The cell phone was abuzz Sunday night as Racha, HT, and the GM were staying in contact during the course of the game. Was it a nail biter? I was way past my nails and three quarters the way up my forearm. I had a few things in mind.
1. When things get stale for New England they go to Kevin Faulk or Wes Welker.
2. More than a minute is enough for Peyton Manning.
3. Tom Brady loves the short out and probably throws it better than anybody.
That is what I thought when the Colts were able to hold the Pats to a field goal after that horrifying interception by Manning late in the 4th. Everybody knows these things. This is what killed the Pats, not the 4th down call.
A lot of people are questioning Beliwhatever, but he wasn't wrong. He wasn't. I have seen the articles about the math of the situation, and I heard Dungy and harrison lambast him on air after the game, but he wasn't wrong. He had Tom Brady, he had a chance to win and all he needed was two yards. If he gives the ball back on the punt, he is giving it to a quarterback who just went 80 yards in a minute and forty seconds and he is giving him the ball back with two plus minutes and the two-minute warning. On the scoring drive before that, manning had run them down the field for a TD in two minutes and four seconds. The Pats just can't give him the ball back in this situation. They can't. Only a fool would, and Bill is no fool. As Old Man Paine said on Sunday night, "He is the best playcalling coach of his generation." In the grand scheme, he may be second only to Bill Walsh, which is like saying he is second to Jesus.
The realities of that game are thus:
1. The Colts won, the Pats didn't throw it away.
2. They won is by scoring 21 points in the 4th quarter.
3. They scored that many points because their QB has 40 4th quarter comebacks in his career. WOW
And here is the one that people don't want to hear.
4. They won because they outplayed Tom Brady.
With the game on the line, and the offense sputtering, Brady called his bread and butter to his go to guys, and the Colts were just too smart for that. On 3rd and 2 Brady went to Welker on the short out and Powers, who is a legit Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate, nearly ended the game. On 4th and 2, he splits out Faulk into the slot. What did everyone in the world think would happen? That's right, he went back to the well. Unfortunately for Tom Brady, reserve safety Melvin Bullitt (who is having a great year for a guy named Melvin) read the play and executed.
It was a tendency situation. The Colts brought pressure on third and didn't pretend like they weren't. They knew they were going to have to get there or Brady would throw over the top. Powers knew Brady's outlet was the quick out. He calculated his risk, he made his play. The pressure was good. They decide to go for it and the same situation presents itself. Having missed with Welker, his favorite guy, he decides to go with Faulk. It was a mistake. Brady made the mistake. He could have gone with Moss on an in route, who is big enough to stretch for the first. He could have gone to the tight end on the out and had a size advantage. He had options. Tom Brady is a good QB, he is a veteran. He has been around the proverbial block and had the goalie pulled. He should know what is up. He decided to go with the bread and butter and forego the element of surprise and got beat for it.
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