Sure, I'm disappointed in Jabar Gaffney for dropping what would've been the go-ahead touchdown, and I'm mad that Dave Thomas's penalty basically lost the game for them, and of course this wasn't Belichick's finest coaching game but overall...I'm doing okay today.
In the past, a loss to the Colts stung and gnawed at me for the entire week (unless it was 2006 when in ate at me for six months), my disdain for Peyton Manning growing with each Sportscenter lowlight of his mongoloid forehead.
But this time home field advantage in the playoffs wasn't on the line. Another chapter of the Manning vs. Brady legacy was not written. And both Patriots and Colts fans know that New England could've, and probably should've won that game, with Matt Cassel behind center, an undrafted rookie running the ball, and no Rodney Harrison or Laurence Maroney, while the Colts had every one of their stars.
Sorry Colts fans. You won the game, but you're slowly losing the war to age and injuries.
This was a game the Cots had to have. And to be honest, I was expecting it would be ugly. I expected the old Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and pals to show up. But they didn't. And they may never be showing up again.
The Patriots went toe to toe with a desperate team in a hostile environment and came as close as you can come to pulling off the upset. Given the current state of the two teams, and the fact that the Patriots are still in first place in the AFC East (at least tied for it), I'll take it.
That's why Tony Massarotti at the Boston Globe and Peter King of Sports Illustrated are finding a significant silver lining to the loss. The Pats continue to improve each week regardless of who is or isn't playing.
And who knows, come January we might just get another shot at the Colts, maybe this time in Foxboro.
So now the Pats have three division games in a row that will pretty much determine what kind of season they have. Get ready for the make-or-break portion of the schedule.
Is it just me or does BenJarvus Green-Ellis already run harder than we ever saw Maroney run?
I know everyone wants to see Randy Moss get the ball more but I just don't get the "throw it up there and let him go get it" argument. Why don't we just start with Randy Moss catching the balls that are right in his bread basket before we start trying to force it to him (see Rams, Chargers games).
I hate to be one of those toldja-so types but I did call the Pats using Adalius, Mayo and Guyton on Dwight Clark instead of Meriweather (as Pats Blogger Overlord Mike Reiss predicted).
It's a log jam in the AFC East and after watching the Bills/Jets game yesterday I still think the Patriots have to the be the favorites. But that Jets game in two weeks is more scary to me at the moment than this week's Bills game.
I think the Pats are going to need to find an Outside Linebacker this off-season. Vrabel had good stop on Addai for a loss but the pass rush was generally invisible. Adalius can only do so much. Pierre Woods is in his last contract year, is he the answer? I don't even remember seeing him play yesterday so maybe that tells you something.
We're starting to see why Meriweather's nickname at "The U" was Hitstick. If only Reggie Wayne hadn't held onto that touchdown after Meriweather mauled him.
It looked to me as if David Thomas didn't hear the whistle over the crowd noise and that was why he creamed the Indy linebacker after the play was dead. Credit the fans at LOS. Really that was the difference in the game. Otherwise we were most certainly headed to overtime.
Reason #1A why the Patriots will make the playoffs: Run Defense.
Any other Pats fans out there already trying to put together the pieces for Brady's return in 2009? James Sanders and Deltha O'Neal are the only members of the starting defense not under contract, other than that depth in the secondary will be looking pretty good for the first time in a while. On offense WR will be a need as Gaffney will be an FA, though after the Colts drop I'm sure teams won't exactly be banging down his door.
It needs to mentioned that the O-Line did a great job in Indy and Cassel didn't take a single sack. If this continues the Pats are going to be a hard out for anyone they face.
Huge week coming up with the Bills, who are coming off back to back losses and a meteoric drop in power rankings everywhere. The Patriots should be able to continue to build off the loss to the Colts and with a win this weekend take a significant step towards another AFC East title.
Mike Dussault is the Patriots Community Leader at Bleacher Report, and also a contributor at BostonSportz.com. His Patriots blog can be viewed here and he can be contacted at PatriotsPropaganda@gmail.com.
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