Monday, November 05, 2007

Colvin Closes the Door

"The Game of the Century" one idiot sportscaster called it. From the build up and hype that started a few weeks ago, one would think we were having 2 Super Bowls this year. Granted it was unusual if not unheard of for two unbeaten teams this far into the season to meet in a regular season game. Who would be crowned Super Bowl Champs before they even played the game?

The New England Patriots at 8-0 and the Indianapolis Colts at 7-0 finally put the question to rest for some, but for me it only meant one team was left in the NFL with a chance to go unbeaten this year. It would be great for them to finally take some smugness away from the Dolphins still left from the last unbeaten team in 1972, but I just want them to have their chance at another Super Bowl. That is the real prize. Passing records, unbeaten seasons, and QB ratings mean squat if you do not wear the ring.

I am a real New England fan. I have become used to being teased with great runs and accustomed and resigned to having them blow up. So I start every game on the couch with anticipation of possible disappointment. I never assume any game is a done deal. I have seen my Pats lose to teams not even worthy to wear the moniker NFL on their jerseys. And I turned the tube on sure the Pats would be whupped and whupped hard, only to be outrageously impressed when they somehow hang on to win.

I knew this match up with the Colts was no done deal. The Colts reinforced my knotting stomach when on the first play of the Pat's first possesion, they sacked Brady for a huge loss. The following abrupt 3 and out nailed this point home.

Uh oh. We have a ball game here. The Colts have their own idea of who is going to win. And the for the next 3 quarters, the Colts basically owned the RCA dome. As each minute ticked by, I became more ill at ease. I didn't care if the Pats went unbeaten , but to lose to the Colts would be worse than losing to the 49ers. And the 49ers are every team's bitch this year.

In the 4th quarter when Manning pulled a quarterback sneak and took the score to 20-10, I had all but thrown in the towel. The Colt's record of umpteen games in a row when they did not relinquish a lead in the 4th quarter loomed large. They knew how to bear down. They knew how to finish a win.

I had noticed that Brady seemed even more confident this year. But I assumed it was because he had all the new weapons. Moss, Welker, etc. But no that was not it. I think Tom Brady has finally come to believe in himself to such a level that he really believes he can pull out a win when he puts his mind to it. He came out for their turn and in two series of possesion lasting less than 3 minutes total took the 20-10 deficit and turned it into a 24-20 lead leaving the Colts with barely 3 minutes to come back. And he walked off the field, his job done.

The Defense then took the Colts to school and showed them how the Pats know how to finish. A strip sack after the pocket collapsed left Manning on his face and the Pats with 2 minutes to kill. And they did like it was their job. What a great game. By both teams.


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