FanDuel - WFBC

January 21, 2007

Colts are Superbowl Bound.:

posted by Joey Michaels to football at 09:28 PM - 101 comments

Many congratulations to the long suffering fans of Indianapolis!

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:28 PM on January 21

That was a football game. Dang.

posted by tieguy at 09:39 PM on January 21

Man, that was a close one- there were so many plays and non-plays (a dropped reception by NE that led to a FG attempt instead of a TD, a bobble on a key reception by Indy that could have been snagged in the air by NE) just in the last few minutes. But in the end, it came down to the NE defense: they became utterly unable to stop Indy, and for once the Colts got past the Patriots. And at least it was clean- an interception of Brady seems almost poetic, given how often the opposing QB would be picked off by some NE player over the years to make for some game-breaking play.

posted by hincandenza at 09:39 PM on January 21

Congratulations to the Colts. That Joseph Addai touchdown was the dagger that finally vanquished the Patriots. Unfortunately, the Pats were not stout enough to stop the Colts when it counted, and they might have blundered away a chance to put the game away early with a succession of penalties. Dungy and the Colts made key adjustments throughout the game and came up with the 2nd-half-opening drive that really got their engine going. Manning and Bob Sanders made some huge plays down the stretch. Surprise, surprise, the game did not turn on the feet of the kickers. It was fairly well-officiated too - while I think some non-calls were bogus I'm sure a Colt fan could match me point for point. Overall, the Colts were the better team in this showdown and it's been a long time coming for them. I'm hoping for a good Super Bowl but with the way the Colts are playing on both sides of the ball, we could be in for a rout. At least the AFC championship was a hell of an exciting contest. (It's best that I weigh in now, before extended reflection on this outcome turns me into a simmering cauldron of rage. Even though it's really been a rebuilding year for the Patriots, they came so close to making the Super Bowl. I'm just going to have to focus in a little closer on my Hoyas and wait for spring training and the draft. Think defensive depth, Pioli!!)

posted by Venicemenace at 09:39 PM on January 21

Hey! congratulations to the Colts! what tieguy said

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 09:47 PM on January 21

I think the Pats defense wore out on that overheated turf. I never would've thought they could give up 32 points in one half. I didn't see the roughing call that put the Colts in striking distance for the winning TD. Anyone know if it was legit?

posted by rcade at 09:52 PM on January 21

i'm not of fan of either teams. but i am a fan of good football, and that was probably the most exciting game I have ever watched. i hope the superbowl gives us the same kind of game. also, what was up with reche caldwell. he had a couple key drops and he looked like a deer in headlights. what was up with those eyes. i guess gator karma didn't work for him.

posted by erkno11 at 09:52 PM on January 21

He always looks like that erkno, even when he isn't dropping balls. Pretty weird, huh? Rcade, the replay didn't reveal much but there may have been some helmet-to-helmet contact, which draws an automatic flag. It certainly wasn't anything that presented a hazard but the rules are pretty strict on that front. They weren't flagging much ticky-tack stuff tonight so I have to believe the flag was probably legit. I hate Nance.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:57 PM on January 21

I agree about Caldwell, erkno. They looked kike the 'roid rage linebacker's eyes from that football movie. I think it was The Program. James Caan as the coach?

posted by hawkguy at 09:57 PM on January 21

As someone without much of a rooting interest in this game, I must say that it was a real pleasure to watch. I came to it a little bit late, and almost turned it off for good at 21-3, but I watched the end of the half (Colts' drive for a FG) and then decided it was probably worth watching the second half considering that the Colts offense looked like it was going to be able to move the ball. Great game to watch. And for what it's worth, Hal, I think even if NE had recovered on the bobble by Wayne in the last few minutes (assuming that's what you're talking about), Indy would have retained possession on the roughing the passer penalty. But you're right that there were a number of plays in the past few minutes that, if made, could have changed the outcome. As to Caldwell, he wasn't deer in the headlights because he was bewildered or overwhelmed -- dude just has big eyes. Some DBs say that they know when to turn back for the ball because the receiver's eyes get big when it's coming in. I'm not sure what DBs that cover Caldwell do.

posted by holden at 10:07 PM on January 21

RCade, actually (you may know this by now) It was a "blow to the head" call. Some players hand grazed Manning's helmet. Pretty weak call, but they were beating him up all game. Congrats Colts.

posted by Bishop at 10:16 PM on January 21

Congrats to Coach Dungy, Peyton Manning and the Colts. Great comeback over an incredible opponent in the NE Patriots. Looking forward to seeing them play in the Superbowl.

posted by skydivedad at 10:19 PM on January 21

Great Game and good on Manning for getting one monkey off his back!! Glad to see Dungy get rewarded also. Colts defense was something else......I guess a guy named Bob Sanders can really inspire a team. Here's a thought.......after the Pats intercepted and returned it for a TD we had the obligatory end zone celebration and it seemed just what the Colts needed to light them up......same can be said for Reggie Bush and the Ringling Bro.'s act on his TD. Think I'd knock that "in your face" crap off for fear of what kind of fool I'm fixin' to look like!

posted by brbcca at 10:22 PM on January 21

rcade, Bishop's right, the call was a blow to the head. From the one replay I saw, it looked liked the Pat's defender had his arm up and the momentum from being blocked brushed his arm into Manning's helmet. Considering how the rest of the game was called, I think this one was pretty weak. Couldn't be happier for Manning. The run the Patriots have had these last few seasons has been impressive to watch, but I think the Colts are overdue. And great game...what a great game.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:27 PM on January 21

So that's it, right? No more talk about Manning and choking? Even if the Colts lose in the Super Bowl, he's finally won a "big game". He beat the team that tormented him twice, so he has nothing left to prove. Right? Somehow, I doubt that is going to be the case, and expect the revisionist history to begin if the Colts lose in the Super Bowl.

posted by grum@work at 10:44 PM on January 21

My guess is that if he doesn't win the Super Bowl, he'll be referred to by the sportswriters as the Phill Mickelson (previously) of the NFL. The best QB never to win the big one. (except for Marino.)

posted by hawkguy at 10:47 PM on January 21

That was an amazing game. The Pats fans in our section were for the most part quite polite and graceful too, which kind of surprised me. On the touchdown in the back of the end zone that was challenged, it looked like he actually had one foot on the end line out of bounds before he jumped up. But that was on the stadium TV, which is crappy. Did anyone on the TV broadcast mention that? The one flag they picked up on the fade to Wayne got everyone riled up too but it was tough for me to see that the Pat actually touched him. It certainly would've been catchable if Wayne stayed vertical, but it looked like he may have simply fallen down. Lots of drops by Colts early, and even the pick six was a good throw, just a great play by Samuel. Even if the Colts hadn't won, there was not going to be any way that people could talk about Peyton choking. He was excellent, and actually really only had one bad throw, the duck to Wayne on the 3 and out drive with 3:40 to play. Glad that they had the scoring drive so we won't have to deal with that though.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:28 PM on January 21

Whew. I don't know that I could have standed (stood?) 4 Pats titles in 6 years.

posted by edub1321 at 11:32 PM on January 21

Yep, it sure was an exciting game! I was in my usual state of "it figures" when the Saints failed me in the pick 'em pool, as they have for a l-o-n-g time whenever I bet on 'em, so it was extra fun when those last few minutes of the Colts-Pats game had me on the edge of my seat. On a related note, can someone please elaborate on how much longer Manning has to deal with this stigma following him around? One comparison I'm curious to know if anyone else has drawn is between Manning and Jim Kelly. Anyone?

posted by Spitztengle at 11:48 PM on January 21

I think they made the wrong call on the Patriots' touchdown at the back of the end zone. They called it a push-out, but to me it looked like his right foot would not have landed in-bounds, even if he hadn't been pushed out. That's just my opinion, and it's a judgement call. It kind of looked like his heels might have been over the end zone line, but there wasn't anything conclusive on the replays. Wayne tripped over his own foot. And as a former lineman, I was psyched to see linemen score three of the TDs in the game.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:48 PM on January 21

Yeah, what a weird list of TD-scorers. I didn't think he would've gotten two or even one foot in, but there was no way they could've overturned that either way. The thing they were challenging was whether he bobbled it, or possibly was out of bounds before jumping.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:55 PM on January 21

That 12 man on the field was a huge penalty. Heath Evans may have cost New England game by being the 12th man in the huddle on 1st down. Had they converted the third down (with 5 less yards to go) they may have won the game. And thank goodness I won't have to look at Belichick's nasty old hoody with the half cut off sleeves in a Super Bowl. Peyton Manning has repealed the Patriot Act.

posted by Bronc Gal at 11:58 PM on January 21

I was shocked to see Brady throw that pick on a short pass to the middle of the field. If you're going to throw a pass into coverage at least throw it toward the boundary so you don't have to burn a timeout caught or well down the field to make the risk worth it. It seemed like a wierd way to end the game.

posted by tron7 at 12:14 AM on January 22

Now the question for those of us in the magic Detroit-Chicago-Indy triangle becomes . . . who to root for.

posted by ridadie2005 at 06:24 AM on January 22

I'm glad the Patriots lost with dropped balls. I really dislike the "everyone (except Brady) is replaceable and interchangeable" philosophy. Branch was not replaceable by Reche Caldwell.

posted by bperk at 06:28 AM on January 22

Anyone else catch the post game where Boomer Esiason was going on and on about how Manning has a chance to win a Super Bowl and finally be one of the greats. And then he kept going and on and on about how a career isn't complete without the championship? Marino was just sitting there stewing, you could almost read his mind, "I'm gonna kill you Norman, and you never won either!"

posted by mick at 06:46 AM on January 22

I don't like this never ending discussion of winning a Super Bowl. It kind of devalues the whole thing. You don't win a Super Bowl just because you are a great QB. Everything for the whole entire team has to come together at just the right time to win a Super Bowl.

posted by bperk at 07:18 AM on January 22

The whole great-QB-Super-Bowl thing really should have been thrown out when Jeff Hostetler won one. It got really rotten when Trent Dilfer won one.

posted by SummersEve at 07:27 AM on January 22

Nothing personal against Manning, who seems like a decent guy, but I hope the Bears win, so that every time someone says 'you're not a great QB if you didn't win the Super Bowl', I can ask if they honestly believe that Rex Grossman is a better QB than Manning. That will (hopefully) put an end to that completely inane line of discussion once and for all.

posted by tieguy at 07:30 AM on January 22

But that was on the stadium TV, which is crappy. Did anyone on the TV broadcast mention that? They checked his feet over and over to see if his ankles were out of bounds before he leapt. The replays all suggested that he stayed in bounds, elevating his ankles so they never touched the back line. It was a pretty remarkable play.

posted by rcade at 07:42 AM on January 22

Nothing personal against Manning, who seems like a decent guy, but I hope the Bears win, so that every time someone says 'you're not a great QB if you didn't win the Super Bowl', I can ask if they honestly believe that Rex Grossman is a better QB than Manning. That will (hopefully) put an end to that completely inane line of discussion once and for all. It won't matter, tieguy. No one thinks Rypien was better than Kelly, or B. Johnson was better than Gannon, or Simms was better than Elway.

posted by bperk at 07:46 AM on January 22

All I have to say about this game was that it was one of the greatest comebacks that I've even seen. Congratulations to Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith on becoming the first black head coaches to lead their team to the Super Bowl. I'm not really a fan of either team but I can tell you that this Super Bowl will be the beginning of the Colts dynasty. Indy has been in contention for the past few years and I truly believe that this was the stepping stone for Peyton Manning and his Colts. If they continue to play the way they've been playing during these playoffs, the Colts will be a tough team to beat. Also, I just want to point out that Rex Grossman was the only QB to not throw an interception yesterday. After all the talk about which Rex Grossman would show up ("good" Rex or "bad" Rex) this kid goes out there and just shows up. Sure, he may have handed the ball off the majority of the time but when the Bears needed a big play, he delivered. With Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson running the way they were, Grossman provided the plays that were needed and when they were needed. This should be a great SB XLI.

posted by BornIcon at 07:57 AM on January 22

On the TD at the back of the endzone, I didn't think the relevant rule was "would he have landed inbounds if he hadn't been pushed?" I was watching with the sound off at our baseball workout, so I heard no commentary, and it seemed clear to me that his heel were OOB before he jumped, and I thought you couldn't go out of bounds and be the first person to touch the ball. Surprised they upheld that call.

posted by sfts2 at 08:25 AM on January 22

All of the following is written by a "homer". It's my opinion, but take nothing away from the Colts and Manning. They could easily have folded, but instead kept working. This is the New England ethic, and congratulations to Indianapolis for using it well. There were 3 calls against NE that had a large hand in the outcome. The first was a very weak offensive pass interference call against Troy Brown that negated a 1st down catch and ultimately resulted in a punt vs at least a field goal. This turned into a momentum killer, as the Colts then drove to a half-ending field goal. It looked to me like a defender was backpedalling when Brown made contact (albeit with his hands up), and went backwards about 5 yards. This could easily have been misinterpreted by the official, but it's still a weak call in a game of this magnitude. Calling the roughing penalty against Banta-Cain a "hit" is like calling Paris Hilton a great character actress. (OK, I just had to get a Paris Hilton line in there. Forgive me). The 3rd call was a non-call on an obvious pass interference in the end zone on a Patriots' receiver. He was pushed, then held before the ball got there, but no flag was thrown. The end result was a field goal instead of a probable touchdown. That too was the difference in score, 4 points. If games are to be decided by the officials, at least let's get some consistency in their calls.

posted by Howard_T at 08:26 AM on January 22

Sure, NE blows an 18-point lead -- must be the officiating.

posted by bperk at 08:43 AM on January 22

But -- but Paris Hilton is a great character actress. And Trent Dilfer is totally a better QB than Dan Marino and Peyton Manning combined. I'm so hot.

posted by chicobangs at 08:46 AM on January 22

Baltimore just became Chicago "East". GO BEARS!

posted by Raven101 at 08:57 AM on January 22

Caldwell stunk it up. NE's defense had an epic collapse at the start of the 2nd half. I didn't know it was possible to go from that good to that bad so quickly. Made me wonder if someone slipped something in their halftime Gatorade. (And how many neutral zone / offside penalties did they take? Geez.) The roughing the passer call was pretty flimsy, given what else they were letting people get away with. I think NE probably could have won that game, Caldwell excepted. He probably couldn't have fished the prize out of a Cracker Jacks box with those hands. But still, good for Peyton, I guess. I don't like him, but rationally speaking, a guy with those stats deserves at least one shot at a Super Bowl...

posted by fabulon7 at 09:03 AM on January 22

sfts2: two rules involved; they looked at whether or not he'd gone out of bounds before catching (impossible to tell from the video- his heels were off the ground when it looked like he went 'out'-so they went with the call on the field) and whether or not he was pushed out afterwards (which is apparently not reviewable, so again they went with the call on the field.) Caldwell's drops were epic. That said, it would have been pretty pathetic if the Colts had lost on such a badly blown coverage- that is no way for an epic game to be decided.

posted by tieguy at 09:09 AM on January 22

Caldwell's drops were epic. And not a new thing, either. Although it's both unfair to hang the loss on one individual, and logically broken to hang it all on one play or officiating call. I just saw the last six minutes or so of the game (sat for three hours on the ground in Denver waiting to get deiced) and what I saw just stunk.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:32 AM on January 22

I wasn't aware Marty Feldman had signed with the Patriots.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:44 AM on January 22

Well, my Saints didn't make it but I am glad my other team made it to the big dance. Go Colts!

posted by govtdrone at 10:04 AM on January 22

Great game! GO COLTS!

posted by steelerchooks at 10:11 AM on January 22

The force-out rule has to go. By rule, the Gaffney catch was a touchdown, but that rule essentially punishes the defender for making a good play. Additionally, making the referees judge what they think would have happened if he wasn't hit is stupid. It's hard enough to enforce all of the straight-forward rules with out bringing subjectivity and opinions into the mix. The sidelines are there for a reason--if you come down out of bounds, you are out of bounds. That pass doesn't have to go to the sidelines. My favorite play was the Caldwell drop along the sideline. The announcers were going crazy, "No one's guarding Caldwell! How can they leave him that wide open?!" Then he dropped it. I was really hoping someone would ask Tony Dungy about that after the game and he would say, "Yeah, we didn't figure we needed to put a guy on him, because he'd just drop it anyway." That would have been classic.

posted by bender at 10:28 AM on January 22

I agree with Bender -- I think the force-out rule is pretty dumb. This fiction of "would he have caught the ball in bounds if not pushed out" makes for too difficult a call for the officials, and my guess is that the call on the field stands when reviewed a large majority of the time. It's just way too difficult to judge that play on review unless there is a camera directly on the end line or facing up from the ground right below where the receiver catches the ball. The work-around to this off course is to not throw the ball to the sidelines (or endline) in the air, or else be willing to face the consequences that your receiver may be out of bounds. As to Caldwell's big drops, two things. First, the one drop in the end zone was followed by a TD (I believe on the next play), so no harm there. On the second drop (when he was split out wide and wasn't covered), there was no guarantee of a TD, as he still had a ways to go to get to the end zone. I believe the announcers actually said he should have run further towards the end zone before Brady passed as the defense's attention wouldn't have been directed towards him until later in that scenario. The fact of the matter is, the Patriots would not have been where they were without Caldwell's solid play throughout the season and some very big plays in the Chargers game last week. Would the Patriots have been better served with Deion Branch as their number 1 and Caldwell as their number 2? I certainly think so, but let's not put all the blame at Caldwell's feet (presumably with the balls he dropped) -- management certainly should shoulder some of the blame. The Patriots could have used some of their excess cap room on a better WR corps and/or to re-sign Branch, even for more $$ than they would otherwise be willing to pay. If the Patriots had won last night, my guess is that they would have been the favorites against the Bears. Would a little more strength at WR have made the difference between a Super Bowl and not? Possibly, but there's plenty of blame to go around -- if the defense gets more than one stop in the second-half, the Pats get to OT or perhaps the victory in regulation. At least the Patriots have an extra first-rounder from the Branch trade to shore up the defense or draft a big-time WR (I think it's generally considered to be a good WR class this year) -- or maybe they can find a diamond in the rough in the late rounds like the Saints found in Colston last year.

posted by holden at 10:55 AM on January 22

The force-out rule has to go. By rule, the Gaffney catch was a touchdown, but that rule essentially punishes the defender for making a good play. Additionally, making the referees judge what they think would have happened if he wasn't hit is stupid. It's hard enough to enforce all of the straight-forward rules with out bringing subjectivity and opinions into the mix. The sidelines are there for a reason--if you come down out of bounds, you are out of bounds. That pass doesn't have to go to the sidelines. "The pass is to the back of the endzone, Smith leaps up to grab it...caught it! But before his feet hit the turf, he's CAUGHT by the two cornerbacks! He's struggling, but they are carrying him sideways to the edge of the endzone and they throw him out of bounds! Oh! Tough break for Smith. I guess they are going to have to go for the field goal now."

posted by grum@work at 11:17 AM on January 22

Grum, I splattered my keyboard... Thanks for a different perspective.

posted by yzelda4045 at 11:26 AM on January 22

And not a new thing, either. I have no idea what this refers to. Caldwell led the team in receptions, so Brady must have had some glimmer of confidence in him. The last game Caldwell led the team in receptions was . . . last week, when he helped them upset the Chargers. He was solid from Week 6 or so on. The Patriots could have used some of their excess cap room on a better WR corps and/or to re-sign Branch, even for more $$ than they would otherwise be willing to pay. Not sure where I originally read it, maybe in Patriot Games, but it's part of the organizational philosophy to not pay top dollar for talent at WR because it can be found in the draft. As an added complication, the offensive system favors smaller receivers who run sharp routes over bigger receivers. And the thing about the Pats having cap space is a myth:

I sense there is a perception out there that the team is not spending compared to other teams. In actuality, they've spent to a level that is actually going to penalize them.
Refs didn't cost the Pats the game. Individual players didn't lose the game, as far as I saw. Not Caldwell, not Heath Evans, not Lawrence Maroney (who seems to disappear in big games this year, that or the coaching staff makes him disappear); they got beat. More frustrating, they seemed to get outworked. Between the Colts' offense and the heat in the building, it was probably a shitty week for the flu to go around the Pats' locker room. The Pats need to get younger at LB and DB. There hasn't been a playoff run since 2001 where they haven't lost one or more starters at DB. Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson seem to be made of rice paper. I hate to say it, but Tedy Bruschi probably should retire; he's lost two steps. I don't know what the Pats do to replace him or Tully Banta-Cain or whomever else. Traditionally they eschew drafting LBs, preferring to pick up tweener DE/LB types from other teams (I think because of the lack of similar 3-4 defenses in college).

posted by yerfatma at 11:27 AM on January 22

Just a quick note on the post-game interviews. Although I am a big Peyton fan, I was really impressed by the way Brady handled himself. A VERY different story for Belichick though. OK, you can be disappointed, but he really acted like a pouting jerk. Maybe the defeat will teach him some humility, although I much doubt it. It is always easy to be in a good mood when you win (and Belichik is certainly not foreign to the concept of post-game celebration, see San Diego game), try to show some class and respect (even to the media!) when you lose.

posted by sklingem at 11:41 AM on January 22

yerfatma -- thanks for the link to that bit on the Patriot's salary cap space. I really don't have enough facts or a good enough understanding of the salary cap rules in football to appreciate the Patriot's specific scenario this year and for future years. I think it's been widely reported that the Patriots left some "money on the table," so to speak, and was just repeating that. What's not clear to me, however, is whether the hit that the Patriots will take in future years is really of the nature of a luxury tax (i.e., paying money into some sort of revenue-sharing pool or a general NFL fund) or will count against their salary cap in future years. If it is the former, it's a rather straightforward economic decision for the team to make in terms of figuring out the impact on the bottom line. If it is the latter, it's a much more strategic decision in terms of what you can do from a personnel position with less money to work with in terms of payroll size. As to grum's comment on the force-out rule, the point is well taken. I imagine the NFL could create a rule that would permit the refs to exercise discretion (not always a great idea) if the player was clearly in-bounds and "caught" (literally wrapped up) and moved versus just knocked out of bounds. There's a line-drawing problem however you address it; I just think the current line drawn favors offenses too much when they should be in a position to adjust their tactics accordingly with a different rule.

posted by holden at 11:42 AM on January 22

One of the best AFC Championship games in quite some time.The Pats had their chances to ice the game but couldn't put that final nail in the coffin to shut it for good.Caldwells drops,or at least the last one,I think would of done it.But unfortunately he couldn't hang on to the damn ball.Congratulations to all Colts fans and the Indy organization for their big win.

posted by Ghastly1 at 11:46 AM on January 22

Reading comprehension issue: "[T]he Patriots project to be one of a handful of teams who will actually be penalized by the league as part of the new CBA, and I believe will lose some cap space in a future season (possibly 2007) because of that. So it looks like it is more of a case of the latter two scenarios I noted above, at least if Mike Reiss' analysis is correct. What happened to the comment edit feature?

posted by holden at 11:47 AM on January 22

yerfatma: the link is at least partially correct- "I believe the Patriots would do a service to their fans by explaining this intricacy of the salary cap..." The rumor (fact?) that they have a lot of salary cap space has been touted far and wide this year, and really has hurt their PR with fans (esp. after the loss of Vinatieri, and perhaps now again with Branch.) If there is some deeper level of salary cap magic there that is preventing them from getting more or higher-paid talent, they should really be getting that information out there.

posted by tieguy at 11:50 AM on January 22

"The pass is to the back of the endzone, Smith leaps up to grab it...caught it! But before his feet hit the turf, he's CAUGHT by the two cornerbacks! He's struggling, but they are carrying him sideways to the edge of the endzone and they throw him out of bounds! Oh! Tough break for Smith. I guess they are going to have to go for the field goal now." If they ever change that rule and I was the coach of a team, we would add the WR tip drill to our practices to make sure we could take advantage of just that situation.

posted by bender at 11:56 AM on January 22

R-E-D-E-M-P-T-I-O-N. As a Colt fan living here in Indy words cant express how big this is for the organization, the fans the city and all of Indiana. The Colts have never been to the Super Bowl while here in Indianapolis. I hope our success breeds hope in the eyes of Cardinals fans...the son sometimes does learn from the "sins" of the father, so hopefully your new owner "son" can bring success to your cursed franchise. Anyways... Irsay never waivered from his promise to not move the team. There was an outside chance we would lose them to LA, but our governor stepped up to the plate and squashed that with our new dome deal. Another step toward puttin our little market on the map. As for the game, it reminded me of last years loss to Pittsburgh, we fell behind early and had to catch-up. That game was a back and forth roller coaster of emotion as well. Fortunately, the ending was much, much, better. As to changing the force out rule, thats stupid... Gaffney's other foot probably would have come down inbounds anyways. I thought it was good judgement call, in fact the whole game was pretty well officiated. Howard T, needs to get a life, if you want to argue 3 calls, Brown pushed him...sorry, u cant do that, and the personal foul, yeah those QB ultra-protection rules suck, but it didnt change much, Wayne didnt fumble the ball, and we just would have chewed up more clock anyways. The Offense was rollin... I'll tell you what surprised me was how many penalties N.E. committed, that with the dropped balls was very un-patriot like, you cant blame it on bad officiating, no way. That and the Colts D only allowing 13 second half points, if it wasnt for our sorry special teams coverage NE probablyy doesnt get that 20yd TD drive. Key play of the game: 3 and 7, NE 34 - Indy 31 Bob Sanders streaks in and knocks the ball away from an open T. Brown to force a punt. If he doesnt make it? 1st down NE, game over. I think the Colts took a few pages from NE Patriot book, "How to win the big game." KUDOS to the pats, the NE fans I met were good people, good football fans...but it was the Colts time.

posted by dezznutz at 01:27 PM on January 22

"The pass is to the back of the endzone, Smith leaps up to grab it...caught it! But before his feet hit the turf, he's CAUGHT by the two cornerbacks! He's struggling, but they are carrying him sideways to the edge of the endzone and they throw him out of bounds! Oh! Tough break for Smith. I guess they are going to have to go for the field goal now." Actually, in college, your feet have to come down in bounds, period, just like this proposal. Never seen the sort of thing grum describes happen in college. It would be pretty hard. I'd second this proposal, and add the other part of the college rule, which only requires one foot in bounds. (Personally, I wish such a rule change had been in effect before the Nate Poole pseudo-catch that cost the Vikings the NFC North title a few years back.) That being said (and this being from a de-facto Colts fan), I agree with the officiaiting mistakes Howard pointed out. That being said, the Pats don't choke away 15-point leads everyday, either. I wonder: Did the Colts turn up the temperature in the RCA Dome on purpose? The announcers were talking about how hot it was, and New England clearly looked exhausted.

posted by TheQatarian at 01:33 PM on January 22

holden and tieguy, I know the media has been repeating the line about the Pats' cap room; I was posting it as info only, not as a rebuke or anything. As for the Pats getting that info out to the public, it's hard to do in a media market that thrives on negative results. Given Belichick's poor behavior this season, I wonder if we'll see more of the guy who got run out Cleveland in his relationship with the press.

posted by yerfatma at 01:42 PM on January 22

I sense there is a perception out there that the team is not spending compared to other teams. In actuality, they've spent to a level that is actually going to penalize them. I cannot figure out what he is talking about. I have looked it up and the latest CBA and cannot find any penalty related to spending under the salary cap. The Patriots do have to share revenue as one of the top revenue producing teams. If anyone can find info on what he is talking about, I'd like to read more. Could he be making this up?

posted by bperk at 01:46 PM on January 22

Did the Colts turn up the temperature in the RCA Dome on purpose? The announcers were talking about how hot it was, and New England clearly looked exhausted. Oh, man -- did Indy hire the former Metrodome super?

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:08 PM on January 22

I thought New England's clock management was really poor on their final drive. They got the ball with a minute left and two timeouts, and and let a lot of time (25-30 seconds?) run off the clock.

posted by kirkaracha at 02:23 PM on January 22

Actually, in college, your feet have to come down in bounds, period, just like this proposal. Never seen the sort of thing grum describes happen in college. Actually, in college, your foot has to come down in bounds, not feet, which makes this rule irrelevant in the college game. ...the Pats don't choke away 15-point leads everyday, either. Or an 18 point lead, which was the case yesterday.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:32 PM on January 22

There were some pretty interesting decisions by the officials on both sides. I don't think any of those penalties called were the wrong calls, but they certainly didn't jive with the pattern the rest of the game followed, which was to let them play and let a lot go. There were some other little things that got missed too, like for instance that fumbled kickoff before the INT where Wilkins was clearly down. The replay (I'm watching on tivo right now) shows that he was facemasked first off, and was very clearly down, yet they spotted the ball at the spot of Hagler's "recovery." I think that for a supposed all-star crew, they did a mediocre job. I don't think that any of it really affected the outcome though. Had the ball been left at the 22 instead of the 11 at the end there, it just would've taken them another thirty seconds to score. That wide open Caldwell play happened right in front of me. Had he caught it, he likely would have been stopped at about the five. I don't remember the down and distance, so I can't say if that would've been a big deal or not, but obviously those yards would've helped the Pats. By the way, that was an amazing pick by Samuel. Great read, jump, and especially a nice catch. I've seen a lot of DBs drop balls like that. He had some sticky fingers there.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:55 PM on January 22

kirk, I agree: they let a ton of time tick away after the first completion. The whole second half seemed out of character.

posted by yerfatma at 04:07 PM on January 22

The Pats coach showed what an ahole he is in the post game "interview". Did you see the guys in the studio shake their heads and smirk at his disrespectful attitude? For a guy that has had such success to show so little class in defeat speaks volumes about his character. Everyone from the colts made it a point to say how good the pats played. I canít remember a coach show so little class after a loss. After the last few years of his team getting away with pass interference on every play against the colts you canít call it if they do it on EVERY play. I was glad to see Indy over come it last night. Peyton deservers this so much. I have met him several times and he is a class person all around. He talks to people on the street and shops at wal-mart himself. I used to run into him there when we lived in Indy. Not sure if he still does since he got married. People call Peyton a cry baby, when he is just a perfectionist who holds himself up to such a high standard that it is almost impossible to achieve. He is mad at HIMSELF for mistakes. But has been always gracious in defeat. The Pats could learn a lesson in that respect.

posted by vipers-pit at 05:32 PM on January 22

I haven't read too much about the temperature being turned way up (or whatever you do in those stadiums). The announcers did make quite a deal about it, though, so I was wondering if it was that huge a difference between this game and other Colts home games. I can't help but think that would be a classic Bill Polian move. He knows his team thrives on speed, moving quick, and not letting the Patriots always get in the subs they want. That, plus the fact a few of the Pats were reported to have had the flu all last week, it could have been a move to impact N.E.s defense. He's waited so long to get a big playoff game on their home turf, I could just imagine his wheels were really turning with regards to any advantage the Colts could get. The Pats D was definitely run down, but maybe the San Diego game took a lot out of them.

posted by dyams at 05:48 PM on January 22

Vipers-pit, can you please provide a citation for the nonsense you are spewing. Here are the comments I saw from Belichick: ""It was a very tough football game against a good team. You've got to give the Colts credit. They made more plays than we did and they deserved to win. It was about as competitive a game as you can get. They just made a couple more plays than we did." - Belichick yesterday Maybe you have a problem with his sour demeanor - he is ALWAYS LIKE THAT, win or lose. Quite frankly I think your comments are a load of crap. Manning doesn't deserve to go to the Super Bowl because he is a nice guy who shops at Walmart. He deserves to go because he couldn't be denied yesterday. The Patriots committed pass interference on every play? What a load of hyperbolic nonsense. STFU. I strongly believe that the Patriots organization and fans have just as much "class" as anyone else in the league, no more, no less, and all this stereotyping is a bunch of bullshit.

posted by Venicemenace at 06:12 PM on January 22

The Pats D was definitely run down, but maybe the San Diego game took a lot out of them. Not maybe, definitely. The cross-country flights, the flu epidemic, and that brutal game against the Chargers all contributed to their downfall. But in the end, the Colts were clicking and found a new level last night. Ultimately, a lot of factors combined to hurt the Pats but that doesn't change the fact that the Colts finally stepped up and won a very big game. Good luck in the SB (although I'll be rooting for the Bears).

posted by Venicemenace at 06:15 PM on January 22

Go get you that ring PEYTON..........

posted by nafsfeihc at 06:19 PM on January 22

Maybe some of you aren't watching the same Patriot games? Ever notice how the Pats win the big games by 3 points or less? It usually resulted from being "opportunistic" or a result of a "fortunate call". This is media-speak for disguising the fact that the refs blew a call and gave NE a chance to win.

posted by whitedog65 at 06:25 PM on January 22

He talks to people on the street and shops at wal-mart himself. I used to run into him there when we lived in Indy. I don't think shopping at Wal-Mart is a ringing endorsement for anything good. Peyton may be a great, folksy kind of guy, but doing business with a company that treats their employees as a lower life form is not a feather in his cap.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 06:32 PM on January 22

This is media-speak for disguising the fact that the refs blew a call and gave NE a chance to win. Are you going to give specifics or are you just going to cast wide, unprovable assertions? The media and referees are all together in a vast conspiracy to help the Patriots, one of the least "Exciting" football teams in the land. Pray tell, whitedog, how did the Patriots become so fortunate to be the recipient of this grand fix? Do the shadowy Illuminati love the screen pass? Are the Elders of Zion big fans of teams with very few star players that don't have many highlight-reel plays? Or maybe it's just the world's biggest coincidence, blown calls in game after game after game over years on end, handing almost every big game to the Patriots. I guess if the expert Patriots analyst whitedog says so, it must be true.

posted by Venicemenace at 06:34 PM on January 22

Venice You are no one to tell me what to do. I never said a word about the Pats fans or organization. I was talking about the Coach ONLY. Look back at the video and you will see that EVERY member of the broadcast team had the EXACT same reaction to the interview as I did. So you should look at the crap you are shoveling. I am an Arizona Cardinals fan since the 1970s. I do not leave my team. We lived in Indy for 10 years and went to countless games. A game in the dome is like watching one in your living room. Perfect lighting, temperature and views from anywhere in the stands. Also keep in mind that the roof is kept up by AIR PRESSURE ONLY. Ask anyone that walks out after a game and is nearly sucked out of the building. It was very cold in Indy yesterday, my brother still lives 10 min from the dome, and he commented on it, Maybe the heat was turned up for the cold, maybe for an advantage, either way, that is why it is called home field advantage. I do not believe the Colts have ever had a home game this late in the season and the temp maybe SOP to keep snow off the roof. You never see any on it when it snows in town. Manning deserves to go to the Super Bowl because he is the best player in the NFL (donít bother attacking me on this). My point addressed people calling him a cry baby. You need to read and UNDERSTAND before you comment. The Colts line up better against the Bears than they do the Saints. So I was very happy to see the Bears win. Canít wait for the party!!!

posted by vipers-pit at 06:36 PM on January 22

No, venicemenace, it's because their called Patriots and it would be un-American to not give a patriot a clear advantage. (Seems as lame an excuse as any.)

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 06:37 PM on January 22

You said, "But has been always gracious in defeat. The Pats could learn a lesson in that respect." And I'm saying, bullshit.

posted by Venicemenace at 06:53 PM on January 22

I think people are referring to how Belichick treated Solomon Wilcotts after the game, Venice. You, like me, probably didn't hang around to catch that.

posted by yerfatma at 07:01 PM on January 22

I just think if someone is going to come into this thread throwing bombs, they need to come correct. "Did you hear what he said...and the broadcast team was outraged!" is not working for me.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:07 PM on January 22

Maybe video will shine some light on it for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IxenZn_Pzc&mode=related&search= Whtch the reaction of the guys in the studio after they cut back. Oh and LT does not think to highly of him either. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBy2pA-j9Zc The media loves him as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8czO1BGxS4A So its not "throwing bombs", its simply stating fact. Try it out sometime. This is priceless, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82BBqKw_KIc

posted by vipers-pit at 08:13 PM on January 22

I wonder how the 'Edge' likes Arizona now?

posted by shudacudawuda at 08:19 PM on January 22

The Pats coach showed what an ahole he is in the post game "interview" I'm having a "Risky Business" flashback right about now.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:40 PM on January 22

Maybe video will shine some light on it for you. I really don't think he was being an asshole, as you said. I don't think that one interview defines class versus classlessness. He was succinct and not much for talking. It's how Belichick is and always has been... which you're obviously aware of and have found humor in, since you linked to the animated clip spoofing Belichick.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:36 PM on January 22

Maybe video will shine some light on it for you. I have no opinion on Belichick. That said, in the first video he seems very pissed and doesn't want to talk. He does say "the colts did more than we did" or something along those lines. He didn't pull out the "we beat ourselves" card. Mad? Yes. Sore loser? Classless? No. The second link makes LT seem like a sore loser. The third one has one guy who seems to be on belichick's side and one guy not (not to mention who gives a damn what the media thinks of him). The fourth one is a cartoon. Belichick certainly won't win a mr. personality contest, but other than that your videos prove nothing (except you hate the guy). and shops at wal-mart himself I've been to walmart a few times. That doesn't prove anything other than bad taste.

posted by justgary at 09:50 PM on January 22

I canít remember a coach show so little class after a loss. Well, Cardinals fan, how much class did your coach show this season after losing to Chicago?

posted by Venicemenace at 09:50 PM on January 22

I don't understand the complaints about the temperature/heat in the RCA Dome, I'm pretty sure both teams had to play in the same conditions. That is simply a copout. Congratulations to the Colts, go Indy!

posted by tommytrump at 10:12 PM on January 22

I hate to come to Belichick's defense, but JG is right. He is a man of few words. And while I admit I was not impressed with the interview right after the game (I did not see any other interview) that is just the way he is, and always has been. His team just lost a title game, what do you want, that he should sing the praises of the Colts and be all "balloons and champaign"? However I would like to congratulate the Colts on their much overdue win! The game was fantastic, right down to the last minute! I am glad is wasn't a blow out by either team. As for Peyton Manning all I can say (in my best Etta James voice with the hair brush microphone in front of the bathroom mirror) is "Aaaaatt laassst!"

posted by steelergirl at 10:19 PM on January 22

Well, Cardinals fan, how much class did your coach show this season after losing to Chicago? I thought that was all done for comic relief. You mean it wasn't?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:19 PM on January 22

People call Peyton a cry baby, when he is just a perfectionist who holds himself up to such a high standard that it is almost impossible to achieve. He is mad at HIMSELF for mistakes. But has been always gracious in defeat. I'm a big fan of Peyton Manning, but I'm going to call bullshit on that one. I'm guessing your memory doesn't extend all the way back to last year when he trashed his offensive line on national television after they got beaten by the Steelers. It's cool to be a fan of your local team and to think nothing but good thoughts about them. Just be sure not to get too wound up in the whole thing and lose a sense of perspective.

posted by grum@work at 11:10 PM on January 22

MY coach? What position do I have on the team? Only a moron says "we need a touchdown? Unless you are ON the team or were ON the team in the past. I still have a spot for the cards and always will, but they are a total joke. The owner of the colts is near brain dead. If you have ever had to sit and listen to him speak for 30 minutes, you would want a frontal lobotomy. I lost count of him saying "you know" somewhere north of 200. He only said it twice last night in the 90 second speech. My issue is with his lack of class. Some people have it and some do not. All you have to do is read peoples views on things. Wal-Mart is a great company. My mother retired from Wal-Mart last year with 1.2 million in stock. Mostly given by the company. When my son was born I worked the overnight shift so I could be with my son while he was awake. If Wal-Mart is so bad, then why do so many Americans shop there?

posted by vipers-pit at 11:18 PM on January 22

If Wal-Mart is so bad, then why do so many Americans shop there? It's cheap. But let's not get into a walmart is great/ walmart is evil debate. On topic, you believe belichick's classless. As someone who really has no opinion on the man your links don't say that to me at all. Angry, maybe antisocial, but not classless.

posted by justgary at 11:34 PM on January 22

As a Colts fan I have no problem with Belichick's postgame comments. The guy just had his season ended because his team blew a big lead in a game they could have put away early. He's not going to be all happy. Given his baseline demeanor and personality I was actually impressed that he even bothered to give the Colts the compliments that they made more plays. Obviously he thought that they should have been stopped on some of those plays, but hey, he's right. The Pats should have. If they had played their best, they would have won that game. Viper, Irsay is a little spacey, but has done nothing to warrant that random negative commentary. He's one of the friendliest, most down to earth owners in sports, and he deserves to enjoy this win. Re: the temperature. It is always set to be freezing cold in that dome by default, because it obviously heats up quite a bit when 57000 people arrive. I brought my fleece in with me (after not doing so for the Chiefs game) because it is always freezing during warmups. It was no different 3 hours before game time, so the "it keeps the snow off the roof" thing is not true. I had the fleece off during the game, but by the trophy presentation I was all the way down to my tshirt, because I was downright HOT in a shirt and jersey. It didn't occur to me at the time that the heat might have been from sources other than a lot of excited people, but hey, if they jacked it up a few degrees, good. With the Pats tired and somewhat sick, it was a great strategy, and certainly within the realm of fair game, especially after the Pats pulled their turf games a few years ago. Bruschi may retire, according to SportsCenter. I think that'd be a wise and self-aware move. The Colts and others have been picking on him ever since the stroke, and it's clear that he has lost a step or two. His tackle totals are high because most teams run right at him. The Pats linebackers have definitely become the weak spot instead of the secondary (which played GREAT in the first half btw), and I wouldn't be shocked at all to see them use their first pick to take the Colts guy again this year (though in hindsight I'm not so upset with the Maroney/Addai result). Perhaps the fact that they play different schemes will mean they're after different LBs anyway. Or Polian might draft another tackle. Who knows. Finally, I still don't think that saying "we had some protection problems" is considered trashing your line, especially when it was obviously true. He's partly responsible for his own protection anyway, and admitted as much. If he was throwing them under the bus, they'd have been pissed about it, but to a man, that line agreed with him. Aside from that, he was perfectly graceful and willing to credit the Steelers last year.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:50 AM on January 23

I canít remember a coach show so little class after a loss. Then it's a good thing you don't watch the Pats weekly show on Channel 5. That is exactly how he talks on that show and he's friendly with the host. After all the talk on 'EEI about his post-game smackdown of Solomon Wilcotts, I am amazed to finally see that video. What did he do that was so classless? The post-game interview is such a brain-dead idea anyway. How many variations on "We won"/ "We lost" can there possibly be? You expect Shakespeare at a time like that?

posted by yerfatma at 05:45 AM on January 23

Although a coach reciting the St. Crispin's day speech after a victory would be downright hilarious. Even if it is better suited to pregame.

posted by apoch at 06:14 AM on January 23

Wow, that took no time: Dennis and Callahan were killing Belichick this morning. Dennis claimed his psychology degree1 allowed him to see that Belichick didn't go out and gladhand after games because Bill probably thinks it shows fear and that's why he's "not enough of a man" to go congratulate Peyton Manning after a game. Because Lord knows BB wants to have to wade through another throng of media members after a crushing loss and get called out for shoving another photog. Callahan was pleased that Dennis had finally realized it, as he had known all along Belichick was an awful person. You see, football coaching is just like talk radio, where you have to put up the numbers above all else. Herr Callahan then went on to point out a guy like Thomas Oliphant, a columnist "no one reads", would never make it in the real world, where liberal opinions aren't allowed. The truly frustrating thing is these assholes will get away with sitting in judgment. As much as I am not a fan of teams restricting media access to only friendly voices, it'd be nice to see the Pats pull all the players from 'EEI and let them fill those programming holes, rather than watch these failures who spend their lives running down world-class athletes2 push Belichick back into the situation he was in in Cleveland. 1. The amazing thing here is that Dennis doesn't have a degree in psychology. "Physician heal thyself" and all that. 2. I'm not talking about legitimate criticism of performances, I'm talking about running Nomar out of town, calling Jose Offerman "a bag of you-know-what" for the sole crime of not being an All-Star, etc.

posted by yerfatma at 06:41 AM on January 23

Wow, that took no time: Dennis and Callahan were killing Belichick this morning. Yeah, and skunks still stink, too. Big surprise considering the source. It will be interesting to see if this produces a counter-reaction. As much as I am not a fan of teams restricting media access to only friendly voices, it'd be nice to see the Pats pull all the players from 'EEI and let them fill those programming holes, rather than watch these failures who spend their lives running down world-class athletes2 push Belichick back into the situation he was in in Cleveland. Concur. I think they can find a comfortable middle ground somewhere between restricting media access to cheerleaders, and continuing to grant access to mercenary shit-disturbers.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:20 AM on January 23

Nearly all coaches in their post-game interview congratulate the other team. It is pretty much part of the script. The most Belichick could muster was that they played better than his team. Classless is probably not the right word, but there has to be some adjective to describe the man. Just this year with Mangini and the shoved photographer and the weak acknowledgement of Peyton after the game, he definitely isn't going to win any personality contests. There was a promo on this year that they kept playing on the NFL Network and you could win a lunch with a head coach and they had the image of Belichick, I immediately thought what a nightmare that would be. You could probably get maybe ten words from him the whole meal. Still he is the best coach in the league, maybe one of the best coaches ever.

posted by bperk at 09:05 AM on January 23

Classless is probably not the right word, but there has to be some adjective to describe the man. If you wanted to be pejorative (and most of those picking nits over Belichick's behavior seem to), you could try "brusque". If you don't, try "businesslike". Just this year with Mangini and the shoved photographer and the weak acknowledgement of Peyton after the game, he definitely isn't going to win any personality contests. Since he isn't in a personality contest, I expect he's still managing to sleep nights. I'm sure his concern is appropriately directed at why they lost on Sunday and what happens in the future, not what a bunch of people he'll never meet think of his hoodies or how some can't-find-a-real-story so-called sports writers/casters/commentators try to make a mountain out of a molehill re: his "personality".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:39 AM on January 23

they had the image of Belichick, I immediately thought what a nightmare that would be. You could probably get maybe ten words from him the whole meal. My honest, if homerific, opinion is that is not so. When he talks to people he's comfortable with, he can be a really interesting guy. The only reason I watch the local Pats show is for the 5 minutes of "Belistrator" time each week. Authors who get to know him seem to really like him. My elitist opinion is he doesn't suffer fools and so the vast majority of sports writers and commentators get a brush-off from him. It's interesting D&C compared his press conference demeanor unfavorably to Parcells; Parcells was much beloved (until the Superbowl) around here for his "witty" press conferences, but the fount of his wit was exclusively stupid sports writers who he would kill for the enjoyment of others. Interesting they're ok with a guy being cruel if he's entertaining, but it's not ok to be bland.

posted by yerfatma at 09:46 AM on January 23

I pity the fool who suffers fools.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:53 AM on January 23

So, when did we become such pansies that we get upset when our coaches don't act like charm school graduates? Whoopie shit, Belichick didn't shake this guy's hand, didn't hug this guy the right way, didn't give Peyton Manning a handjob in the cheap seats after the game, who gives a shit? Was anybody this worried about Vince Lombardi's brusqueness, or Forrest Gregg, or Bud Grant, or George Halas, or Paul Brown? Hell, no! These guys are football coaches, fer chrissakae, so stop crawling up their asses about their manners. As for Dennis and Callahan and the rest of the yahoos that inhabit Boston's sports media, if you can't support a coach that's brought three Super Bowl titles to town in the space of five years, then relocate to Kansas City, or San Diego, or Arizona. Then you can bitch all you want to.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:24 PM on January 23

didn't give Peyton Manning a handjob in the cheap seats after the game, who gives a shit? that's not a pretty picture

posted by louisville_slugger at 05:00 PM on January 23

Authors who get to know him seem to really like him The one constant about BB is that he loves the game of football. Any author, reporter, or talking head that asks him a question about football -- not personalities, feelings, individual plays and players just football -- will likely get a very informative and well-thought-out answer. You know that Solomon Wilcotts was going to ask the very intelligent "How do you feel now, coach?" sort of question. It is the sports equivalent of the so-called journalist who shoves a video camera and a microphone into the face of a mother who has just watched her 2 kids burn to death and says, "What do you feel?" I don't blame BB, or any other coach, player, entertainment personality,or plain citizen who suggests that such a reporter politely put his microphone where he will have to wipe in order to use it again.

posted by Howard_T at 05:00 PM on January 23

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