But when head coach Jim Caldwell held out his starters for much of the second half as the Jets came back to win, there was a tangible sense of disappointment in football fans throughout the country. Not everybody wanted to see the Colts reach the perfect mark, but most folks at least wanted to see them try.
Count former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi among that group.
"When you compare the '09 Colts to the '07 Patriots, I am going to say something that a lot of people are thinking but aren't saying: At least the '07 Patriots had the guts to go for it," Bruschi said on ESPN. "That's what they did, that's what the Indianapolis Colts didn't do, and that's their problem."
Harsh words, but if anyone has the right to make judgments on it, it's Bruschi, who was part of that 2007 team that came within minutes of completing a perfect 19-0 season. Despite the fact that they fell just short of their ultimate goal, Bruschi doesn't seem to have any regrets.
"I know what it's like to play when it feels like there's a gorilla on your back of pressure, when you're 15-0," Bruschi said. "But it's the most satisfying thing when you achieve that 16-0 mark."
Bruschi wasn't buying Colts president Bill Polian's explanation that the Colts were only interested in setting regular-season records (the regular-season winning streak and the most regular-season wins this decade), saying that those are meaningless.
"Listen, Indianapolis Colts fans, don't let [Polian] fool you," Bruschi said. "It is historic to go 16-0, because that means that you have a chance to go 19-0. You only can go 19-0 if you go 16-0 first. And 19-0 trumps every single team record that there's ever been made. It trumps the '72 Dolphins' 17-0 also."
Bruschi said that he was rooting for the Colts to pull off the undefeated season.
"[The 2007 Patriots]. We failed. We could not go 19-0," Bruschi said. "I wanted to see someone do it because that means someone is pushing themselves to do something that had never been done before and you respect that."
The video of Bruschi can be seen below, and if you can't get fired up listening to Tedy Bruschi talk, then you may not have a pulse.
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