Several NFL teams still are battling for playoff seeding, so there won't be much resting of players on Sunday. The Indianapolis Colts are one of the few teams locked into a playoff seed (No. 5), but they still plan to play to win against the Houston Texans.
"We want to keep the momentum going."
Smart decision by Pagano. The Colts just aren't a team so dominant that they can afford to lose any rhythm by resting players to avoid risking injury. They've beaten title contenders in the Green Bay Packers and lost to also-rans in the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts have won four of their last five games, but each victory was by a single score and easily could have gone the other way. And those wins -- over the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills -- didn't come against playoff teams.
"We're going to play to win every single week, regardless of the situation, regardless of record," Pagano said. "We owe it to everybody else, our fans, this city, the state and community, whatever, to go out and play football."
That's the philosophy needed as a foundation when an organization is rebuilding with new, young players.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.