Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
What we can all agree on is based on this game, the two best teams reside in New England and Indianapolis right now. No other team comes close. Here's the recap:
- I LOVE INDY'S DEFENSE! You will never hear me say anything bad about Gary Brackett again. He could be sleeping with my girlfriend right now and I'd still think he's awesome. That second pick on Brady was one of the greatest defensive plays I've ever seen. All game long, Brackett, Sanders, Marlin, Kelvin, and Antoine were hitting the snot out of Patriots receivers. It wasn't until the mid-fourth, when injuries knocked out Marlin, Bob, and a few others that Brady started making plays. Give New England credit: They made the plays when they needed them. Still, Brady faced constant pressure all game, and it showed. Hats off to Dungy and Meeks for getting this defense playing this well.
- The injuries just took their toll. In the fourth, with only 2 healthy WRs, the offense sputtered. Injuries aren't an excuse, but when you play a team like New England, it helps to have all your horses in line. With Marvin and Gonzo out, the Pats simply blitzed like madmen. Moorehead dropped a sure first down on a drive that could have iced the game, and even Reggie dropped a few long balls he should have reeled in. The past two years, Reggie and the others make those catches. This time, they don't. That's really the difference.
- New England is a fine team. We've all said that. But they escaped with this win. The Colts were simply more physical than the Patriots. Joseph Addai ran right down their throats. Indy's front four lived in New England's backfield, and Brady faced constant pressure all game. On offense, despite back-up LT Charlie Johnson getting killed play after play, Manning played very well. As stated before, his receivers dropped some well thrown balls, and his protection simply broke down in the fourth. Credit NE for taking advantage of the Colts' injuries.
Fan participation on the blog today was excellent. Thanks to all Pats fans for commenting with us. We appreciate your comments and your respect. Please understand, we think your team is dirty, whiny, cheap, and loaded with punks. However, that doesn't mean we don't respect it, because we sure as hell do. This is the best rivalry in football, and I'm glad to see it continue.
For the Colts, it's just odd to see them lose. It hasn't happened in a long time; almost 11 months. It's yet another reason to enjoy this team, even after a loss like this. They'll regroup. They'll re-evaluate. They'll recover. And later on, they will face New England again.
And then, when the stakes are high, Indy will beat them. Go Colts.