The Colts rested their starters against the Jets and lost the game. Fans are upset about this decision, and so are other teams whose playoff picture rests in part on that game’s outcome.
Not playing to win is a disservice to the fans and the league. Furthermore, there is a kind of momentum that builds from game to game, not just within a game. Streaks are good for morale, and giving up on a game is the worst way to end one.
What if the Jets beat the Colts in the AFC Championship game… a game they couldn’t have gotten into if the Colts hadn’t given up on that regular season game?
How would I feel as a Colts fan if Manning got hurt in an “unimportant” game against the Jets? I think I would feel better than watching my team give up and take a week off. It’s a shameful choice by a group of professional athletes.