Monday, February 08, 2010
This photo is the closest Jim Caldwell will get to the Super Bowl trophy in at least one calendar year and he can point to the difference between his gusto and that of Sean Payton. While Payton will be applauded for his aggressiveness and mostly his successful onside kick call, part of me thinks the bigger story is how when given the opportunity to throw in the dagger Caldwell passed.
With 1:49 seconds left in the 2nd quarter the Colts had the ball at their own goal line up by 7 points and coming off what could have been the biggest play of the game, stuffing the Saints on 4th and goal. Instead of trusting in his quarterback, possibly the best of all time, and letting him try to put additional points on the board, Caldwell got passive. Jim Caldwell decided a 7 point lead was enough and that the Colts should head into the locker room with that lead and move onto the 2nd half.
Jim Caldwell's decision completely back fired. The Colts went 3 and out. The Saints were able to get the ball back and get the field goal that eluded them on 4th and goal. The Saints instead were the team to head into half time with momentum. The Saints were the team feeling good about themselves despite the deficit, all because Jim Caldwell got passive. Caldwell and the Colts will always look back at that decision and wonder what if. What if he let loose? With 2 timeouts left and 1:49 on the clock, what if Peyton Manning drove the field and made the game 13-3? Unfortunately for the Colts and their fans, they will never know, they just know that Sean Payton set of stones helped New Orleans claim their first Super Bowl while their coaches lack of aggressiveness leave them with a large "what if".