Not since the SD playoff game last year have I been so wiped out after just watching a freaking game. Add in an offensive player getting a strip, a defense that looked like is was a play away from breaking down stepping up late and a late comeback and there are some similarities there. Here are my weekly semi-lucid thoughts: * I am surprised by the amount of controversy that there appears to be with the officiating. I don't quite understand why the refs correctly calling the final few minutes is considered biased against Baltimore. Shouldn't all the holding that they got away with mean that the refs favored them? I am confused. * Most saw the near tackle of Samuel by Mason, but it seems that not too many noticed that Mason grabbed Gay when he was setting his position (like a rebounder) and literally threw him from the two yard line to 3 yards deep into the EZ. Then he went and grabbed Samuel. Without those plays, there is no way that the pass isn't batted down. * I am also surprised by the negative tone surrounding Maroney's game - running in particular. Maroney had one play where I felt that he ran poorly; the stuff on 3rd and 1. And on that play it looked to me like he ran up into Mankins expecting the big guy to get a push that never came. I do think that he could have done more with that play, but his running was MUCH better than people give him credit for. He just ran against a very good run defense. Of course couple that with clearly his best blocking and receiving and I walked away from that game thinking that he played extremely well. * If you want to point to someone who had a bad game, look at Hobbs. He just waited for McGahee on the long TD run and gave a marginal effort to stop him. He was beaten on the subsequent TD as well, although in fairness to him he did slip. But I did see several other times where he could have been more of a factor in run support, but he seemed to decide not to. * I thought that Watson almost single-handedly kept Baltimore tied in the first half. His dropped TD was an easy catch and he had another play where he absolutely should have gotten a first down but he let himself get stopped by one guy with a 1/2 yard to go. Add another drop and you have a recipe for a very bad half. He did have a big catch late, though. * Can someone explain to me why NE took so long to adjust from a passive, vanilla type defense to an agressive, attacking style with tons of penetration? Why didn't they do anything possible to force Boller to throw the ball? I was very surprised by this. Obviously some of this is great blocking and intense running by McGahee, but it was no surprise that they couldn't do much once NE got guys in the backfield. * I found it humorous just how much they kept pointing out Boller's great numbers without pointing out that most of his yardage (at that time) came on a complete fluke play. * Faulk had a terrific game. He ran very well up the middle (he just seems to squirt through any little hole like a damn mouse) and he had some key catches. The only two negatives were a drop and I thought he could have gotten the first down just prior to the notorious 4th and 1. It seemed that he ran OOB when there was room to push forward. * I am starting to get worried about the dropped balls. Watson had a couple, Moss should have caught the TD. Faulk dropped a sure 10 yard gain. Stallworth allowed a ball to get into his chest that he subsequently dropped when hit. You can't have that when passing is your identity. Hell, you can't have that period. * Same criticism, different week. While NE gets a decent push on the pass rush, they seem to get there just a half-second too late all the time. This week, that was joined by a secondary that was just a half second late trying to tip passes. * I wonder how much this game was affect by Sean Taylor's death. It just seemed to me that the Ravens - with their three most prominant players very close to him - played inspired because of it. Obviously NE has Wilfork and Meriweather who were there as well, but I don't think that the Taylor thing was just an ESPN storyline. * Was it me or was Welker held on Brady's int? Or, said differently: Was it me, or was Wes Welker held on nearly every route he ran all night? I hate to sound like a Colt fan circa 2003, but whatever. Just don't shove this bias crap down my throat when the calls finally came. You played with fire and ultimately you got burned. * On the second of the two consecutive sacks of Brady in the second half, it seemed to me that Light had trouble getting out of his stance. Either that or he expect a bull rush, because he was still set when the defender was passing him despite it not being Freeney-esque. It found it humorous that the guy got the sack despite Light getting away with a blatant uncalled hold. * On Gafney's TD, I have heard many try to make it sound much more controversial than it really was. Lest we forget, the ref said, "The review confirmed the call on the field". He did not say, "there is not indisputable evidence" or something like that. It was a catch. The movement of the ball was Gafney just slipping it under his arm like every WR is taught to do from birth. Clearly NE is in the middle of a downswing. Time will tell if these two teams have keyed in on something that NE legitmately has issues with, or whether it is just a standard lull that every team has. As always, I welcome your thoughts.