This was a big weekend for the NFL, as the league’s best rivalry of the past decade (Patriots-Colts) were in action as were the NFC favorite New York Giants taking on the NFL’s new wonder boy, Michael Vick, and his Eagles. A few games to touch on, so we’ll break them down one by one.
1) Patriots beat Colts 31-28 — The latest game in the Brady-Manning rivalry, this one embodied the relationship these two quarterbacks have. Brady played near flawless football, completing 78% of his passes for 186 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Manning put up 396 yards on a zillion passing attempts, but ultimately threw a crippling interception after storming his Colts back from 17 points down in the 4th quarter. He had me shifting in my chair, for sure. That being said, I saw one major flaw with the Patriots — with a big lead in the 4th quarter they became complacent and began to play “contain” defense. This formula didn’t allow a big 50 yard play, but it allowed the Colts to gain 10 or 15 yards on practically every play. If you’re giving that to Peyton Manning, he’s going to score very quickly on you, as we saw. I think the Patriots would have been much better off staying aggressive and putting pressure on Manning. This is what ultimately led to the game losing interception, and this has been shown time and again as the only real strategy that works in flustering Peyton.
On another game note, I’d like to address my readers in New York who have been suggesting strongly lately that Tom Brady is soft, cocky, can’t back it up, and is generally viewed as an ass. Let me start by saying, you couldn’t be more wrong. As I was watching the pregame show, nearly every commentator on every national news station showered both Peyton and Brady with praise — both for their skill, their leadership, and what they do for the game. The words “class act” was used referring to Brady. Brady is unbelievably popular and seen in a very positive light by almost everybody, even those who are jealous of his success. Second of all, for all of you haters I’d suggest you listen to a Tom Brady news conference after a game. The man is incredibly poised, very frank, and showers praise on both his team and his opponents wherever it is due. He always, in particular, is kind with his words when speaking about Peyton’s game. Sure, on the field he gets fired up and talks. That’s cause the guy is a competitor — he wants to win as much as anybody in the league week in and week out. He’s confident in his ability, as he should be, but he always give opponents their due. Listen people.
2) Eagles beat Giants 27-17 — Eli being Eli, he made a bonehead play and fumbled the ball as he drove him team down the field at the end of the game. While Eli has improved most aspects of his game significantly, he still remains a turnover machine. Yes, many aren’t his fault, but no matter whose fault they are turnovers equal loses. You’ve got to give the Giants’ defense credit, they did a pretty good job on Michael Vick. He still had a great game, but it was not the Michael Vick show ala last week. That said, I don’t think you can expect 6-10 touchdowns out of Vick every game as everybody seemed to expect after last week. I think it’s hilarious how the Giants lost, especially with Eli coughing it up, but honestly I don’t think this is a big setback for the Giants. It’s a tough divisional loss, but they are still a good team and this won’t derail their season. They’ve got a pretty easy schedule the next three games before taking on the Eagles again.
3) Jets beat Texans 30-27. This one was wild. The Jets scored in the game’s closing moments to pull out another unlikely victory. It wasn’t dripping with good consistent play, but they pulled it out and that’s what matters. That’s what the Jets have been about as of late, and there is a lot to say about teams that just keep on finding ways to win. The Jets have so many talented players that somebody could always get open or make a big game-winning play, and that’s what’s happening. As a Patriots fan it’s incredibly frustrating, but you’ve got to give them credit. The AFC East will likely ride on the Patriots-Jets Monday Night Football game on December 6. I think after wins against the Ravens, Steelers, and Colts the Patriots are now officially the team to beat in the AFC — big surprise I’m picking the Pats to beat the Jets. They want revenge.
The Manning brothers blew it this week and the Patriots beat the Colts, so I could not be more happy in week 10. This is quickly turning into one of the best, most competitive NFL seasons in a long time. Let’s face it — no one has any idea who is going to be hoisting the Super Bowl trophy this year.
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