by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
New England’s defense isn’t good enough to stop the Colts. I know this because their coach gambled the entire game on one play for fear of having to face Indianapolis’ offense again.
In quite possibly the longest four minutes ever recorded, Indy scored 14 points to come from behind, 35-34, in a game Colts fans will call the best of the season.
Patriots fans? Not so much.
Bye Now, Peyton Later: Hey, hate him all you want, but you have to give Peyton Manning his due. The history-making quarterback with the iconographic melon did most of what he wanted to in the fourth quarter, including leading his team on three separate, two-minute TD drives to erase a 17-point lead.
Fourth And Oh: Wanting to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands, Coach Belichick went for it on fourth and two from their own 28. Though Kevin Faulk appeared to catch the Tom Brady’s pass at the first-down line, the officials ruled it a bobble. Manning got the football and took roughly .008 of a second (actually, four plays) to find Reggie Wayne in the end zone.
Oh, For The Love Of… You know, I try to like Laurence Maroney. I really do. But I find it difficult to defend his fumble on the goal line in the second quarter after the offense executed a picture-perfect 87-yard drive.
I know, I know, the Pats defense forced a punt. Which reminds me…
Wild, Wild Wes: Was I the one hoping Wes Welker would see fewer punt returns so he could focus on offense? Well, I guess Wes can do both. Welker had nine catches for 94 yards and a 69-yard return that set up Randy Moss’ second touchdown.
You know what? Writing that felt so good, we’ll try to stick with happy news.
He Slices, He Dices, He Julian: Welcome back and congratulations to rookie receiver Julian Edelman, who scored his first NFL touchdown on a nine-yard pass from Brady in the second quarter. Not a bad way to come back from a broken arm.
Pump Up The Vollmer: Commendable job by rookie tackle Sebastian Vollmer containing Colts pass-rushing phenom Dwight Freeney to zero sacks. Not quite as commendable a job on the other side by Nick Kaczur trying to keep Indy’s Robert Mathis in check, as Mathis had two sacks and disrupted Brady’s passing during a key fourth-quarter drive (of course, every drive was key).
We’re Lichen Moss: Ol’ number 81 had nine receptions for 179 yards and two TDs. You’d think that would have been enough.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org