season games, one short of the NFL record set by New England from 2006-08.
-They need one more win to extend their own league record of consecutive 12-win seasons to seven.
-They closed the month with a 12th straight November win, dating to 2007, and became the first team in league history to produce five straight fourth-quarter comeback wins.
Yet there is reason for concern.
Of the three previous teams to clinch division crowns before Game 12 – New England in 2007, Philadelphia in 2004 and San Francisco in 1997 – none won the Super Bowl.
In fact, No. 1 seeds have been anything but automatic in the playoffs. Only twice has the
So, of course, the biggest question in Indy now is whether the record-setting rookie coach will follow
The next goal, of course, is clinching a first-round bye. Then the
“We have a lot to play for, we are not pulling in the reins by any stretch of the imagination,” Caldwell said. “We still have to forge ahead and continue to get better. We have to make certain we keep identifying our weaknesses and try to improve upon those.”
“It (16-0) is really not that important,” Caldwell said. “You’ve seen a lot of great records during regular season. What really counts in this league is one ultimate goal, that is to win it all.”
But resting players can be risky, too.
Caldwell was around for the last two debacles, in 2005 against Pittsburgh and in 2007 against a San Diego team playing with a backup quarterback and a backup running back at the end.
Now, though, it’s Caldwell’s team and Caldwell’s choice.
“I’ll address that when we get there, that’s how I like to approach it,” he said. “We’ll assess our team at that point in time and how do we get ourselves in the best position?”