The game was everything is was hyped to be. The two best teams in the NFL traded punches Sunday afternoon, and it was the New England Patriots who landed the final blow. Of the games that I have watched, this was the best and most entertaining by far, and I only saw the first half.
The Colts did everything they needed to do to win this game, and they still lost. They missed two opportunities on offence early in the first quarter. Adam Vinateri missed a 50 yard field goal, and Alex Gonzalez dropped a sure TD pass. Vinateri was brought here to make those kicks against that team. Gonzalez, filling in for an injured Marvin Harrison, should have made that catch.
Still, the Colts lead by ten with nine minutes remaining in the game. Brady had been sacked three times and had thrown two interceptions. Maroney had been held in check, and Moss, Welker, and Stallworth had not burned the secondary.
Until, that is, the 8:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Moss got behind the 25 yard deep safeties and hauled in a 55 yard pass that set up the first of two unanswered TDs. In only four – five minutes Brady had engineered two TD drives against a defense that had checked him and his receivers all day. That is what the great ones do.
The Patriot defense did their part as well. Having been humbled by the Colts until the fourth quarter, the defense flushed Manning out of the pocket, knocking the ball from his hand and into the hands of Roosevelt Colvin.
One first down and a few kneel downs later and the Brady led Patriots had established themselves as the undisputed Alpha dog of pack NFL.
Will these teams meet again in the playoffs? Who knows? There is still half a season to play, and I hope the Colts’ only concern and focus is on the Chargers. Next week’s game in San Diego will not be easy; especially following yesterday’s 35-17 beat down by the Vikings.