A long, seemingly almost boring game that featured a lot of bad defense by the Colts on third down, but the Bob Sanders factor cannot be overlooked. He had a key INT in the fourth quarter that seemed to break New England. Say what you want about this New England teams minus Brady, but they are one tough, resilient bunch. We bash Belichick and call him "cheater," but the reality is he is one helluva coach. Games between Dungy and Belichick are chess matches, and it almost doesn't matter who plays QB, RB, or CB.These two are the best of the best at game management.
For us, the big key is the Colts got a W against a tough opponent. The team inches back to .500, and the passing offense seems to have found itself again. Peyton Manning was virtually flawless going 21-28 for 254 yards and 2 TDs.
The problem for the Colts is clearly 3rd down defense. Time and again, the Colts play outstanding on first and second down only to collapse on third. And deactivating Daniel Muir was a mistake that nearly cost Indy this win. New England ran for 140 friggin yards using third and fourth string RBs. If Dungy and the Colts coaching brass sat a healthy Muir because they thought NE was going to throw Matt Cassel to the Colts pass rush, they are blind stinking dumb. I don't think they did. I assume Muir is hurt, because if he wasn't then I have serious questions as to whether Tony Dungy knows what is going on with his team. Without quality depth at NT, teams run the ball on Indy. And sitting your best NT (Muir is better than Foster, no question) for no reason would be about as dumb as it gets.
But whatever, a win is a win and this win is huge. After two weeks of wretched football, it is finally good to get a win. There is still a lot of work to do, and the Colts have got to fix their third down D. They are becoming unwatchable, even when they win.