Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AFC Championship Game Recap

Patriots 45, Colts 7

The Colts didn't belong on the field with the other three semifinalists. Too limited a roster.

- Let's be honest, it was going to take a perfect game (or a gag-job of epic proportions on New England's part) for the Colts to compete. It took 2 possessions for the dream of a perfect Colts effort to go up in smoke, when the Patriots punted after their initial offensive series, and punt returner Josh Cribbs muffed the catch, handing the Patriots the ball at the Colts 26 yard line. The Patriots scored a tocuhdown and the Colts would never get closer than 7 points again.

- It really is amazing that the Patriots, a middling rushing offense, were able to gash the Colts on the ground for the third straight meeting. And when I say amazing, I really mean sad that Indianapolis couldn't do a thing about it. I mentioned the limited roster, but this also is a black mark for the coaching staff.

- Another black mark for the coaching staff is New England's success on the wonky odd formations. When Baltimore was caught by surprise, it was one thing. But one of the main storylines heading into this game was the success New England had when they played around with eligible receivers...and the Colts still weren't ready for it! Are you kidding me?

- As for Deflate-Gate,

  • It had zero impact on the game. I don't see how that could be any clearer.
  • If 11/12 balls were almost 20% under-inflated...why didn't any official notice? They swap out the balls every play so at least one official is handling the ball every single play. 
  • What's the upside here? I've heard contradictory information about whether or not deflated balls help a quarterback grip and throw better in colder, rainy conditions. Is it as simple as Tom Brady believes it helps him? 
  • Aaron Rodgers has said that he has the Packers over-inflate their balls (also illegal). Brad Johnson says he paid $7500 to have footballs conditioned before Super Bowl XXXVII. Odds are, every team is pushing the boundaries when it comes to doctoring the footballs. The Patriots simply seem more brazen about it and thus get caught doing it (sound familiar)? 
  • I really don't believe this is a big issue, but I also don't for a second believe Bill Belichick didn't know exactly what was going on. 
- Now the Colts have to get to work surrounding Andrew Luck with a functioning running game, more than 1 decent wide receiver, and a defense that won't let the Patriots run them into the ground. 

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