Sunday, December 4, 2011
We All Witnessed The Most Misleading One-Score Game In NFL History Today
Since simply watching today's Patriots-Colts game was the NFL equivalent of staring into the sun for almost three hours, I'll keep this briefer than usual.
We knew this wouldn't be a game and despite the final score: Patriots 31, Colts 24 at Gillette Stadium, don't think for a second that the outcome was ever in doubt.
New England (9-3) built up a 31-3 lead in the third quarter and then they shifted to cruise control in the fourth as Indianapolis (0-12) pretended to care.
The Pats picked up their fourth straight win thanks to Tom Brady (29 of 38, 289 yards, 2 TD, O INT) and Rob Gronkowski (5 catches, 64 yards, 2 TDs; 1 rush, 2 yards, 1 TD).
It might be December but this game had preseason written all over it. Don't believe me, well explain how Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky (30 of 37, 353 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) piled up the yardage? This is the same former UConn star (haha) who has yet to win an NFL game.
Also, after Vince Wilfork (10 tackles, 5 solo, sack) who had his best statistical performance of the season, the Patriots next three highest tacklers were Nate Jones (9 total), Matthew Slater (7 total, 6 solo, forced fumble) and Niko Koutouvides (7 total, 3 solo). Those three bums actually started today, at safety, safety and linebacker respectively. Oh and something named Nick McDonald (moved up from the practice squad on Saturday) became the fourth player to start at center this season for the Pats. Fake life indeed.
Basically all that mattered for New England was that nobody important got hurt. Well mission accomplished even though Brady and Co. were out there until the last series of the game after the Pats recovered an onside kick to end it.
Wes Welker (11 catches, 110 yards) had a big game as apparently the Colts have yet to figure out that he's the key to New England's offense. Pierre Garcon (9 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs) made the four people that stuck with him in Fantasy Football happy as he racked up two garbage time touchdowns.
I'll quickly run through the highlights since after writing this, I will undergo a "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" type procedure to rid this mindless contest out of my memory bank.
CBS sent one of its better announcing duos in Marv Albert and Rich Gannon to this drivel so you know they had to do the old sell job as the Pats got off to a slow start and only led 3-0 (Stephen Gostkowski hit a 39-yard kick) after the first quarter.
We were treated to some wonderful Orlovsky anecdotes: multiple references to him being from beautiful Shelton, CT and the fact that all his friends are Patriots fans (lol). Oh and his wife is expecting triplets, how fascinating.
As soon as Marv made a not so subtle reference to the 20-point spread, Bill Belichick's spider sense went into full gear and the Patriots woke up. Former Patriots legend Adam Vinatieri tied it with a 31-yard field goal early in the second quarter after the Colts failed to score a TD with first and goal from the 1. Shoot me now.
The worst part of the entire day was that so called Patriots fans booed Vinatieri. I wouldn't have believed it but I heard it with my own ears. Just a pathetic and completely misplaced reaction by a bunch of Pats pink hats. I give up.
Gronk caught his first TD of the game in the second quarter, making it 10-3 Patriots. It was an 11-yard catch from Brady. BenJarvus Green-Ellis added a 1-yard run with 13 seconds left in the half, the first time in NFL history a 14-point lead (in the second quarter) automatically signaled defeat.
Gronk added a 21-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter and at first, it appeared that he broke the NFL tight end record for touchdowns in a season with a two-yard catch later in the third. Unfortunately, since it was a lateral it went down as a rush. No biggie, I'm sure he'll get No. 14 next week (this was his fifth consecutive game with a TD). He broke Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis' record and frankly, he could come close to 20 which is absurd in his second pro season.
Another UConn product, Donald Brown, got the Colts' ill-fated comeback started with a 10-yard touchdown run. Garcon went to work with a 33-yard touchdown and a 12-yard touchdown. Too bad, it didn't mean one thing (other than killing gamblers hopes).
The only other notable play from the game was a nice diving interception by Jerod Mayo. It was the first of his career believe it or not, a sign that he might finally be healthy from that pesky knee injury that has slowed his development.
New England faces another tomato can next week as they travel to Washington (4-8) on Sunday to take on the Redskins, who lost 34-19 to the Jets today. It's clear that other than at the Broncos in two weeks the Patriots won't be pushed during the rest of the regular season. Unless you consider the typical good effort but poor result that will inevitably happen to Miami on Christmas Eve when they visit Foxborough.
The next two games are New England's final two road games of the regular season (last two are at home) and possibly the rest of the year if they secure the top spot in the AFC. Expect the game with the Broncos to be flexed tomorrow to a Sunday Night game (for now it's 4:15 p.m.). The world needs Brady vs. Tim Tebow in primetime.
New England is still tied with Houston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh for the top spot in the AFC but the Pats currently own the tiebreaker (7-2 vs. AFC opponents).