Monday, November 5, 2007

Patriots come back in 4th Quarter to beat Colts.


The Colts and some terrible officiating gave the Patriots their first, and possibly only, scare of the year. The Patriots refused to lose and scored two quick touchdowns in the fourth quarter to grab the lead for good as the defense shut down Peyton Manning, capping things off with a hit on Manning that resulted in a fumble that Roosevelt Colvin caught. A few runs, a third down pass to Wes Welker for a fresh set of downs and a couple of kneel downs later and this game was over.

I'm not going to harp on it, but the officiating in this game was terrible and, in the post-Donaghy world of officiating, refereeing and umpiring, suspiciously lopsided in the Colts favor. The few calls that went against Indianapolis (4 penalties, 25 yards) were 2 unquestionable false start calls a fairly obvious defensive holding call and a blatant offensive holding call. The one pass interference call that went against the Patriots the flag was thrown well after Randy Moss had secured the pass and hit the turf and the penalty was declined. Later Randy was called for an offensive pass interference call that had even the broadcasters scratching their heads. The Colts were also placed deep into the red zone on defensive pass interference calls against the Patriots. The second call against Ellis Hobbs on a deep throw to Reggie Wayne made no sense whatsoever as Hobbs made very little contact with Wayne, got past Wayne and was going for the ball when Wayne fell on Hobbs to draw the penalty. This game set a franchise record for penalties for the Patriots. I think it is also worth noting that the Colts did manage to cover the spread in this game.

Joseph Addai had a much better game than Peyton Manning did as Peyton's number were unspectacular and included an interception and a lost fumble. Tom Brady had a relatively bad day throwing two picks, including one in the red zone, which doubles his interception total for the year. Otherwise his numbers were solid with 3 TD passes and a good completion percentage.

Most people now feel confident that the Patriots will finish with a perfect season and see the Colts again in the AFC Championship game in Foxboro. This is the most likely scenario, but there's still some meat on the schedule for the remaining 7 games. The Bills have picked themselves up and won their last 3 games, the Eagles are capable of having a big day from time to time and they'll need to play the 4-3 Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. These are some solid trap games. The real tough games left on the schedule include the Steelers in week 14. The Patriots could also be caught sleeping with the bye and home field advantage wrapped up in the final week of the season against the Giants in Giants stadium. At that point in the season the Giants could also be fighting with the Cowboys and the Redskins for the NFC East title or, even worse, a wild card playoff berth.

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