Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pats/Colts: A Loser's Perspective    

The Game
Good game.  Indy played better, and they won, but fairly well-played by both sides.  (With one exception, which we'll get to later.)  On the whole, it was exactly how you expect a pair of juggernauts to go at each other.

For Indy, the story is the defense forcing turnovers and covering the pass.  The rush wasn't all that great, and the Patriot offense wasn't exactly ineffective, but the coverage in the secondary was awfully good all night.  And big, timely plays were made, which cannot be said for the Patriot secondary.

For New England, the story is Tom Brady hacking up a lung in another big game.  FOUR interceptions?!?  Two were tipped, but the last one to Faulk was a bad throw... he missed towards the coverage.  Normally, one could chalk up bad games to bad luck.  But his two worst games came against the only tough games they've played all season: the Broncos and the Colts.  That's not a coincidence.  If Tom's gonna keep barfing up games like this, the defense needs to remember the part about taking the ball away and making big plays on defense.  Third and long should mean a punt.  The lost art of jumping in front of receivers, and so forth.  Can someone remind the cornerbacks they're allowed to do that?

Anyway, not a huge deal.  It's just the regular season, and the Pats have pretty much locked up the division.  But this is two straight years that the Pats have lost at home to their purported punching-bags.  It's not what you'd call an encouraging loss.

Pats Fans
Folks have been hating on Pats fans ever since the first Super Bowl.  And you know what?  They're right.  Pats fans SUCK.  Based solely on tonight's game, I find the defendants guilty on two counts of first-degree idiocy, and a misdemeanor count of aggravated obnoxiousness.  The evidence:

1) Booing Vinatieri.  Shame on them for doing that.  They know better.  It goes without saying that the bad karma affected the game's outcome.

2) The "BULL-SHIT" cheer that went up after Asante Samuel was called for defensive holding... which was actually a good call for the Pats, compared to what it should have been (full-blown pass interference, ball on the 1 yard line).  The right thing to do would have been to boo the shit out of Samuel, who I believe made the cover of the NFL rulebook this season, with a four-page spread plus centerfold in the section covering defensive PI.  But no, they decided to be jackasses.  Hey, I wonder what flavors of Kool-Aid are served at Gillette Stadium.

3) And on the other end of the stick, it seems like on every big play that went against the Pats, the place went dead-silent.  Like someone had just died on the field.  Come on, people.  A 30-yard pass play to Dallas Clark gets the whole crowd pouting?  In the middle of the second quarter???  Absolutely pathetic.  Real fans will rally the defense back onto its feet.  If the fans act like the worst is about to happen, the defense will believe it too.  Good fans can avoid that.

Apparently they are capable of only two states of mind: cheering for good things and booing for bad things.  These are the same people who, when watching baseball at Fenway, have myriad varieties of cheers and jeers at their disposal, use them at precisely the right moments of a baseball game, and generally play the stadium vibe like they're the first violin in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  (Although nobody's perfect.)  Yet when you put these same people in a football stadium, it's like an Arena League game broke out, and everyone's lost without a Jumbotron telling them what to do.  Like they're Orlando Magic fans or something.  Barf.

So here's to everyone who hates Pats fans.  You were right.  You were right.  Tell your sister... you were riiiiight...

Miscellaneous Stuff
* Vinatieri MISSED.  I called it, too, though I have no evidence.  I heard Al Michaels start talking about the Pats needing two scores, and I thought "you know, 45 yards isn't a gimme.  I bet he misses."  Then he did.  I made that happen with my mind.

* Speaking of Vinatieri, I hear that the Kraft family viewed tonight's game from atop the large pile of money they saved by letting Vinatieri leave town.  I wonder how soft and cushy the money-mound was during Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard miss.  I hope they got a good view of it, because they got what they paid for.  I hope Gostkowski and Reche Caldwell walk by Scott Pioli's office every day to say hi, just so Pioli has to confront his disastrous offseason fuck-ups every single day of the season.

(No, I have no plans to forgive them.  Especially when you look at Troy Brown struggling like a senior citizen to get open.  Gotta hold them accountable for this mess.  And not because of the losing.  I freely forgive them for that.  I've had my share of winning.  They don't owe me anything in terms of championships.  But they do owe me their best effort.  Skimming cash off the player payroll is about as explicit as "not their best effort" can get.  They at least have to try.  You don't try, you don't get slack.)

* On a tangentially-related topic, I wonder what Ty Law's up to.  You know, if he's enjoying his new contract and stuff in light of his abysmal INT numbers thus far.  I wonder if he'd have fared better in New England, where he is so sorely needed, than in Kansas City.

* Not impressed with the officiating.  From the Samuel "defensive holding" call (please, it was PI) to the Brady 4th down sneak (no way did he make it) to the Dillon fumble (in Dillon's words, as seen on national television, "that's fuckin' bullshit, man").  The Harrison TD was an exception.  GREAT call.  As great a call as it was a catch.  The rest was lousy.

* In the first quarter, John Madden claimed that Dungy's Colts defenses haven't had the same potency as his Tampa Bay units did because he does not, at the moment, have any dominant defensive linemen.  It's bad enough that the national media forgets about Dwight Freeney, but does the guy doing the game have to forget about him?  Would it be so hard to qualify the statement?  "Freeney's a heckuva player, but he's not in the same class as a Warren Sapp or a Simeon Rice."  Not hard.  Don't leave it hanging out there like Freeney's chopped liver, because he's not.


  • A few brief thoughts:

    1) Freeney hasn't made a big impact this season. Madden should know better, but I understand how he got a little forgettable. And if he's the only one that's really that good, and you're comparing to's annoying but I'm not that offended. Also, I'm mildly hopeful because Chas says they lost their best runblocker to injury, so hopefully that's the main problem with their front 4. Freeney will get his respect with a big play or two in the postseason.

    2) Brady did pretty much suck. I was surprised at first, but then I was thinking about it, and except in the playoffs, he really hasn't been that good against the Colts. He tried his best to cough up that game that ended on Edge getting stuffed for the 4th time. I can see it being a little worrying, but he still only has one bad postseason game on his resume, so I wouldn't sweat it too much.

    3) Letting Edge go was probably a good thing. I still think Edge would be better this year than what they've got, but the chance of him breaking down is pretty real. I think he'd be doing a lot better on a different team right now, but this probably worked out pretty well for Indy. The chance of him being worth his deal is probably not that great. If you had to let one of Manning, Harrison, Wayne, Freeney, or Edge go, the odd man out is definitely Edge. So, I'm still kind of sad but I've definitely come to terms with it.

    4) Wow the Colts run defense was bad. If they can't do something about this, it's going to be a huge uphill battle in the playoffs. One good thing, it seemed to get better rather than wear down as the game went on. That eases my anxiety a little, a little.

    5) Pats fan. Yeah, wow. I don't know about the rest, but the ease with which they were quieted throughout the game was pretty pathetic. I remember multiple times thinking "wow, it just got really quiet." Not good.

    6) Harrison catch and spike. This was my biggest thrill as a Colts fan in years. Amazing catch, but what I really loved about it was the spike, penalty be damned. Out of another player, I wouldn't care, but to see that kind of emotion out of Harrison right there...I can't quite explain it but I think I read a lot of frustration and everything into it and serious cartharsis; I was just so happy for him that he was so pumped up and so pissed and made that

    OK that's it. Anyway, as I'm sure Simmons will remind us later this week; nothing matters until the playoffs between these two teams. I just hope he can have the wherewithall to admit it was silly for him to talk so much shit before a regular season game, especially since the Pats were trounced in last year's regular season matchup. He's right that it only matters in the playoffs, but that just serves to make his column last week even more ridiculous.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 12:40 PM  

  • Also, I missed saying in #3 that I'm really liking Addai. He may not be great, but I think he'll be a very good fit for that team, especially after adding a little more muscle. And he seems pretty grounded, smart, etc. I really like him.

    Yep, looks like I'm a Colts fan to stay. I keep trying to get excited about the Seahawks, but...

    By Blogger Jesse, at 12:44 PM  

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