The Patriots enter the domified air of RCA Stadium tonight, one win away from going to Miami. And there is nothing on that field that can stop them. Colts fans and national media will speak in reverence of the improved Indy defense. The D that held Kansas City and Baltimore in check. Big F’ing deal. Neither of those teams had a legitimate quarterback, making the run that much easier to stop. Credit the anemic offenses with the inability to move the football, not the Indy defense. The defense the Colts fans talk about is as real as the Easter Bunny. Sorry kids.
Had there been a trend, showing the run stop getting better as the year went on, it would make sense. But that isn’t the case. People want to look at two games and believe. Dillon and Maroney will shatter that belief tonight. Look at the last four games of the regular season:
Week 14 375 rushing yards to the Jags
Week 15 133 rushing yards to the Bengals
Week 16 191 rushing yards to Houston
Week 17 150 rushing yards to Miami
That is not a defense that wins championships.
The Patriots made it past their biggest hurdle last week in San Diego. It will take more than a 6’5″, 230 pound QB with a laser arm to overcome the lack of defense. I will say this: Manning should have a field day if he focuses on challenging Ellis Hobbs. He is far and away the weak link in the Pats defense. The only time he isn’t getting burned by a receiver is when he’s getting flagged for interference.
By 10:00PM, Colts fans will be going back to drawing on cave walls and wondering what it feels like to win the big one. Meanwhile, Peyton will be on a plane heading west to film the next round of commercials. And the Patriots will be quietly celebrating another AFC Championship and thinking about Miami in two weeks.