Last Pats win over Colts: January 2005
CHFF had it right today. The winner of the Pats/Colts regular season matchup has the leg up for the Super Bowl.
And before 2005, the Pats had won 6 straight against the Colts, dating back to 2001. The regular season matchups weren't always pretty, but the Pats got the job done when they needed to in the playoffs, and the Colts flopped.
It was an interesting role reversal this past January. That was neither characteristic Brady nor characteristic Manning. The Colts brought to the plate a stronger, more balanced, more physical overall team than they put forth in years prior. Less of a load was put on Manning's shoulders, and the Colts came through to, at least to an extent, silence the doubters.
After the dominating performances of 2003 and 2004, the 10-6 season of 2005 was certainly a let-down. Brady's playoff record got hit with a blemish as the Pats were painfully made an early exit. Even with their strongest team in years, the 2005 Colts fared similarly. The Pats improved in 2006, still not up to their 2003-4 standards, while the Colts regressed with a pedestrian regular season defense. The jubilation of a missed Vinatieri kick turned into a stunning defeat on a Brady final-drive interception. Something clearly wasn't right for either team.
Still, It certainly appeared that the Pats would steal a Super Bowl as a #4 seed, until everything completely changed. The Colts battled like the Pats had done and years past and made a real theft of their own that put them in the fast track to what is now a Super Bowl victory. By the third straight loss to the Colts, and the second straight early playoff exit, the pain of losing the AFC Championship after having a 21-3 lead was mitigated by the fact that we had already experienced it, just months before.
For the Pats, 2007 will be the year they can turn it all around and reclaim their past glory. In the grand scheme of things, 2005 and 2006 were disappointing, let-down seasons. The next few seasons, the Pats will be traveling to Indianapolis for their probable annual matchups with the Colts. This is the time to get back in the driver's seat and re-take the wheel. Settling for an 11-5, 12-4 record isn't the way to go in today's AFC. A 13-3 or higher record with homefield advantage will go a LONG way to helping out the Pats' chances in 2007. Doing so starts with these pivotal regular season matchups. The 2003 and 2004 Pats did not lose theirs (save the 2004 Pittsburgh loss, revenged in the AFC Championship). If not, it's going to be another uphill climb in the playoffs. After playing so many straight weekends of football since their bye week in October, the 2006 Pats ran out of steam around halftime in that decisive game.
Reversing the outcomes of the past two years starts now. Instead of this:
The time is NOW for more of this:
Re: Last Pats win over Colts: January 2005
I like the spirit and the theme. I hope you're right. I'm pretty sure you're right.
Although I wouldn't call this season a failure. Yes, I know that the grand goal is to win the superbowl, but we had a pretty successful year. A first down away from the superbowl is pretty good.
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