Barstool Sports

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Colt, hard fact...Pats drop to 4-4 in blowout loss

Well it finally happened. Peyton Manning and the Colts finally won a game in Foxboro, and did it convincingly 40-21 Monday night. UB was on hand for one of the worst losses in Gillette Stadium's short history, and easily one of the worst performances by a Patriots defense in years. But looking back at the game less than 12 hours after returning home, UB has to say he's not so sure this game was the end-all be-all that the fans and media were making it up to be. Sure it was a big game for both clubs, but the Colts have a secure lock on the #1 seed in the AFC if they win or lose this game. The Patriots have a secure lock on the AFC East, mainly because the rest of the division is awful, if they win or lose this game. The Colts are a better team right now than the Patriots and there is no denying it. UB could sit here and blame it all on the injuries, but a large portion of the blame on why the defense is so bad would also have to fall on to the lack of off season pick ups who have made a difference. Dwayne Starks, Monty Beisel, Chad Brown...they've all been awful. Letting Ty Law and Keith Traylor walk doesn't seem to have worked out too well, then subtract Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, Kevin Faulk, Patrick Pass...you get the idea. On the Colts side, UB saw the exact same team he saw come in to Foxboro the last two years. Except this time the Colts didn't beat themselves with turnovers and mental mistakes. This time they played flawless on offense and special teams and it showed. The defense, however, looked as beatable as ever.

On the opening drive of the game Manning and the Colts went 55 yards, including a 40+ bomb to Marvin Harrison for the quick 7-0 lead. The Pats turned around and drove the length of the field for a 7-7 tie, which included a key 4th down competition from Tom Brady to David Givens. Back on D, the Pats allowed Manning and Co. to drive again, unable to get off the field on 3rd down. The Colts took the 14-7 lead and it appeared that this was shaping up to be one of the great games in a long time. The next drive, however, ended up being the most important, as the Patriots marched into the red zone, with about 2 minutes remaining, when UB saw one of the most bizarre sequences at a football game ever. Corey Dillon fumbled the ball backwards and it appeared the Colts had recovered. Moments later the ball shot out of that pile, like out of a cannon, about 40 yards downfield where the Colts again recovered. The official then announced that the runner was down by contact, relieving the New England faithful who knew that meant the Pats kept the ball and the Colts could not challenge because it was a "down by contact" call. The refs then got together and reversed that decision, saying Dillon had fumbled and the Colt player who had recovered the ball was the one down by contact. Manning then took the remaing 2 minutes of the 1st half and drove his team to another TD and a 21-7 lead. What looked like 14-14 was now a two touchdown deficit.

In the 2nd half the Pats started with the ball, went 3-and-out and the Colts scored again, making it 28-7. Brady got it back to a 28-14 game, but a failed onside kick gave Mike Vanderjerk an easy 35-yarder and it was 31-14. On the Pats next position they gave it over on downs and UB was headed for the car.

So here is how UB sees the rest of the season playing out: The Colts take the #1 seed as AFC South champs and the best record. The Steelers/Bengals take the #2 seed as AFC North champs with the 2nd best record (UB thinks the Steelers will beat the Bengals at home and the head to head 2-0 record over Cincy will give them the title). The other team (Bengals) takes a Wild Card. Denver/KC/San Diego takes the West title and the #3 seed and the Patriots take the East and the #4. The 2nd place finished of Denver/KC/SD takes the 2nd Wild Card. This sends either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati as the better Wild Card to Foxboro for a playoff game, and if the Pats D doesn't improve, then...

"...that's all she wrote!"

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