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Recap Week Nine: Colts 27-Patriots 20

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Dance my pixies! Dance!
Remember, this game means nothing. It only meant something if the Colts lost. If Indy lost, it meant the Patriots were the best, most balanced team in football. It meant that Indy had reverted back to its old ways of losing in Foxboro. It meant last year's 40-21 blowout was a fluke. It meant that the Colts were all smoke and mirrors, and that they were the luckiest 7-0 team since the merger. This game only meant something if the Colts lost.

Sorry to disappoint you, America.

If you wanted to know how disrespected the Colts were coming into this game, look no further than Chris Collinsworth at NBC. During the Colts v. Patriots pre-game show, Collinsworth was asked to pick his player of the week. Instead of picking players from the seven or so NFL games played earlier in the day, Collinsworth picked Tom Brady. Remember, this is the Colts v. Patriots pre-game show.

Tom Brady hadn't even played yet.

Collinsworth, in a move as arrogant and disrespectful as I've ever seen on a football pre-game show (seconded only to Rush Limbaugh's comments on ESPN's football show a few years ago), picked Tom Brady as his player of the week because he was so sure, so confident that Brady and the Patriots were going to kill the Colts. 4 Tom Brady INTs and a big "L" later, Chris Collinsworth looks like the stupidest man in the NFL media. Chris is now officially on the "Dumb M'Focker" list, right up there with ESPN's Bill Simmons, Indy Star's Bob Kravitz, and Jason "Hi, I'm Fat" Whitlock.

There's no excuse of New England this time around. The Colts walked into Foxboro with a depleted roster, especially on defense, and beat the Patriots. Peyton Manning was dominate. The New England defense, fully healthy, primed, and ready for Manning, had no answers for Peyton. Time and again, Peyton challenged NE's pathetic secondary. Despite a very strong blitz rush, Manning got rid of the football with accuracy and effectiveness. These last three weeks, Peyton Manning has played at a level I have never seen him play at. It is truly amazing.

Here's the recap:

  • Remember when I said the Colts had to stop New England's running game in order to have a chance? Well, turns out I was completely and totally WRONG. The Patriots ran for 148 yards and 2 TDs, averaging 4.4 a carry... and they lost. Some in the pundit media suggested that NE abandoned their running game too early and too often. Well, 33 carries and 148 yards doesn't look like abandoning anything to me. The play of Bob Sanders did help the Colts. Losing MLB Gary Brackett did not. I know folks have been down on Gary this season. Whatever. He's a good MLB that has proven himself time and again. I'm glad Freddie Keiaho got some playing time at MLB, and he did a fine job. However, if this defense is to play to its full potential, which it hasn't all season long, the Colts need a healthy Sanders, Brackett, and Montae Reagor back in time for the playoffs.
  • I also made mention of this:
    The Colts must play flawless ST.

    Hehe. This is why they pay me the big bucks folks. Vinatieri missed two kicks (one was a gimme he should have made), and Terrence Wilkins fumbled away a good kick return in a critical situation. So much for flawless special teams.
  • OK, so I'm batting 0-2, but remember it's not the average. It's the clutch hits when your team needs them. This last one I hit out of the park, and then some:
    The Colts should attack deep early and often, forcing NE to back off and protect against the big play. NE's secondary does not have anyone who can cover the Colts WRs one-on-one.

    Dinger, baby!

    As I said, I wanted the Colts to attack NE's secondary because... well, it stinks. Boy, did they ever attack. No one back there could cover Harrison, Wayne, or even Clark. Heck, last night the Patriots had trouble covering Utecht, and he's slower than my aunt who has a replacement knee. On each and every throw, Peyton Manning dropped back and challenged NE's secondary. For some dumb, dumb, DUMB reason, Bill Belichick thought his CBs could cover the Colts one-on-one. I guess he didn't watch the Denver game last weekend. Manning attacking NE's secondary put the entire Patriots team on their heels the whole night.

When it is all said and done, the Colts are simply better than NE... for now. We have yet to see Indy play a complete game, and yet they are 8-0. They walked into Denver and New England (two teams everyone thought were better than Indy) and beat them both. Despite lacking key players like Reagor and Brackett, the Colts managed to force NE into 5 turnovers. My favorite one was not any of the INTs Brady threw. It was Raheem Brock ripping the football away from Corey Dillon as he fell to the turf. Brock did to Dillon what Bruschi did to Rhodes in the 2004 playoff game.

Payback's a bitch.

In any case, this is a very nice win that we could crow about... but we won't. As I said last week, we will show mercy to the Patriots and their fans, who all but dismissed the Colts prior to losing to them again in Foxboro. I will not, however, be merciful to the media. This is why football games are played, so fools like Bill Simmons and Chris Collinsworth can look like the gibbering idiots they are. I eagerly await the two of them getting paired up for a new NFL pre-game show. I imagine it would look something like this:

Chris Collinsworth and Bill Simmons prep moments before their new NFL pre-game show

8-0 feels very good. Go Colts!