INDIANAPOLIS – Timing is never an exact science. Chuck Pagano knows that all to well here in Indianapolis.
During his first season with the Colts the team had an undesirable placement for the bye week–just three games into the season. Plus it would end up coming after a heartbreaking last-minute loss to the Jaguars that dropped the Colts to 1-2 on the still young season and tenure for the coach.
But this bad spot would actually be a major blessing for Pagano even with its often dreaded timing. During the off week Pagano went to hospital after not feeling well and was diagnosed with Leukemia. Early diagnosis led to quick treatment and eventual remission for the coach.
That year, Week 4 for just perfect for a bye.
“In 2012, it probably came at a good time for a lot of reasons in 2012,” said Pagano when asked about the timing of the Colts’ off week this time around.
For more traditionalists the 2014 week without football is almost perfect–after the ninth game of the season and just a little after the halfway point of the season. The rest is always appreciated in a physical sport whether after the third or the ninth game, but the Colts won’t complain about the timing.
“I didn’t think this week would ever get here,” admitted defensive end Cory Redding. “I thought we were going to play all 16 games with no rest, but here it is, we’re 6-3 and that’s all that matters.”
Winning is all that matters going into the open date and for a second-straight year that’s exactly what the Colts did. At Met Life Stadium on Monday night the Colts broke to the lead at the start and were never challenged in a 40-24 victory over the Giants.
It came after the team’s worst loss of the season against the Steelers in which they allowed 639 yards and 51 points.
“We needed to get that win to get back on track,” said quarterback Andrew Luck. “I said it last night, Reggie (Wayne) talked about it the night before the game, it’s a bad feeling to go into a bye with a loss.
“Not that we needed extra motivation for a Monday night game on the road against a good Giants team, but good to get the win.”
Certainly it raises the spirits of the players as they head to a week of rest a certainly keeps the intended plans in place. Pagano hinted that loss might have changed those plans.
“It’s night and day. Then to be able to get away and actually enjoy some time off coming off a win. Coming off a loss everybody probably cancels any plans that they had to do anything,” said Pagano. “It upsets everybody at home, wives and kids, whoever. Everything that they had planned gets canceled.”
Not going to be the case this season as the team heads their respective directions before gathering next Monday and begin preparations for the playoffs. Some stay in town to rest while others hit the road and travel like Vontae Davis, who says he’ll be heading to Miami for the week off.
Ricky Jean Francois said he’s going there as well, but others aren’t quite as willing to divulge their travel plans.
“What’s my plan? I don’t want to give away my plan. I’ll get out of town for a little bit and relax,” said Luck–and that opportunity is appreciated no matter what the time of the season.