For Red Sox Nation, baseball season officially began at 10:15 last night. That’s when Brady’s magic ran out, ending the Patriots’ hopes of 4 championships in six years. Football is now something worry about in September, as distant as Labor Day cook-outs and back-to-school shopping. Bring on pitchers and catchers.
The first 28 minutes of the game went just as I expected. The Patriots were dominating on both sides of the ball, running at will and keeping Manning flustered. Then they went into the infamous “prevent defense” and let Manning run a two-minute drill and get a momentum-building field goal before the half, 21-6 Pats.
The Colts carried that momentum into the second half, picking the Pats’ D apart on the opening drive. The shoot-out was on. In the end, Manning was better than Brady, and Dungy was better than Bill. And that’s all there is to it. OK, not quite all. I have a few issues my therapist thinks I need to get out in the open:
Ellis Hobbs is a terrible corner. He made a couple of great plays, and he was huge for the Pats in the game with his returns, but there is always – and I mean always – an interference call on him that hurts the Pats. Why did he not turn around on that play?
Play-calling for the offense was weak. Maroney cannot run up the middle. We found that out last week. Run Faulk and Dillon up the gut, let Maroney use his speed on the outside. And throwing on first down? It works to mix it up, but it got pretty predictable (16 pass attempts to just 6 runs on first down).
Manning’s “hurt thumb” was an excuse-in-the-making. I doubt we’ll hear another word about it. Unless he chokes in the Superbowl.
The game should have been over when the Pats went up 34-31, then held the Colts to three-and-out to get the ball back. There was only 3:22 on the clock. Three straight runs, whether they get the first or not, are definitely the call to make.
How do you get 12 men in the huddle on the first play of a drive? I mean, I understand botching a substitution, but they actually sent 12 men out on offense?
The roughing the passer penalty was something else I waited the whole game for. The Pats have been notorious for really dumb penalties, usually personal fouls, all season. Banta-Cain didn’t let me down.
What the f-ck is up with Reche Caldwell? Maybe he is the football version of A-Rod.
Having to listen to Jim Nantz ejaculate in his pants at the end of the game was far worse than watching the Patriots lose.
Finally, I have a newsflash for Peyton Manning fans: yes, he won a big game, but not the big game. Will this really mean anything if the Colts lose next week? Will you be happy “just getting there?” I don’t think so.
Please, start spring training…