Well, yes and no. The Colts were let down by D, especially at mid-distances, where NE threw to consistently without opposition. The final score never really reflected how one sided the game was. However, 4, 5? interceptions is not called for -- and a lot of them were clearly bad throws. A lot of bad calls from refs to.
Let's say ... 22.5% responsibility for the loss!
Peyton Manning isn't that good anyway ... it's just because the media wanted a white pocket passer to succeed that so many picked the Colts against the best defense in football in the Patriots.
Very clever, Joe.
Amalysis from a Patriots fan:
The Patriots forced Manning to do the one thing he doesn't do well--throw outside the pocket while on the run. The o-line was horrible considering that the Patriots rarely blitzed, but still consistently put pressure on Manning. And it's not as if he often had open receivers that he missed--the coverage was excellent and the receivers by the second half were afraid to go to the middle of the field because the Patriots kept hitting them hard (same thing happened in the Super Bowl 2 years ago). Of course, the INTs were inexcusable and the fact that he needs everything to go well (unlike, say, um, McNabb) to perform at his top level probably mean we should hold off pronouncing him a great QB.
I agree, the coverage was excellent and the Colts' receivers weren't. But Manning made those throws that were picked off. Anytime your rating drops from 158 to 30, a lot of things are going wrong. But given Manning's history, it would seem reasonable to suppose that the previous two games were the anomalies. Maybe not, maybe he'll come back next year and do better, but just like with McNabb, I'll believe it when I see it. In my book, Manning choked, big-time, and I don't think that was true of McNabb today.
I agree, Hei Lun Chan. Florida got Peyton's number early on, and he was 0-4 against them. Put Peyton in a panic, and he's not so good. Don't get me wrong; Peyton's a fine passer and above-average scrambler; you don't get in the NFL at all as QB if you're not. Get the OL to protect him a bit better and he's golden.
A good game plan from New England, very well executed, highlighted Manning's weaknesses.
And their defense... let's just say everyone mentioned their own punter's lack of work in the playoffs. However, I don't remember KC's punter having much work the previous week. If anything has been highlighted in the past 5 years, it is that you HAVE to have a good defense to go all the way. And if your defense is stellar, you can get by with an erratic offense.
simple rules of football:
Offense sells tickets.
Defense wins championships.
I am a huge Peyton Manning fan, but I will be the first to tell you that his weakness is that he tends to choke in big games. He like Dan Marino will never win a Superbowl, because when a do or die game is on the line he can't handle the pressure.
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