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Another Classic: Colts edge Patriots 35-34
Posted By Andrew Gifford On Nov 18 2009 @ 3:44 pm In Indianapolis Colts | No Comments
I'm sorry I didn't get this out sooner, but I've been sick the past couple days. I was basically the Exorcist, expect unidentified substances were coming out of both ends if you catch my drift. Sunday's game between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots had everything you wanted out of a big time football game; a lot of points, a lot of excitement, superstar players, a huge comeback, and a little bit of controversy at the end. The Colts were down 24-7 at halftime, and at one point were down 31-14 in the fourth quarter. But somehow the Colts were able to rally, with a little help from Bill Belichick, and win the game 35-34. Peyton Manning had a good game, going 28/44 for 327 yards, with 4TD's and 2INT's. Joseph Addai led the Colts rushing attack with 41 yards on 10 carries and scored 1 touchdown. Reggie Wayne had a dominating performance catching the ball; he caught 10 passes, for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Patriots, despite the loss, had impressive statistics. Tom Brady went 29/42, for 375 yards with 3TD's and 1INT. Gritty veteran Kevin Faulk had a good game rushing the ball, carrying 12 times for 79 yards. Randy Moss led the Patriots in receiving with 9 catches, for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns.
For the first three quarters, it looked as though the Patriots were going to walk out of Lucas Oil Stadium with an impressive victory. The Colts defense couldn't stop the high-octane offense of the Patriots and Peyton Manning looked confused against Bill Belichick's intricate defensive scheme. Even when Manning had a receiver open, they wouldn't help him out by doing their job and catching the ball. The Patriots jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead, and the Colts undefeated record looked as though it was all but over. You expected the Colts to come out firing in the second half, but their offense still looked stagnant. A third quarter touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss put the Patriots up 31-14, with 14:23 left to go in the game. From watching the game, it looked all but over for the Colts. But then the Colts marched quickly down the field in two minutes and three seconds and scored a touchdown, making the score 31-21. After a pick thrown by Manning, the Patriots kicked a field goal, making it 34-21. All was not well if you were a Colts fan. But Peyton Manning had one more charge left in him. He marched the team down the field again, the drive was capped off by a Joseph Addai touchdown run, making the score 34-28. The Patriots got the ball back, and the Patriots usually in these situations close up the game by making the plays to run down the clock. Not on this night. The Patriots only gained 8 yards on the first three plays of the drive, and they elected to go for it, up 6 points, with 2:08 to go. INCOMPLETE. The 4th and 2 play is stopped short, giving the Colts the chance to win the game. And with 16 seconds to go in the game, Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne, TOUCHDOWN!!!!!! The Colts end up winning the game 35-34, capping off a monumental comeback for the ages.
Two observations from this game. The first one being, expect a lot of the Colts games for the rest of the year to be shootouts. The Colts secondary is depleted, that's putting it nicely, and look like they're going to have trouble stopping anybody through the air. They were not able to get a lot of pressure against Tom Brady, and he subsequently picked apart the Colts secondary. The injuries to Marlin Jackson and Bob Sanders are devistating for the defense. However, they held the Patriots defense to 3 points in the last 14+ minutes to allow their offense to make a huge comeback. This leads to my next point, the Patriots looked tight coming down the stretch. It's really weird making that statement because Bill Belichick coached teams always are at their best when all of the chips are down. But the play calling, on both sides of the ball, didn't make a lot of sense and it allowed the Colts to get back in the game. The epitome of this was the 4th and 2 call by Belichick to go for it, up 6, in his own territory, with 2:08 to go. In my opinion, this time Bill's balls got a little too big for his brain. It backfired, and it costed him the game.
The Colts escape and keep their undefeated record intact, while the Patriots go home knowing that this one definitely got away. The Colts can't celebrate too much, they are going into Baltimore to play the Ravens this week. Hopefully a hangover doesn't happen this week, because they can't afford it to. Baltimore is a scary team, who can throw the ball now. How will they matchup with the Ravens, tune in Friday and find out.
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