1. Today I saw a highlight of Troy Palomalu trying to rip Tom Brady's head off while he was lying over the GL....AFTER the whistle blew. Yet aside from a nasty comment from Logan Mankins, it was largely ignored.
Peyton Manning can get a 15 yd penalty for someone brushing his helmet. Hines Ward can have Chris Collingsworth calling for a penalty on the Hines Ward helmet shot...THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN! Ward calling for a fine on the hit that sidelined him.
Where is the outrage. Why isn't anyone fired up about that. I know its not the Patriot's style to complain, but what about someone in the 'so called' muckraking media? How come it doesn't even rate a casual comment? Call it hypocrisy. Call it inconsistency. Call it whatever you like, but the selective enforcement of these plays just pisses ME off.
Just for the record, prior to this litigious season, what Palomalu did to Brady, wouldn't have raised an eyebrow from me. I did that an a lot worse when I played defense, and until this year it would have been considered part of the game. But when the league over reacted to the rash of concussions, it created a whole new reality of the game. A reality that I'm going to have to get used to. Fine. I'm trying.
2. But while I'm all for the attempt to eliminate concussions from the game. Penalizing inadvertent touching of the QBs helmet. or any kind of contact to the face by the helmet (Myron Pryor example) is not the answer.
Better helmet construction. Better tackling techniques. reducing the number of time people tackle with their heads down. Actually using ones arms to tackle someone. The strict ENFORCING the elimination of the use of the CROWN of the helmet in tackling. All of these would be better solutions to the concussion issue than the inconsistent arbitrary calling of penalties that I've seen thus far.
3. Oh well, since I'm in the b!tching and whining mode, I'm getting sick and tired of hearing about all the Colt injuries. It looks now like Collie is going to play, and wouldn't anyone here be shocked to see Adai and a few of the other Colt questionables line up for Sunday's game.
When is there going to be a media puke who is going to wonder how can the Pats manage to a 7-2 record DESPITE going with their 3rd string RB. How can they manage one of the better passing attacks in the league when they lost their deep threat, and 2 of the main cogs (Woodhead and Branch) weren't with the team until after the season started. Plus Welker being just 85% just doesn't seem to matter.
So when Manning lines up his offense, exactly just who is going to be missing. It could very well be ONLYy Dallas Clark. Yet the the entire media mega machine is ready to create this MYTH that the Colts are managing DESPITE being "decimated" by injuries, and should the Colts beat the Pats, elevate Manning to even a higher level of football godhood
While for Tom Brady, playing with other peoples cast offs rookies and first year players, he will be painted as "business as usual" for the talented Patriots.
Disclaimer. I do understand and acknowledge that the Colts have been hit with more than the usual array of injuries this season. But no more than the Pats have had to deal with for most of this decade, without the incessant keening and whining from the Indy media, National media, and good old ESPN.
4. Listening to Felger and Mazz yesterday at work. They brought out a point that I'm sure everyone has heard all this week over and over again. The point being that in the first half of the decade the Pats owned the Colts, or rather BB owned Manning. While in the 2nd half, the roles have been reversed, and now its Manning who owns BB.
This is all well and good, and the facts are indisputable. What drove me nuts, are the reasons why this reversal has occurred. Most of it was laid at the foot of the talent gap between the 2 teams/. But they never mentioned the ultimate reason for the shift in power. And I haven't heard it once this week.
THE COLTS CHANGED THE RULES OF THE GAME in 2005 to fit their offense, their venue, and their organization. THAT was the critical event that shifted the balance of power between the 2 teams. Also the fact that MOST of the games played between the 2 teams since 2005 have been played IN Indy, where as it seemed most of the games prior to that (IIRC) were played in Foxboro.
So yes, our D did drop off in the years 2005-2009, but the MAJOR reasons for Peyton's recent success has been Polian's rules and the home field advantage. Well at least that's my opinion....and I'm sticking to it.
5. Kind of interesting how little Hernandez played in the Steeler game. You'd think that in a game where passing was going to be the major aspect of the offense, he'd be one of the key targets. I heard one person opine that BB was teaching a lesson of humility to a young kid who might have been getting too full of himself. I wouldn't put it past him.
6. In the past the Colts effectively played their defense to the Pats formations. On passing downs they good decent pressure just rushing 4 and pass protecting with 7. Just having Mathis and Freeney coming at you quickens a QBs release, even when the blocking is effective. The QB clock ticks a bit faster when you play the Colts. Also they play a very disciplined cover 2 with very fast LBs who have been successful covering our RBs and TE.
On Running downs when we used 2 TEs, their Safeties would play close to the line mitigating the extra blockers. So it rarely seemed like were would run the ball effectively against the Colts even though it would seem like an advantage.
7. But this is a new era for the Pats. Its the TE era, and it poses a lot of problems for the Colts. First I think we will line up in some kind or 2 TE formation for the majority of our plays. First it mitigates the speed of the Colt offense with the threat of pure power. Second, and this is the new part, we now can quickly threaten the weakest part of the Colt D (the safeties) with our TEs which will keep them from cheating on the running game.
2 TE's force the DE's out 2 more steps and make their pass rush 2 steps slower just by alignment, or you force one of their mini OLBs to take one our excellent blocking TEs one on one, and thats a miss match.
I REALLY hope that Bill Obrien has filled this week's game plan with a lot of Play action Passes (PAP's). I do not want to see Brady line up on a 3rd and 3 or 4 in an empty backfield. I want to see a run threat in the backfield that the Colts HAVE to consider, EVERY 3rd down and less than 5. I won't second guess what they will do on the play, JUST don't give the defense that free ride of not having to defense a running play in situations where a run SHOULD be a threat. We do that too often these days!
8. Other things I'd like to see this week on offense
a. an occasional bootleg action for Brady. This is a good play to make sure the DE's stay wide on their rushes. Its a key breaker for defenses. You only have do it about 2 times a game, but the effects will linger a lot longer, regardless of the success of the play.
b. I think teams have caught up to the quick lateral pass to the outside that the Pats have used so effectively the last 3 years. What I'd like to see is the complimentary play that comes off that look. Like a fake of that play, and when the CB reacts, do a double move and run past him with the QB hitting the receiver in the empty zone in front of the deep S that will be rotating over
9. Unless he's 110% healthy, I'd hold Fred Taylor out 'til the Detroit game for the obvious reasons.
10. I'm a Steelers fan this week. I'm hoping the sexual predator has a big game.
11. I have to admit I was surprised by the Steeler result (and VERY happy). But that doesn't change what I said last week. This was a game we HAVE to win....for a lot of reasons that I really shouldn't have to point out. That means the blue print has to followed. We need the pink hats to bring their hard hats and make the Razor a really uncomfortable place to play for a visiting team. I DO NOT want to see any red from those club seats, even if it is cold. THIS week its important for the fans to be part of the victory.
If we follow the "blueprint", I can easily see this being a win of more than 7.