The New England Patriots were up, 34-28. The Indianpolis Colts came back in the game and were looking to win the game with about two minutes to go in this crazy Sunday Night match-up.
It was fourth-and-two. It was a big decision. Should they punt it and let Peyton Manning drive down the field and possibly end the game? Or should they go for a risky fourth-down. If they accomplish, they can end this game. But if they don’t, it may very well be over.
New England went for it. Tom Brady dropped back, threw it to Kevin Faulk. Faulk was stopped very short of the first down as Melvin Bullitt easily stopped him. The Colts would then drive down the field with a short touchdown-pass of Manning to Reggie Wayne to win it all, 35-34.
Are we looking at another great game this year as the 6-3 Colts face the 7-2 Patriots in New England? The Colts are banged-up, but are showing that they continue to become one of the most dominant teams in the league.
“They (the Pats) are a good team, arguably playing as well as anybody and it’s a tough place to play,” Colts coach Jim Caldwell said. “It’s always been a huge rivalry because both teams have been playing well whenever we’ve met, so there’s a lot at stake.”
It’s going to be a battle of the bests, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. They’re back it again as they these two face each other for the eighth straight year.
Brady has lost the previous match-ups in the last few years. Last year’s probably has to be the most frustrating along with the 2007 AFC Championship game. But he wants to put it behind him.
“I haven’t thought about it at all since probably that game, since that night,” Brady said. “I’m always confident that we’re going to be able to make the play.”
Both quarterbacks are suffering a bit with their teams, as both are barely holding on to a division lead. The Colts got the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans trailing them while the Pats have the New York Jets on their tails.
The Colts have suffered from a good amount of injuries. Hopefully, guys like Austin Collie, Joseph Addai, and Mike Hart are most likely to play.
“Every game is about surviving,” receiver Reggie Wayne said after last Sunday’s 23-17 win over Cincinnati. “Every game is going to be tough, no matter who we have out there, if we have the original starter or the new starters. (Opponents) are going to look at it just like it’s the plain old Colts out there, no matter who is out there. They are trying to survive also.”
Manning has been terrible in his last two games, posting a low quarterback-rating, ranging the 60′s. He couldn’t click very well in his last two games. Against New England, he has to.
“We just have to keep working and find a way to score more points and keep our defense out of those pressure situations,” Manning said. “They came up big all day and we have to try and do our part.”
Manning has struggled in his first seven match-ups versus New England, having nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions. But since then, Manning is the one making the Pats look bad.
It’s going to be a lot tougher game, since the game will be in New England in again. The Pats are 4-0 at home currently are recently coming off a 39-26 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“We made big plays when we needed to make them,” Brady said. “It’s an exciting game for us in this locker room. We haven’t been this happy in a long time. We’re pretty good when we execute the right way.”
The Pats passed for 300 yards and ran for over 100 against the Steelers defense, who haven’t allowed that many yards at all this season.
“If we learned from that (Cleveland) game, and if that loss helped us do things better in this (Pittsburgh) game or in future games, then that’s an unfortunate positive that we could take out of that game,” coach Bill Belichick said. “There’s such a fine line in this league between being good and being bad that, in a lot of cases, it doesn’t take a lot for that differential to show up, one way or the other.”
Both teams have been playing strong in the last decade, winning over 130 games and losing less than 60.
“(The Colts) will be another big challenge,” Belichick said. “It would be nice to sit around and celebrate … for a while, but there’s just no time for that.”
I think the Colts will surprise the Pats. Everyone says the Colts are going to lose since they’re banged up. Indianapolis defense is going to step up ten times more than last week, watch. It’s going to be a great game.
The key to victory will be Jacob Tamme. The Pats know what is coming to them, but Tamme has been unstoppable since he has started at tight end recently. Manning will continue hit Tamme, which will open up doors for Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai. And if Collie returns, then it’s going to be even tougher for this Pat’s defense.
I agree with NFLmocks.com, the Colts will win with a score like 35-21.
The Colts will improve to 7-3 while the Pats go down to 7-3. With this, Indy will be the best team in the AFC, maybe even the NFL, despite the injuries.
They are finding ways to win.
And that is all thanks to Mr. Manning.
I expect a good game, and a win for Big Blue!