Usually when you see those two words in such close proximity to each other you automatic think New Orleans and a hot and humid good time, and likely not a rainy, chilly 45-7, blowout win in football stadium in the northeast. But you would have been wrong, and it turns out that so was I in much of what I thought would happen going into the contest. Allow me to explain.
“Although I doubt this game will be anywhere near as easy as was their first meeting….”
It turns out that I was right, as it was, in fact, far easier this time around. When I wrote the above words in my preview of the game, I was operating under the assumption that Indianapolis had improved in the eight games they had played since the Week 11, 42-20 loss to the Pats. After all, they had gone 7-1, with playoffs wins against the Bengals (26-10), and the Broncos (24-13). I suppose if I had stop to take a closer look at that stretch, it would have hit me that the only quality team they had played was Dallas, which was a 42-7 loss, so I probably should not have given them so much credit for improving.
“The Pats ran very effectively the last time they played (Jonas Gray, 201 yards) but I doubt they can duplicate that with (Josh) Kline at (right) guard.”
So technically I get partial credit on this one. as LaGarrette Blount only ran for 148 yards on 40 carries (and 3 TDs) this time, but I was definitely wrong regarding the play of Josh Kline at right guard. His play was impressive enough to earn a “special shoutout” yesterday from Boston Globe columnist Ben Volin for the way he dominated the Colts’ Cory Redding and Josh Chapman. Granted, that may not be as difficult a match up as he faced against the Bills or Ravens, but it definitely contributed significantly to the victory.
“I trust that Brady will keep slightly better care of the ball, and that Rob Gronkowski will have a big game.”
Obviously TB12 was as effective as he had to be, going 23/35, for 226 yards and 3 TDs, but with 1 INT. Once again, he tried to force a throw into double coverage to Gronkowski, and it was picked off and eventually turned into 7 points. It turned out to be the only 7 the Colts got, so it wasn’t a big deal, but Brady just can’t seem to shake that habit of trying to force one to the big tight end at least once a game. Gronk’s numbers were not eye popping, 3 catches for 28 yards, and 1 TD, but you know he made his presence felt in other ways, including leading the dancing during the post game celebration.
Well, I got the important part right, which was to predict that the Patriots would be on the winning end of the score, so there really isn’t much to add to that. Now begins my least favorite two weeks on the sports calendar, even when the Pats are in the big game, because all the constant talk just drives me crazy. Maybe I’ll add to the noise later on myself, but for now I’ll just predict that New England will win by 3. Seattle is a tough match up, and this could very well end up being a defensive struggle, but in the end I’m looking for Brady to earn his fourth Super Bowl win.
POST SCRIPT: WILFORK TO THE RESCUE
I believe I long ago established the fact that Patriots DL Vince Wilfork is a family favorite. On his way home from Sunday’s game he added to his legend by rescuing a woman trapped in a Jeep Wrangler that had rolled over on its side. The 6’2″, 325 pound Wilfork reached into the vehicle, and with one hand, pulled her to safety. When commenting on it the next day, Bill Belichick spoke to Wilfork’s generous, supportive, and compassion nature. Adding, he was not surprised because…”that’s really the type of person he is.”
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016