Originally Posted by Bronco X
Don't forget Coach Pagano. If he was sitting out the last week and returning for the playoffs, it wouldn't make a difference, but he's returning this week and will be on the sidelines for the first time since he became ill. That will be a significant emotional factor the Colts and they certainly don't have nothing to play for.
Plus, they are not in the same situation as the Manning Colts of recent memory. They are a young team, inexperienced at the QB position at least, and they are playing against a team that is playing for the #1 seed. I can see them playing for the win both for Coach Pagano and to give them some seasoning playing in games with playoff implications before the real thing starts.
Also Indy is looking at a one and done. They are going to have to go to NE in the wild card game and get killed. Maybe they want a statment game against Houston the final week. If they beat Houston the final week then they do not have to go to NE but will have to travel to Houston. They might prefer that.