Tuesday, January 11, 2005

"The Patriots cannot win this game without Ty Law."
"The Patriots are not as good a team now as they were in the beginning of the season."
"We're coming home next Sunday and we'll be going to the AFC Championship game."
"The Patriots are ripe for the picking."
-Mike Vanderjagt

"You want me to comment on something a kicker said?"
-Tedy Bruschi

Sunday, January 09, 2005

These teams just can't get enough of each other. They played in Week 1 (seemingly ages ago), in last year's AFC Championshio, in Week 13 last year, and back in 2001 these two teams were division opponents. The Colts were wins #8, 14, and 16 in the Patriots record winning streak. However, that was then and this is now.

Manning's playoff record is less than stunning. He's 3-4 in the postseason. When not playing Denver, his Interception to TD ratio is atrocious. 6 non-Denver INTs and 5 non-Denver TDs. He is 2-9 against the Patriots and has never won in Foxborough.

History aside, the game presents a major challenge to New England. With Law and Poole gone and Seymour an unkown, playing defense against the stellar Colts offense will be difficult. A major advantage the Patriots have is their experience against Manning. Bruschi, McGinist, Johnson, Harrison, Wilson, Seymour, and Vrabel all know him pretty well. The key to beating the Colts is to pressure Manning without blitzing him. If you blitz, he will find the open man in one-on-one coverage before his protection breaks down. If you can pressure him with 4 guys, you can leave 7 men to cover as many receivers as the Colts want to throw at you. For all the talk about Law and Poole being out, not having Seymour would hurt even more. An advantage the Pats have in pass rushing is the 3-4 defense and the players the Patriots have. The 3 down linemen will rush along with an unkown player. McGinist, Colvin, and Vrabel can all play OLB on the line ready to pass rush or to fake a pass rush. Warren, and Seymour are both tackles playing DE and can rush the passer and stop the run. The Pats have depth on the defensive line with guys like Wilfork, Traylor, Green, McGinist, and Klecko. The Pats must not blitz in this game. Harrison being covered by Randall Gay will not work out for the Pats unless Randall's got some help.

Offensively, the Pats need to score TDs and keep the ball. They also need drives that at the very least pin the Colts deep in their own territory. The Colts have the worst rush defense in the league. The Pats need to run with Dillon, Faulk, and Pass. They need to run to the inside and to the outside. Dives, draws, leads, slams, tosses, smashes. Everything. They need to run right at Dwight Freeney to keep him at home for a second setting up play action passing. They need to pass the ball short and long. Dink and dunk passes for 3 yards and bombs for 53 yards. They must not turn the ball over. They need alot of points. They need to score TDs when they get to the red zone, not just FGs.

In other news, BC is still undefeated after beating Providence College 69-60. They have the week off then go down to Morgantown, WV to play #23 WVU.

Wade Boggs is going to go into the Hall of Fame in a Red Sox cap. So is Jim Rice, but Jim will have to pay admission, unfortunately.

Carlos Beltran will not be playing for Houston next season and it looks like the Mets are the front runners to sign him. The Cubs are in the hunt as are the Yankees, of course.

This is both funny and sad

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