......and I have an hour to kill. 1. Much of the talk about potential Patriot weaknesses have focused on the LB position and moreso on its depth. I WAS as concerned as the rest, UNTIL it occurred to me, my concern should be mitigated by the fact that INCREASINGLY, the role of the LB is being diminished by the rise of the spread/no huddle offense. More and more the number of plays that the LB (especially the ILB) has decreased as they are being substituted for by various DB packages Given the flexibility and diversity of the basic Patriot's defensive philosophy, all defenses have become "situational" and the use of "situational personel packages" have become the order of the day. So based on who we are playing on a particular week, and the game situation, a guy like Tedy Bruschi might not have more than 20 snaps, while Thomas might get 60 Basically what I'm saying is there for a significant percentage of the defensive snaps there are NOT going to be 4 LBs on the field, ergo the need for the number of "proven" LBs might be a bit overrated in our minds. We have already seen what spread formations and multiple formations has done to the FB position in diminishing the number of plays we see one on the field. The same can be said (to a lesser degree) for the number of plays we see a full compliment of LBs on the field. Comments? 2. I managed to watch the last 28 Minutes of the AFCCG. Believe me it wasn't easy, plus I was trying to some other things as I watched, but here are my impressions. a. I was correct in my original gut feeling that the Peyton Manning was the real culprit of the Pats demise. His ability to make the key 3rd down play was dramatic. Many of those passes were completed under severe pressure, with several knock downs occurring on completed passes b. At the same time I was kind of surprised how well the defense played given who was in there most of the time (Baker, Alexander, Wright TBC, etc) Given the carnage, you forget how many times the Pats took the Colts to 3rd down, and how long those drives were. They were litterally battles of attrition, that in the end the Pats lost because a multitude of reasons already discussed c. When you think about it Fatigue was another critical factor, especially when concider how well the Pats defense did in the first half. THis is a perfect segue to the new conspiracy theory we should promote. I propose that the diabolical, evil GM of the Colts was pumping in hot air to raise the Temperature of the Dome adding to the woes of the undermanned, flu ridden, jet lagged, Patriots. Many commented on how hot it was in there. How come. It was winter outside and the Dome is SUPPOSED to be temperature controlled. I DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION!!! d. Eric Alexander wasn't as bad as he has often been made to seem, however he wasn't as good as I thought (at least in the second half). I can see how people might be outraged by how badly he was beaten in the long play of the final drive. However any ILB on a WR SHOULD be beaten badly. It was another example of the Manning finding the right guy under great pressure and getting him the ball. There is no blame here, just good execution. e. Ultimately the Pats defense was physically done in that 4th quarter. In order to win the game we had to have made that critical 4th down and 4. We didn't....period and we lost. f. The lack of a call on the Caldwell play in the endzone still baffles me, especially given the call against Hobbs that went in the Colts favor. This guy actually pushes Caldwell with BOTH hands well before the ball gets to him. So how was it NOT interference. g. I'm still confused about the Hobbs call. At first I had no problem with it because it was a clear example of "face guarding". No contact was made. Then it comes out that there IS no rule against "face guarding" So what's up. Well my hour is up and I have to run. Thanks for the venue for venting.