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Monday, 19 January 2015

New England Owns Indianapolis: 5 Things We Learned

NFL Network was split 50/50; the experts couldn't agree on whether the seasoned veteran or the up-and-comer would have the advantage in what was supposed to be a very exciting Championship game.

The Indianapolis Colts paid a visit to Gillette Stadium to take a shot at the best team in the AFC over the past decade and a half. The New England Patriots came into the game after squeaking past the Baltimore Ravens to host the Championship game.

If the Colts came to dethrone the Pats, they left the game plan at home. Here's what we learned from the game:

1. Tom Brady is the best post-season QB...

Ever. It isn't enough that he won three rings in four years to begin his career; Brady has also been two miraculous catches away from two more rings. Add a perfect regular season, etc, etc, and there just is no discussion. Brady now owns the post season with 28 starts, nine of those in Championship games, 7012 yards, 46 TD passes, and 19 wins. All records, all from the guy who was passed over by every other team, who watched Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi... you get the picture.

2. Belichick does what he needs to do...

The Patriots ran for 14 yards against the Ravens, then tore up the Colts defense for 177 yards. The Pats defense held Andrew Luck, who threw for 4761 yards and 40 TDs in the regular season, to just 126 yards and no TDs. They also picked him twice and harrassed him on almost every play. BB has engineered the perfect gameplan for the personnel and opponent his team faces. He certainly has his hands full in two weeks with the defending champs.

3. The Patriot defense shouldn't be taken lightly...

Of all the defensive units in the league, including the Seattle Seahawks, no one mentions the Patriots in the conversation. They are good, but not on the same plain as the Ravens... but the Patriots beat the Ravens, and the Broncos, and the Colts, and the Lions... I'm not saying they're the best, but they rise to the occassion and win games... lots of games. This the best defense the Patriots have had in years.

4. Trick plays...

Now Nate Solder is catching passes; what's next? Vince Wilfork lining up in the backfield? This kind of play keeps the opposition guessing. The championship was probably in the bag already, but plays like that show the swagger that Pats fans pay to see.

5. This team can win the Super Bowl...

I know that the smart money will be on the Seahawks, despite the disparity in the results of the two games today. We will hear from commentators and analysts galore for two straight weeks and opinions will be all over the planet. One site already has the Patriots as slim favorites, while others are calling it a push or pick 'em.

What we really need to know is that based on playoff performances so far, the Patriots are going to bring it in Arizona. The Seahawks may be defending champs, but the Patriots, specifically Brady and Belichick, have been doing this for a long time. Of course, I'm picking the Patriots. But this will be a great game.


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