January 16, 2005

Patriots Squash Colts, 20-3: Peyton Unitas threw none touchdowns in another crushing playoff loss to the New England Patriots, who were led by Corey Dillon's 144 rushing yards. Like my Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999, Indianapolis risked the wrath of Touchdown Jesus by releasing a premature celebration song while the playoffs were still taking place.

posted by rcade to football at 07:06 PM - 52 comments

That was an absolute pasting. The Colts were utterly humiliated by the Patriots defense- one begrudging field goal at the end of the first half for the offense juggernaut that is "Greatest Show On Turf (part deux)". (insert sardonic 'handjob' motion here...) I'm surprised we didn't see Burgess Meredith on the sidelines screaming hysterically that the Patriots were "killing machines".

posted by hincandenza at 07:14 PM on January 16, 2005

Bill Belichick starring as John Cusack in Being Payton Manning

posted by kokaku at 07:24 PM on January 16, 2005

I do not believe what I just saw. Stifling. "Yer a bum! Ye'll neva be nuthin' but a bum." </burgess>

posted by yerfatma at 07:37 PM on January 16, 2005

I'd love to see the game film of this. Why weren't receivers open? How could that happen?

posted by yerfatma at 07:38 PM on January 16, 2005

Wow. It's not often you see the first game of the regular season decide who goes to the conference championship.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:46 PM on January 16, 2005

So, did the conditions mean that much? What happened to the Indy running game? I was baffled most of the time - Colts looked totally lost. That New England D is mean. Talk about hitting people in their damn mouth. And now for another exciting off-season of 'Peyton can't win the big one', with special guest Tom Brady as 'the man who can do no wrong.' Sports journalists everywhere are ecstatic - they don't have to write any new questions for another 12 months. Somehow I can't help but feel that this is only good for Vegas.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:15 PM on January 16, 2005

Remember the Pats-Colts matchup in the playoffs last year, and the way that the Pats let the air out of an offense that everybody -- everybody -- had predicted would do much better? Deja vu all over again, only more so, and as much as everyone hates it, it does come down to the intangibles (or, if you hate that word, call it "a whole lot of things that are so numerous and changeable and complexly interconnected that we can't quantify them all and don't want to bother to try"). The Colts are, arguably, the best team in the NFL at offense. The Patriots aren't. What they are best at is called Doing What It Takes To Beat You, Here, Now, Today. (btw, I watched the game from the taproom of a 200+ year old inn located in rural New England, and it was quite the scene, what with people pounding on the bar every time #54 did something inspirational and yelling, "We need another round of nice cold Bruschis!!!")

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:19 PM on January 16, 2005

And now for another exciting off-season of 'Peyton can't win the big one', with special guest Tom Brady as 'the man who can do no wrong.' Amazing how things can totally change in about three hours, isn't it?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:20 PM on January 16, 2005

Corey Dillon seems pretty tangible to me, as does the Patriots defense. I'm happy for Dillon, who spent too much of his career at WKRAP in Cincinnati.

posted by rcade at 08:27 PM on January 16, 2005

The names have all changed since he hung around.

posted by yerfatma at 08:44 PM on January 16, 2005

I have to admit that it's kind of weird how the Pats have beaten the Colts in every possible way in the last 2 years and every time it's like this big upset. I, too, would like to see a tape of the game. The Colts offense looked like it was Luke McCown throwing to whoever the Browns receivers are. lbb: you will be happy to know that here in Maine everyone jumps up and screams "BRUUUUUSKKIIII!!" when he makes a big play.

posted by selfnoise at 08:47 PM on January 16, 2005

Yeah, this was if anything not a game of intangibles; the Patriots brutalized the Colts; that last Colt drive, the Pats were almost cocky, with no defensive line, just a spray of guys looking to prevent the bomb, and gladly give up 5 here, 5 there, to wipe out the clock. They swarmed them on defense, making Manning frustratedly throw more than a few balls into the ground to avoid the sack; and on offense the blocking allowed guys like Faulk and Dillon to just push, push, push, and the occasional dink pass by Brady just kept the ball moving. Not to mention guys like Bruschi just demoralizing them with those tackles and turnovers. Manning also has that Derek Lowe Face quality; maybe I'm misjudging because I've only watched games he's played end-to-end when they've been against New England- so naturally, games he's lost, but... he seems to get very frustrated, and start playing like it, when they are stymied out of the gates. So even when the Colts were still in it, at the start of the 4th, not so far out a couple of good drives doesn't put the heat on the Pats, Manning seemed to be already giving up on his face; he looked pissed off, angry, frustrated, etc. Is he maybe so used to being part of a commanding offensive onslaught that when stuff doesn't work against a smart defense, he just falls apart (I suppose that's the coach as much as Manning)?

posted by hincandenza at 08:51 PM on January 16, 2005

The names have all changed since he hung around. Corey Dillon? In Cincinnati?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:52 PM on January 16, 2005

I think it is safe to say that I know jack shit about the NFL this year. I might do well in making 16 picks a week ("We do it by volume!"), but when I have to picks a team in a playoff game, I'm absolutely useless. Therefore, I am giving fair warning to the fans of New England and Philadelphia: I am picking those teams to win next week. Have your crying hankies handy. I really think Peyton might end up with an identical career to Dan Marino. We'll speak of him in glowing terms, and wonder at his skill and records, but in the end we'll always finish the talk with "...and imagine if he had won the big one!"

posted by grum@work at 09:12 PM on January 16, 2005

Worse company to keep, really. I know 'fins fans who still worship the ground Marino walks on. Yeah, I didn't want to be the one to say it, grum, but you're doing worse than average. :( I dug up last year's NFL picks and you were in the bottom third as well...

posted by hincandenza at 09:27 PM on January 16, 2005

Peyton is a great QB. Football is a team game and the Colt must improve on defense. Peyton wins 2 Super Bowls, in stead of Brady, if the he were playing with New England's or Pittsburgh's defense. Also, Dome teams better get home field if they want to advance to the Super Bowl. January weather neutralizes every Dome stadium speed team. Does anyone really think Bradshaw winning 4 Super Bowl rings makes him a better QB then Peyton?

posted by McLaw at 09:42 PM on January 16, 2005

Does it matter? Who gives a shit who's the better quarterback - really. Who won? If the Colts didn't think they'd be in New England in January at the start of the season then they didn't think this football thing through. All this 'Manning would be winning everything if' crap is just that. Pure speculation - what we do know is that Belicheck, Brady, Bruschi, the weather, blah, blah, etc., blah, or whatever combination you want to think of just makes him look ordinary.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:49 PM on January 16, 2005

That song is HORRIBLE. I think I'll crank it up for the neighbors.

posted by dusted at 11:05 PM on January 16, 2005

How about the look on Dan Marino's face when Boomer called Peyton Manning "this generation's Dan Marino"?? (I thought it was kind of a prick move by Boomer, btw...)

posted by smithers at 11:09 PM on January 16, 2005

Boomer is a prick. Pats vs Steelers, let's get it on! two tough defenses and two solid running games, it's going to be a smash mouth love fest in Pittsburgh.

posted by jbou at 11:31 PM on January 16, 2005

I gotta go with the Pats on this one now, and I suspect it'll be no closer than today's was. I stupidly had far more doubts about the Pats until they put the hurt on Indianapolis; now I've foolishly remembered this is a team that's too smart, too tough, and too united to get beat easily. Not saying it can't happen- since obviously the Steelers beat the Pats in week 8- but I'll be surprised if Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers can beat the Patriots a second time. The Pats have Dillon back, and we saw the impact he had today: the running game explodes, which chews up clock letting the already mighty defense rest more and be strong through the 4th quarter. The Pats have also have been waiting for this game for half the season: they may not talk about it, but you know they would have liked the 16-0 regular season record (I posit they don't lose that second game to the Dolphins if they're still undefeated in Week 15, but of course that's highly debatable), and want a little payback. I do wonder why it is people have such immense respect for the Patriots, universally acknowledged as one of the great franchises in the past decade... and yet even I will feel uncertain about them, again, as they march towards the SuperBowl, again. Is it because we don't understand why they're continually so successful, whereas teams with a Manning or a Vick can be clearly understood to be "great because of..."? You just know going into next week, the Steelers will probably be favored...

posted by hincandenza at 12:23 AM on January 17, 2005

Hal: I'm one of them... it always rankles me that people think Elway was a better QB because of his two rings, when what Elway was was a QB nearly as good who happened to have an all-world running back for two seasons. Marino never even had an all-division running back. Hell, towards the end of his career the 'Noles and 'Canes typically had better RBs than Marino and the 'fins did...

posted by tieguy at 06:04 AM on January 17, 2005

Go Steelers!!! From my mouth to God's ears.

posted by gac at 07:09 AM on January 17, 2005

smithers- That was absolutely hilarious. Oh man, I loved that.

posted by blarp at 09:51 AM on January 17, 2005

What I liked about the Colts was that they reminded me of the great Bills teams. I guess that's what Belichick liked, too.

posted by outside counsel at 11:31 AM on January 17, 2005

Go Steelers.

posted by govtdrone at 12:01 PM on January 17, 2005

How about the look on Dan Marino's face when Boomer called Peyton Manning "this generation's Dan Marino"?? Please tell me Shanon Sharpe is not going to be around next season. He's the one I cannot stand. His commentary is subpar at best.

posted by jasonspaceman at 12:41 PM on January 17, 2005

Shannon Sharpe is an asshole. And a meathead. With no sense of humour. Boomer too. At least the Fox guys THINK they're funny. At least they try to be entertaining. At least they have personalities. I would have paid $20 to see Marino stand up, walk to the other end of the desk, and punch Boomer in the nose.

posted by fabulon7 at 01:20 PM on January 17, 2005

Supposedly Sharpe and Marino kept going after the cameras were off yesterday:

Sharpe instantly became animated, challenging Marino for coming to Manning's defense. "When [Manning] had it, did he do anything with it? It wasn't like [the Colts] led the league in time of possession. They were 25th, 26th in time of possession anyway. "Okay, there you go," Marino said after host Greg Gumbel tried to intervene. "Shannon speaks." After the camera cut to Gumbel, Boomer Esiason could be heard saying to Sharpe, "Please, calm down."

posted by yerfatma at 01:34 PM on January 17, 2005

Question: If the Pats and Colts had swapped Coaches at the start of the season, who would have won yesterday? That's right, the Colts. The Pats were where they were supposed to be on alomst every play and then hit real hard. That, my friends, is coaching.

posted by smithnyiu at 02:51 PM on January 17, 2005

It's kind of frustrating to hear all of these "If Manning played for the Pats" and "If Belichick coached the Colts", etc. stuff. Speculations like these are useless and unprovable.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:38 PM on January 17, 2005

Read it again. Slowly this time. Not what I said. Yesterday was proof how a great coaching staff can prepare a team to completely dominate another team, what we all witnessed. Just complimenting greatness, dummy.

posted by smithnyiu at 05:40 PM on January 17, 2005

You're so much fun this might go over your head: the players play the game, not the coaches. The coaches can scheme away, but the talent still wins out. The Patriots win because of Belicheck, but it's as much because of Bill's insistence on depth and undervalued talent as his schemes. So I don't know if your claim is true. It might be, but I doubt it. If you swap the coaching staffs and the injuries (give back Law, Seymour and Poole, take away Indy's starting corners), does Indy still win?

posted by yerfatma at 06:40 PM on January 17, 2005

You're right, I'm not that bright. But I have been on the other side of it playing college ball. Bonehead calls by frustrated coaches, and no amount of talent (or lack of, in my case) could make up for that. I agree that talent wins games. But the coaches do more than scheme. They watch more film than I watch porn. They prepare and the talent executes. I think we agree with that. I think Indy just wasn't prepared. Maybe it was because the Pats had a bye, but the Colts were flat for 3 hours. The pats do have tons of talent, but that much more?

posted by smithnyiu at 08:00 PM on January 17, 2005

Bonehead calls by frustrated coaches, and no amount of talent (or lack of, in my case) could make up for that. Do you think Tony Dungy was making bonehead calls, then?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:18 PM on January 17, 2005

No, not at all. I think Coach Dungy is a fantastic coach. But it goes deeper than that. It's really the coordinators that do all the deep analysis. I think it's more great calls by the defensive coordinator(s) for the Pats. I mean, great calls. Series after seraies. Just taking Indy to school. And I wanted them to win.

posted by smithnyiu at 08:25 PM on January 17, 2005

I think it's more great calls by the defensive coordinator(s) for the Pats. I mean, great calls. Series after seraies. 'Twill be a dark day in Foxborough indeed when Romeo Crennel moves on down the road -- as, inevitably, he must, I s'pose. People still disagree with me when I say that what the Patriots excel at is Beating The Other Team. After watching yesterday's game, though, perhaps there are a few who'll understand that it's not quite the, "Well, duh!" thing that it might seem at first.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:32 PM on January 17, 2005


posted by smithnyiu at 09:00 PM on January 17, 2005

I don't buy into the notion that the Patriots have the ability to consistently play just above the level of their opponent. That's overthinking it. They're a solid team in an era when parity and/or the cap are making it hard to be good, so there aren't as many rivals threatening them as there might have been 10 years ago. That isn't to take anything away from them -- I think they could've given the 49ers and Cowboys of 10 years ago a great Super Bowl, and if they win a third it will be great to have another dynasty again. I was beginning to think it was impossible to win long enough, with the cap, to become one.

posted by rcade at 10:45 PM on January 17, 2005

With the way the Patriots played Sunday and Steelers played Saturday, it is hard not to call this one for the Patriots. However, I thought it was pretty cut and dry that the Pats would take the Colts - I was a little baffled why anyone would call it the other way in light of the Colt's defense. The Steelers/Patriots game, however, is too close to call, IMO - and that's when I love football the most.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:11 AM on January 18, 2005

There's no point in FPPing this, but Bill Simmons, of course, covered the day beautifully.

posted by chicobangs at 01:32 PM on January 18, 2005

Great read, chico. Going nicely with that was Skip Bayless and his pre-game pick, which I took as encouragement when it seemed that the entire world disagreed with me.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:03 PM on January 18, 2005

Yesterday I watched one of ESPN's egregious daytime shows, "1st and 10" wherein Skip Bayless paid for major transgressions in a past life by having to argue with Woody Paige. Basically, Paige claimed he wasn't wrong for predicting the opposite of everything that happened in the AFC Championship.

posted by yerfatma at 06:51 PM on January 18, 2005

I'm not the biggest Woody Paige fan, but on Cold Pizza/1st & 10, Bayliss is a dick. I'm willing to believe it's a pose for the cameras, but still.

posted by chicobangs at 12:49 AM on January 19, 2005

No ESPN broadcasts for me up here, so I have to make do with the website, upon which the dick factor is more difficult to ascertain.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:16 AM on January 19, 2005

Someday, when I grow up ... I want to be Bill Simmons. Why wasn't anyone else commenting on Peyton's little hissy fits on the field whenever a pass was dropped or (god forbid) over or underthrown? I swear to God, as an old O-lineman, I would have kicked him in the nuts and begged for the backup.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2005

Actually, frazer, Pinball Clemons was on Off the Record last night, and he pointed to that as one of Manning's biggest problems: the habit of pushing the blame elsewhere, and communicating that with overly negative body language. That can just kill your team when you're not up by 40 points on a non-playoff opponent.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:40 PM on January 19, 2005

Have you heard Pinball denying that the Argos doubled his salary for next year -- to $400,000?!? And that's Canadian, for God's sake! The man's worth a million at least!

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:00 PM on January 19, 2005

Chicobangs, having endured several years with Bayless as lead columnist for the local sports section, you are not wrong about him. I'm just glad he left for ESPN so he doesn't spoil my morning throne reading.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:08 PM on January 19, 2005

[Geezus, looking back through my posts (especially in this thread and the Clemens one), I'm full of hate today. I'm sorry, SpoFi. I should save this hatred for someone who deserves it. I'm going to go out and see if I can get drunk, punch someone, get laid, something.]

posted by chicobangs at 05:08 PM on January 19, 2005

Sorry, cb, I read that as donkey punch.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:34 PM on January 19, 2005

I hadn't seen that Bill Williams article. He nailed it. I just don't know what the Patriots have to do to get some respect. They'll win a third Superbowl this year and will still get the "well, they got lucky" thing. Is it so hard to admit that a great team is stronger than a team with some great players?

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:51 AM on January 20, 2005

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