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Joe Baker
Colts Blogger

Joe Baker

Joe Baker writes for the Indianapolis Colts blog 18-to-88.

Vikings, Cards must win

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While the Colts controversial decision to rest starters rather than attempt a undefeated season has instilled a Super Bowl or Bust attitude in many fans, the Colts have made it clear that fan reaction is not a factor in their personnel and on the field choices. If the Colts are upset this weekend many fans may call for heads to roll, but the calls would fall on deaf ears inside the organization. For the majority of organizations, pressure isn't applied by media and fan expectations as much as the possibility of a closing window. The fan and media pressure on the Colts is largely relieved by the likelihood they'll be back as a contender next year. Peyton Manning is coming off back to back MVP seasons and the team already moved on without one HOF target in Marvin Harrison.

The teams for which this year might be their last shot for the next couple years are the ones really under the heat. The Vikings and Cardinals are led by 40 and 38 year old QBs who both may retire after this season. While QBs often get too much credit for wins and too much blame for losses, there's no denying the power of a potent passing attack. Would the Vikings and Cardinals be playing this weekend if they were Quarterbacked by Matt Leinart, Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels? That's the situation those teams may be facing next year. Adding additional pressure on the Vikings is that Pro Bowl O-linemen Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKennie are on the wrong side of 30, while massive nose tackle Pat Williams will hit 38 next year as fellow DT star Kevin Williams hits 30.

The real pressure question isn't "How much of a disappointment would a loss be?", it's "Will there really be a next year?"

By Joe Baker  |  January 15, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Minnesota Vikings Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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