Sunday, January 21, 2007

Helluva Game

Exactly what postseason games should be, the Colts knocked off the Patriots with a game-winning Peyton "Can't Win the Big Game" Manning drive. He still has to win the Super Bowl before anyone will let him off the hook, but I think the notion should be extinct.

Thank God we were spared Bears-Patriots II.

I still have problems with some rules in the NFL, however. First off, an offense should not be rewarded for fumbling, as both the Pats and the Colts were in this game. If a team fumbles near the goal line and recovers in the end zone, the ball should be set at the 1. And forget the touchdowns, let's say the ball is at the 50 and a team gets 5 or 6 more yards after a fumble scramble--it should be set back at the place of the fumble.

I have a complex argument about the Gaffney touchdown that put the Pats up 28-21. First off, in my NFL, there would absolutely be no question that the catch should count, regardless of whether he would have gotten both feet down or not (I think if you have one foot inbounds it should count; that's just me). But, I do think that the catch should not have counted if he indeed had stepped out of bounds before catching the ball (I don't think he did). There are boundaries for a reason, after all.

But here's where my argument gets really complex: since the NFL requires both feet to be down inbounds, I don't know why they don't reward defenses for knocking a player out of bounds before he gets the feet down, because this is a tough play to make. It's not like there would be rampant abuse of this aspect of the game if it were allowed.

By the way, how many people bought that the Patriots were "fatigued" after that Chargers game? I sure didn't. Why would Belechick admit that, unless he just wanted to make the other team think it? When it was mentioned the first time, it was ridiculous. When it was mentioned again, it became farce.

Also, though I really rooted for the Colts in this one, they got away with some blatant pass interference at the end of this game. I know to any fan of any team who has lost to the Pats in the playoffs, it's what comes around, goes around. Yeah, I agree.


At 1/22/2007 08:52:00 AM, Anonymous kennelworthy said...

Well I have never watched a game that physically tore me up like that one. I couldn't even sit down...just paced the whole game. Here are some thoughts/reactions:

-I'll start with a concession...Chris is right about a couple of Colts getting away with pass interference in the second half. I'm not convinced that, had they been called, it would have completely changed the game's outcome.

As with every game (especially the important ones) there are going to be calls that don't get made. I personally thought the Gaffney-Going-OB play was questionable. Sure, he was pushed...but I can't see him coming down with both feet in bounds had there been no push. His momentum would have carried him out--in my opinion.

-I really don't like the CBS announcers much at all. Boooorrring.

-That game was great...back and forth, drama, excitement, comebacks. Chris and I spoke by phone after the game about the "heart-stopping" moments, at least the moments that stopped this Colts fan's heart: the Bob Sanders injury time out, the Peyton's thumb issue, when freaking Reggie Wayne somehow tossed that ball straight up in the air and somehow managed to go up and grab it again. The final drive.

That was an exciting game that, I think, lived up to the hype.

-I don't buy for a second that the Pats were winded after the Chargers game. I do, however, believe that they were seriously winded around the end of the third quarter last night.

-On Peyton's thumb....not one of his passes following the thumb thing looked solid to me. They all had a little wobble to them. Made me very nervous.

-Here's my take on the whole "Peyton can't win big games" thing....last night was a big game, perhaps the biggest he's ever played...and he led the Colts back the entire second half, most importantly on that final drive to score the TD and take the lead. Whether he wins a Super Bowl or should be illegal to blanketly say "he can't win a big game." It was, as the CBS announcers noted, the biggest comeback in AFC Championship Game history. That's gotta count for something, right?

-I do think the Colts have the edge for the Super Bowl. Slightly. Should be a really good game. As a Colts fan, I'm thinking we can score our points and need to focus on our D stopping them. And I'll be hoping Rex Grossman makes a few "young, inexperienced" mistakes too. Glad we won't have to play them in that Chicago weather. Ugh.

-How cool is it that the first time a black coach makes it to the Super's actually two of them?!?! How long until we stop mentioning race when discussing a coach? Does it demean what these two men accomplished to even bring up the fact that they are black? I'm proud of both of them...and I don't think we should avoid celebrating their milestone....but it would be nice to live in a country where a person's race wasn't one of the first things mentioned about them.

-Joseph Addai is really good. I'm so glad he's on our team. I think his long-term prospects in this league are incredibly good.

-Football is strange. Last year...the Colts were probably the best team all year...and they lost in the first round. This year...the Chargers were clearly the best team all year...and they lost in the first round. The Steelers also were maybe the best team in the league the year before they won. If the NFL follows patterns...the Chargers will be in the Super Bowl next year.

At 1/22/2007 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Yeah, I have mixed feelings on the "first black coaches to ever..." thing. When it's a first, it probably should be mentioned.

But what happens when it's been done the fifth time? We're still going to hear it; we're going to get stats. And something that sounds like a celebration starts to sound backwards-racist, or at the very least something a white guy can be proud of mentioning.

Of course, there is a whole dissertation that can be written on race relations and what the motives behind these kinds of comments are (most of them, I'm sure, aren't negative). I think firsts are great, but after that, we should just leave it alone.

At 1/22/2007 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Now that they've got the first "Black Coach in the Superbowl" out of the way; it won't be mentioned again in the years to come except for triva questions I would suspect. It is a milestone, however I see what KW is saying as well. But look at it this way if women were to start coaching football, and one got to the superbowl they would make a big deal out of that. But on the other hand, you never hear, first Jewish coach in the superbowl, or first coach who likes to wear a top hat, etc. I know that's ridiculous, but I'm going broad to say I agree with KW.

And it was a great game; I hate both of those teams, so I didn't really know who to root for. This post season has been much better than last year's. All of the NFC games, with the exception of yesterday's have been great, but even the Bears/Saints had the snow factor to make it fun. All of the Patriots games have been fun to watch as well. Hopefully we'll have a good superbowl to boot.

Oh, and Chris. I seriously think you should send your resume to the Oakland Raiders; I think in the next couple of weeks we're going to find out that they are having a contest where the winner gets to coach them in 2007. And if you got the job and made it to the superbowl you would be the first former Projectionist with a movie review website to go to the superbowl; how great would that be? Peace.

At 1/23/2007 09:36:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Coach the Raiders? Do I dare live the American dream?


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