The Colts, and the Independence Bowl

Before we take a look at tonight’s bowl game I want to touch on the controversy surrounding what the Colts did yesterday against the Jets. If you’ve been under a rock then you missed that Indy got out to a 15-10 lead and then pulled Peyton Manning and the rest of the starters. They didn’t score again, and the Jets waltzed to a deceptively easy 29-15 win. Coach Jim Caldwell has spent most of his time since making the decision defending it. This stinks in a whole lot of ways. There’s the fact that this was a home game, so they effectively robbed their fans of their ticket prices. There’s the fact that resting the starters hasn’t worked in the past for Indy, and it’s especially meaningless because there are three weeks between this game and the first playoff game. There’s the fact that intentionally throwing a game away like they did makes a mockery of any of the legal betting that happened on the game. Most significantly, though, the Jets were in the midst of a very intense chase for the wild card spots, so by throwing this game away and handing the Jets a win they were intentionally hurting the chances of every other team trying to earn one of their spots. I understand a team wanting to be at their best for the playoffs, but doing it at the expense of the chances of other teams is vile.

Independence Bowl

Georgia (-6.5) vs. Texas A&M
Monday, December 28, 5 pm ET

The Aggies should have the clear motivational edge here. Georgia has played in January bowls six times in the last seven years, so they aren’t going to be excited by a 7-5 record and a minor bowl game. On the other hand, the Aggies have only played in three bowl games over the last seven years, so they will be far more excited to be here. Georgia is also dealing with some internal turmoil – after a season that they proved that they were totally incapable of stopping anyone, the team fired three defensive coaches including the defensive coordinator. That means that the already vulnerable defense is going to be an issue here. That’s not to suggest, though, that A&M is a good defensive team. Far from it, in fact – they allowed 47 or more points four different times, and made more than one bad team look pretty good.This one is going to be an offensive showdown, and both teams are up for that challenge. Don’t blink in this one or you’ll miss a touchdown. The total is all the way up at 67 and climbing, and that’s no real surprise.

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