Friday, January 19, 2007

Why the Patriots will beat the Colts

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to start this. I’ve been listening to the radio all week and reading just about every thing the internet has to offer about the AFC Championship game. Pretty much the same formula of how I came up with my thoughts on why the Patriots would beat the Chargers.

Then I saw this…ESPN’s simulation of the AFC Championship game on Madden 07. I have to admit it was a little eerie. Here’s what Madden 07 predicted.
“Former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, who earned a reputation for clutch game-winning kicks while he was in New England, burned his former team by booting a 49-yard field goal with 53 seconds remaining to lift the Colts to victory in the AFC Championship game.”

Side note: Madden 07 picked the Colts but John Madden picked the Patriots who is smarter man or machine…you be the judge

Ah…what? That’s really not fair. That scenario has to be stirring in the back of every New England fans mind as their biggest sports fear in recent memory. I know it’s mine. The last thing I want to see is No. 4 lining up for a field goal with a chance to win the game for the Colts. I might legitimately implode.

The Patriots do have a few things on their side that can prevent this from happening however. First, they’re not the Red Sox, if they were I would be fully expecting this to happen. Second people are once again picking against them which further fuels the ‘no respect’ angle which they love to play and they play very well.

Lastly, this one’s a little weak but last week the ESPN simulation had the Chargers winning so it’s really no more accurate than somebody just saying their opinion on the outcome of the game based on whatever knowledge they claim to hold.

In reality however no real truth exists in Madden 07’s prediction or in the prediction of anyone. Sure some people will pick right and others wrong but as always it will come down to what happens on the field on Sunday.

As tired as I am of hearing that the Colts will win because it’s their time, I have to admit it almost makes sense until you think about two things. One, why wasn’t it their time last year?

The Bettis fumble…if Nick Harper had stayed outside he would have run it back and Vanderjerk never would have had to attempt a field goal…what an idiot, seriously you have the whole field everyone is behind you and you run right back at the quarterback, bad form dude, bad form.

The other thing is that the Patriots have no business being in the AFC Championship game. Think about it, they have been counted out all year long. They let too many guys go, they don’t have the weapons, so on and so on. What happened? They are getting ready for a 6:30 kick off at the RCA dome for a chance to go to their fourth Super Bowl in the last 6 years.

The Colts are a very, very good football team and regardless of what idiot Patriot fans might say Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He’s the best statistical quarterback in the last decade. He just hasn’t been able to get over the hump, for whatever reason he just can’t get there. A lot of that has been because of the Patriots and you can bet he wants this game more than any other game he has ever played in.

Unfortunately for Peyton the Patriots are once again standing in his way. They will certainly have their work cut out for them but I think it will be the Patriots that are playing in two weeks in Miami.

The Patriots just get it done. They seem to always rise to the occasion and make the plays that need to be made to win games like this. A ton of people have been saying how lucky the Patriots are to have beat the Chargers. For all their wamping about the Patriots the Chargers didn’t make plays when they needed to.

Troy Brown’s strip of Marlon McCree’s interception was luck to some and a great play to others but what is being overlooked is that the Pats got a second chance and took advantage of it. The Chargers couldn’t take advantage of the Pats mistakes.

What does that mean for this week? The Patriots can’t make mistakes and can’t assume that Peyton will make mistakes. The team that plays mistake free football and doesn’t turn the ball over will win the game and I think that team will be the Patriots.

I think they will force Manning to make a mistake or two and Brady will take advantage of it. In order to do that the Patriots will need to get another great game from their defense. Particularly James Sanders and Artrel Hawkins, those two will have to be there not only to help stop the run but this week they have to cover the pass very well.

If Sanders and Hawkins along with Ellis Hobbs and Asante Samuel can contain Manning and his receivers then the Patriots will be in great shape because they will be able to score on the Colts.

Everyone is making this argument that the Colts can all of a sudden stop the run. How do you all of a sudden stop the run? Brought nine guys to counter the run against Kansas City, who everyone said would run all over them, and they were able to stop Larry Johnson. Wait a second, ok they put nine guys in the box so why did KC keep running right at them?

Not only did Trent Green play bad but KC never adjusted to the fact that the Colts were stacking the line. Steve McNair also played awful and Jamal Lewis is not Larry Johnson. Seriously if the Ravens offense wasn’t inept Baltimore would have won that game, no doubt in my mind.

The Patriots will be able to run the ball between Corey Dillon, Lawrence Maroney and Kevin Faulk (yep Kevin Faulk). Brady will move the ball through the air and he will connect with a bunch of receivers. Gaffney and Caldwell will have solid games (Caldwell only had one catch in the previous game) so will Graham, Troy Brown will make a big play or two and Kevin Faulk will have a large role in one of the games biggest drives.

Manning will play well he’ll throw for a lot of yards but once again the Patriots are very good at giving up yards but not points. Samuel and Hobbs will have to play tough and I think Hobbs will make a very big play because the Colts will go after him.

In the end it will once again be the Patriots that bring out the Peyton Manning Face. I just really hope it doesn’t come down to an Adam Vinatieri last second field goal.

The Pick: Patriots 24 Colts 17
For the hell of it:
NFC Championship Pick: Saints 17 Bears 13
Come on, if you're not rooting for the Saints you don't have a pluse (unless you are from Chicago of course)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you were completely wrong.