Tonight saw the New England Patriots take on the Indianapolis Colts in the first AFC Divisional Playoff game, and boy, was it a coming out party for a couple of players, most notably, linebacker Jamie Collins. Here’s a few thoughts on the game tonight, and the upcoming game vs one of the Chargers or Broncos.
- The New England Patriots have the best coaching staff in football, and I’m not sure it’s too close. The fact is, this team, midseason changed from a pass first, pass reliant offense, into a run dominant, evenly balanced offense seemingly overnight. The Patriots had 243 yards on 46 attempts. That is simply phenomenal.
- Continuing the coach talk, this is easily Bill Belichick’s best job yet. It’s rather nice to have him, and not a guy like Sean Payton, essentially throwing games away. (Sorry Saints fans)
- People also need to get over the fact that Brady “doesn’t put up stats”. Who cares about stats, when you can have wins? That is LITERALLY, the only thing that matters in football, and sports in general. Did you win? Great. Who cares how you did it.
- LeGarrette Blount had his coming out party against the Bills in week 17 vs the Buffalo Bills, but this time he did it on the national stage with everyone watching. 24 carries for 169 yards, a Patriots single game playoff record, and four touchdowns to boot. The Patriots have now straight up robbed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in two deals. #BlountForceTrauma
- The Patriots running back in general were great tonight as well. Stevan Ridley added two touchdowns and 52 yards, and while Shane Vereen was rather quiet, he was definitely involved. Confidence has never been higher in these guys.
- The Patriots rush defense has been on top off its game of late, and tonight was no different. They may struggle protecting Brady, but they’ve opened up gaping holes for Blount and company.
- Dan Dierdorf is retired. God bless you sir, but just stay away from the commentators booth.
- The Patriots opportunistic defense returned tonight after being missing for weeks, coming up with four Andrew Luck interceptions. If the Patriots want to get back to the promised land, then these DBs have to be capitalizing on every turnover opportunity.
- My dad is a nightmare to watch football with. Someone rescue me.
- The pass rush was a bit shaky, but they did get Luck a couple of key times. Pressure is still a major problem, as Luck just sat back for most of the game and picked the Patriots secondary apart.
- Jamie Collins gets my vote for player of the game. I’ve been super high on him ever since he was drafted, and now he’s paying serious dividends. Dude’s an athletic freak, and incredibly versatile as well, as seen on his interception and sack.
- Collins might finally be the coverage linebacker the Patriots were so desperate for. Big, fast and incredibly athletic, I think Collins will be around for a while.
- I’ll stop drooling over him after this last point. Collins is definitely going to be the 10th Patriots jersey for me. An honour for him, I know.
- Ryan Allen’s injury could be incredibly costly. Not only is he a fantastic punter, but he’s also the holder, and teams don’t really have backup holders in place. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the call next week, if Allen can’t go.
- Stephen Gostkowski was unreal today as a punter. Who knew he could get such great hang time?
- The Patriots just played a very good, very smart game tonight. They rarely strayed from their game plan of running it down the Colts throat, capitalized off of turnovers, and even survived a punter injury. Time to become Charger fans for the time being guys, we want one more game on our turf.
What are your guys’ thoughts on the night? Anything stand out to you, that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in comments below. Goodnight, and god bless. See you next week!