Top 5 Tom Brady Playoff Games?

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letekro

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Insanity not having the Raiders game 1 or 2 (with the SEA game). Come on with the Jags or Broncos games, you have to take degree of difficulty into account. A dark horse is SB 42. He was heroic in that game. Took some hellacious shots. Still led them down the field for the go-ahead score. Stood in there and missed Moss by an inch at the end. Just couldn't get guys blocked up front.
 
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BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
There was nothing snide intended. I brought up those years because Indy actually was legitimately competitive in 2005 and 2007. Not in 2006, though.

You can't do this. As much as legacies are defined by the playoffs, they were abominable in the regular season and this cannot be minimized in any way.

As I explained earlier, both games involved clueless offenses. In fact, Bill himself did a film breakdown heading into the AFCCG - a noteworthy occurrence since he usually reviewed the prior game - detailing all the reasons why Indy's defense was still the same ****ty defense it had been all year.

Against perhaps the worst SB quarterback in the history of the game.

Not really. They did a nice job of surprising the first two teams with a DL adjustment and got lucky that neither actually accounted for it. They go lucky again that NE was beat to hell and even then they needed the refs to to strip the Patriots of at least 7 points. And then the faced a truly terrible SB offense.

I'll commend them for getting the most out of a lousy defense, but that doesn't somehow overrule how awful they had been all year. Frankly, the biggest bit of luck Indy had was NE knocking SD out because they could have put a 50 burger up on the Colts.
Let me go point by point here.

1) Okay. Never mind. I obviously took it the wrong way.
2) We will need to disagree here then. I think it is fair to ask "who is playing better right now". I think that matters a lot more than what a team did in the past.
3) Well that is a fair point. But hard to illustrate. These are 3 playoff teams the Colts played and they shut them down. On your BB point I don't know what you mean to say. I doubt he would ever do a film break down to show how bad a team they are about to play is. Yes Cutler is not that good but he is hardly the worse Superbowl QB ever. Still they shut him down. Your argument would be more convincing to me personally if they took these bad Os and held them to 20 and under. They held them to 10 and under. IDC who you play that is impressive to me.

About the rest of your post it is kind of meshed and not exactly concise points I can look at and examine.

They made a DL adjustment and were lucky it was not countered? IDK about that. Hard to say I am sure if it was something easy to counter it would have been. All teams make adjustments based on who they face to some extent. IDK how you can criticize them for it

Again it is hard to talk about the Pats game. A lot of crazy stuff happened. I think the Pats could have easily won if things went a little different.

Are the Bears the best SB offense ever? Nope but you brought this up already. I think the Colts D holding any SB opponent to 10 is good. What would be impressive? Would they need to hold them to 3 or pitch a shut out for you to say they were a pretty good defensive team? What would be good enough?

Then you say the Chargers would have put up 50 on them. Who knows but I certainly doubt it. The Chargers put up 21 on the Pats so they certainly were not other worldly.

EDIT: about you comparing the 2006 Colts to the 2011 Pats. Hard to say as they were built 2 very different ways. I think I'd take that 2006 Colts playoff D though.

Also do not take this as me saying the 2006 Colts had an all time playoff run. I just think in the playoffs they were the better D than the Pats playoff D that year. They certainly are not the 85 Bears that is for sure.
 
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Oswlek

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
On your BB point I don't know what you mean to say. I doubt he would ever do a film break down to show how bad a team they are about to play is.
I would have doubted it to if I hadn't watched it myself. Bill did a breakdown of the Colt's defense demonstrating that they still had numerous flaws to be exploited.

Yes Cutler is not that good but he is hardly the worse Superbowl QB ever.
Sexy Rexy Grossman.

They made a DL adjustment and were lucky it was not countered? IDK about that.
It's true. Instead of just speed rushing their DEs, they had them crash down and play the run first.

Would they need to hold them to 3 or pitch a shut out for you to say they were a pretty good defensive team?
It doesn't matter what they do in a single game because that alone doesn't overshadow a season's worth of ineptitude. The best you can say is they played a good game, not that they are a good defense.

The 2011 Patriots allowed 5ppg less in the playoffs than the 2014 squad did. Which was the better unit?

The Chargers put up 21 on the Pats so they certainly were not other worldly.
Match ups. SD had Indy's number through and through. LadyT would run all over them.
 
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BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
I would have doubted it to if I hadn't watched it myself. Bill did a breakdown of the Colt's defense demonstrating that they still had numerous flaws to be exploited.

Sexy Rexy Grossman.

It's true. Instead of just speed rushing their DEs, they had them crash down and play the run first.

It doesn't matter what they do in a single game because that alone doesn't overshadow a season's worth of ineptitude. The 2011 Patriots allowed 5ppg less in the playoffs than the 2014 squad did. Which was the better defense?

Match ups. SD had Indy's number through and through. LadyT would run all over them.
1) Well I will need to watch that then
2) doh! I meant Rex. Blonde moment.
3) Well I am not calling you a liar : P If that is all it took to make their D what it turned into they should have done it a while ago. Maybe they wanted to wait till Sanders was 100% so they could cover better? Hard to say but clearly their play improved in the playoffs for any number of reasons. If that is a big part why then good to know.
4) Well maybe they are. I don't think so but they could be. Obviously PPG they were better but I was more concerned about the 2006 Pats vs 2006 Colts. If 2011 Pats > 2006 Colts then that be an interesting argument to have. Again that 2006 AFFCG is the main reason why that is true but it is very hard to break down. If you want to say the 2011 Pats D was better in the playoffs than the 2006 Colts D it would not hurt my feelings though : P
5) Perhaps. We just don't know. Maybe the personnel they got back plus adjustments plus whatever else might have held them in check. Maybe not. I can only grade on what happened.
 

Oswlek

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
1) Well I will need to watch that then
2) doh! I meant Rex. Blonde moment.
3) Well I am not calling you a liar : P If that is all it took to make their D what it turned into they should have done it a while ago. Maybe they wanted to wait till Sanders was 100% so they could cover better? Hard to say but clearly their play improved in the playoffs for any number of reasons. If that is a big part why then good to know.
4) Well maybe they are. I don't think so but they could be. Obviously PPG they were better but I was more concerned about the 2006 Pats vs 2006 Colts. If 2011 Pats > 2006 Colts then that be an interesting argument to have. Again that 2006 AFFCG is the main reason why that is true but it is very hard to break down. If you want to say the 2011 Pats D was better in the playoffs than the 2006 Colts D it would not hurt my feelings though : P
5) Perhaps. We just don't know. Maybe the personnel they got back plus adjustments plus whatever else might have held them in check. Maybe not. I can only grade on what happened.
1) I'll see if I can dig it up. Do they archive those things anywhere?

2) :)

3) I'm sure Sanders allowed them to do some things, but he was on the field for more regular season suckiness than people recall. More than anything, it was the element of surprise, though Dungy has publicly stated that they had numerous padded practices the final couple weeks to work on the run defense.

4) Any bad defense can play a good game. In fact, most do. Everyone remembers the lousy 2011 stats, but no one remembers them shutting down a good Dallas team while the offense struggled. Or shutting out the Giants for the first half and only breaking after a few bad turnovers.

That's my larger point. We can commend them, but I don't think we can completely ignore the literal worst run defense in the history of the league simply because of a couple good games in the playoffs against bad offenses and/or poor coaching. I really wouldn't get so pedantic about this if not for trying to say that Tom's performance was elevated somehow because of how well Indy was playing. I just don't think they were playing all that well.

5) You're right. I'm completely speculating here.
 

Shockt327

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
The Colts D was terrible. Worst run defense in NFL history, period. People point to the return of Bob Sanders, but he had virtually nothing to do with their success against KC/Baltimore. Sanders had already been back for weeks and played the week they allowed the Jaguars to run for 375 yards. What really led to the improvement was changing DL tactics and abominable offensive coaching by both Baltimore and KC.
This wrong on multiple fronts...

First off, Indy's D in 2005 and 2007 was elite in points and yards allowed. They simply fell off in 2006 regular season due to a rash of injuries, particularly on D line. If you remember that year, they were actually forced to put Dan friggin Klecko at DT along with other crap players; where they just rotated over-and-over. They traded for Booger McFarland, and really didn't have him play full reps until the end of the year. By that time they also saw Antoine Bethea really come around nicely (cause losing Mike Doss hurt them).

On Bob Sanders, you're way off. He got hurt early in '06. Played reps in literally one game before the post season (@ NE), and didn't come back until the playoffs. So, no he hadn't been back for weeks. Not even close. He had a huge impact too. An INT vs KC, a ton of tackles vs Balt. He was all over the place.

Also, "changing tactics" doesn't even remotely account for how Indy could go from 150+ rushing yards allowed per game....to holding Larry Johnson to 38 yards. That's an insane turnaround. Playcalling on either side cannot account for that. My biggest takeaway from that game was just seeing that clip of Larry Johnson trying to run offtackle, and the entire Colts Dline laterally flew off their blocks to pile on to LJ. The play was over before KCs O-line even knew what happened. Yeah, that D was lightning.
 

convertedpatsfan

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
I know statistically it doesn't belong, but that first Super Bowl win against the Rams will be in my top 5, maybe top 3. Maybe even #1.

It's totally irrational. But watching Brady lead the team down the field on that last drive while Madden is droning on and on in the background about what a terrible idea it is and hearing how quickly he changes his opinion with each play and the excitement building, I will never forget it. It was watching a legend be built piece by piece.

At the time you didn't know Brady was going to become the GOAT. He was just a kid who was 4th string at one point and progressed to Drew's backup and then one vicious hit later got a chance but really, is he good enough to win the Super Bowl? And you see him growing up right before your eyes, and next thing you know we're in field goal position and holy **** there's a chance we're not going to OT.

And there was so much emotion in the atmosphere, super charged from the start when the team runs out of the tunnel together instead of being individually announced to Ty Law dancing in the end zone to U2's halftime show remembering the 9/11 victims to Brady's final drive starting at his own 17 with 0 timeouts and 1:21 on the clock and Madden and the rest of the world telling him to take a knee and Adam's loooooooooong kick right down the middle to the very end and Robert Kraft declaring today we are all Patriots and the chills it sent up everyone's spine.

A lot of Brady's great play-off games, we expected them. Heck, we expect them all the time. That's the extremely high level of brilliance he's played at for so long. But that first Super Bowl, when you weren't really sure if he had it or not, when people were questioning whether Brady should even be starting especially after Bledsoe had saved the day against Pittsburgh, that belongs somewhere, and it transcended any and all stats.
 

dhamz

In the Starting Line-Up
I'd have to say the Seattle game is the top all things considered - the stage, the opponent, the comeback. Carolina, the Pitt AFC title game, the snow bowl, and this year vs Baltimore would also be very high on the list.

From a pure dominance standpoint, the Jax game in the divisional round in 2007 was quarterbacking perfection. There might not have been a more fun, stress free game than the rout of Denver which came after 2 straight one and dones. They fall lower on the list for me because both were in the divisional round, at home, and against overmatched opponents. It isn't just about stats, the stakes, the circumstances, and the opponent are a big factor to me.
 

Chevy

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No love for this year's down 14 twice battle v Baltimore? Brady put this team on his back and had a second half that was simply amazing.
 

Oswlek

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
This wrong on multiple fronts...
No, it's actually not.

First off, Indy's D in 2005 and 2007 was elite in points and yards allowed.
Once again, the 2010-2011 defense is a strong comparable, in that they ended up very good in points allowed, but much of that was being complementary to the offense than being elite in and of themselves (this is more true for 2005 than 2007, which was a legitimately excellent unit). I also already said that I thought Bob may have been speaking about either of these years.

On Bob Sanders, you're way off. He got hurt early in '06. Played reps in literally one game before the post season (@ NE), and didn't come back until the playoffs. So, no he hadn't been back for weeks.
Sorry, you're wrong. ESPN has Sanders with stats from a TN game in December (219 rushing yards) and I recall Sanders playing for the 375 yard abomination the following week. Even if I'm wrong about that, the Titans game alone demonstrates that Bob wasn't the sole difference maker people paint him as being.

Also, "changing tactics" doesn't even remotely account for how Indy could go from 150+ rushing yards allowed per game....to holding Larry Johnson to 38 yards.
Considering they did, apparently they can.

the entire Colts Dline laterally flew off their blocks to pile on to LJ. The play was over before KCs O-line even knew what happened.
This actually supports my position. The same players who were pushed around in December for nearly 600 yards in successive weeks - including Mr. Sanders - were new and improved in the playoffs.

Look, I know the Bob Sanders impact is a wonderful narrative and an easy one as well considering how good he was. But the real reason Indy stepped up so much is that they sold out to stop the run and were fortunate enough to run into two teams that were too stupid to react accordingly. The first time they faced a team that was even marginally competent in both areas, they were on the verge of going down 28-3 in the second quarter before the refs stepped in.

There is a reason Bill Belichick himself did a break down of the Colts' defense demonstrating that they weren't quite the dominant unit people were making them out to be.
 
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Shockt327

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
No, it's actually not.
Yet, you didn't address many of the counter-points I made....

Once again, the 2010-2011 defense is a strong comparable, in that they ended up very good in points allowed, but much of that was being complementary to the offense than being elite in and of themselves (this is more true for 2005 than 2007, which was a legitimately excellent unit). I also already said that I thought Bob may have been speaking about either of these years.
You didn't address my criticism: The 2005 Colts D was elite. The 2007 Colts D was elite. So, what was the real difference in 2006? The problem in 06 was mostly injuries and young starters getting worked in. Cause you can't go from elite-to-awful-to-elite without a reason. Injuries were particularly bad at DT, where they had no consistency in the regular season. They had to plug in guys like Dan Klecko. It was a disaster. That stopped by time the playoffs came around because they were healthy and also broke in new guys like Bethea (who replaced Mike Doss), Marlin Jackson at nickel, and Freddy Keiaho (because they lost David Thorton, which I forgot about) got more familiar. That's also why they were elite in 2007; which was practically the same D. And there is no real way of explaining this disparity. The '06 Colts D in the playoffs was pretty much the same personnel as the '07 D. The only real notable difference was that they actually lost Cato June in FA for '07....

Sorry, you're wrong. ESPN has Sanders with stats from a TN game in December (219 rushing yards) and I recall Sanders playing for the 375 yard abomination the following week. Even if I'm wrong about that, the Titans game alone demonstrates that Bob wasn't the sole difference maker people paint him as being.
You were wrong too...and to a much greater degree. You're initial argument was that Sanders had already been active for weeks prior to Indy going into the playoffs. He wasn't. You only cite one game vs Ten....from wk 13. So, that kills your claim that Sanders played to end the reg season (thus implying his impact wasn't that huge). Because that TEN game was really a full month before the playoffs, and a full month after his previous game (vs NE), too. So, considering Sanders didn't get playing time after, or before, TEN for a full month, it's pretty clear that he wasn't healthy for that game either. Either way, that's a whopping 2 games where Bob Sanders actually played after his early-season injury. Again, that's a ProBowl player who missed the vast majority of the '06 reg season and came back for the playoffs; which was a key point.

Considering they did, apparently they can.
Or they simply got healthy for the playoffs, young players earned starting positions...and turned into pretty much the same D they'd have in 2007 (when they were elite).

This actually supports my position. The same players who were pushed around in December for nearly 600 yards in successive weeks - including Mr. Sanders - were new and improved in the playoffs.
Except the only difference between the '06 Colts (in the playoffs) and the '07 Colts (who were elite) was really nothing except losing Cato June. So it doesn't support your position. Rather, it just highlights what you aren't acknowledging: The '06 Colts in the regular season had some big holes that got filled in time for the post season...and they stayed that way for 2007.

Look, I know the Bob Sanders impact is a wonderful narrative and an easy one as well considering how good he was. But the real reason Indy stepped up so much is that they sold out to stop the run and were fortunate enough to run into two teams that were too stupid to react accordingly. The first time they faced a team that was even marginally competent in both areas, they were on the verge of going down 28-3 in the second quarter before the refs stepped in.

There is a reason Bill Belichick himself did a break down of the Colts' defense demonstrating that they weren't quite the dominant unit people were making them out to be.
Except I pointed to much more than Bob Sanders in my first post. I pointed to holes at every level of the D (DT, replacing Thorton at LB, replacing Doss at S). Holes that got plugged in by guys by a rotation of guys that just weren't good (Klecko at DT) or young guys who eventually became starters by the time the playoffs, and stayed on as starters for 2007 -- Bethea, Keiaho, Marlin Jackson. Oh, and Bob Sanders. So, there were quite a few difference between the regular season 06 Colts and the playoff 06 Colts.

If they merely got better by "selling out" against the run, then how did they stay elite for 2007?
 
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TheBostonStraggler

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Brady's best playoff game was the 2001 SB vs the Rams.

Sure, it's most definitely not his best numbers by far. However, consider the lopsidedness of the scenario: Brady is a young man only 2 years removed from college (where he did not start during a sizable portion of his college career). With one season riding the bench (fighting just to get a roster spot) and 90% of one season as a starter (taking over in week 2 for a very successful, productive, very established veteran QB, Bledsoe), Brady is now playing the biggest game of his career (by far!) on the unparalleled national media spotlight of the Super Bowl. He will be playing against a recent SB champ and established premier team, a team that is putting up singularly awesome offensive numbers to go with a solid D. Brady/Patriots go into the game as one of the biggest underdogs in SB history (wasn't Brady was inured too?).

This VERY inexperienced, unheralded, out of no where QB who is going up against Goliath, Brady doesn't turn the ball over, leads an important 'take the lead' drive in the 2nd quarter, and leads an awesome, edge of the seat, last minute crunch time drive to put the Patriots in FG range.
What a performance for such an unknown that was going up against Goliath.
 

Oswlek

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
The problem in 06 was mostly injuries and young starters getting worked in. Cause you can't go from elite-to-awful-to-elite without a reason. Injuries were particularly bad at DT, where they had no consistency in the regular season. They had to plug in guys like Dan Klecko.
I commend you for looking deeper than most people, but you still aren't completely accurate.

Indy's run defense (rank/ypc) by year

2002: 20/4.3
2003: 20/4.5
2004: 24/4.6
2005: 16/4,4
2006: 32/5.3

Injuries are a great explanation for why they veered from merely bad to historically awful, but not for how they became "elite," There is no trend during the season to explain this, either. Looking at ypc for the final stretch starting with the game Sanders returned for....

TN: 6.3
JX: 8.9
Cin: 4.4
Hou: 4.5
Miami: 5.8
KC: 2.6

Which of these numbers looks out of place? Did they just get healthy in one week? Did it click into place for every single youngster all at once?

You are building a false narrative by using points allowed instead of rushing defense and setting arbitrary end points. Despite improving greatly in points allowed, Indy was no better at stopping the run in 2005 than they had been earlier (which is critical, because that's where their defense improved in the playoffs) and they showed no upward trend at the end of the year due to health or experience. These are the facts.

I'll grant you that Indy did run through health issues and that they had a solid corps of youngsters coming along, but it doesn't explain the sudden improvement between Miami and KC at all. FWIW, ESPN doesn't have Klecko as playing any DL until the Miami game.

If they merely got better by "selling out" against the run, then how did they stay elite for 2007?
Because you were correct, injuries pushed them up into historically bad territory and they had some youth coming along. 2007 was a legitimately great defense across the board.

You were wrong too...and to a much greater degree.
I'm going to charitably call this statement "absurd" rather than the more accurate "willfully dishonest."

You said he didn't play at all after getting hurt. Not once, nada... the clear implication that his return was a big boost for the defense. I said he had already played for a month and the defense was as lousy at it had been all year.

It turns out, the truth is that he returned a month prior to the playoffs only to get hurt again, and in that game Indy allowed over 6 ypc and 200 yards. Yet somehow that makes your recall more accurate than mine? Had he played only a few snaps before getting hurt or if in that game the defense had performed well I'd gladly admit error. As is, there is no such justification for your assessment. He played, and they were terrible.

Lastly, you still need to address why Bill Belichick himself would do a film review the week before the game illustrating why the Colts' defense wasn't as improved as people were making them out to be. You'll forgive me if I take his word over yours.

Enjoy the last word.
 
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Mark12

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
The performance vs the Texans a few years ago in the divisional round was spectacular as well when considering they were a top defense for most of the year
 

PatsWickedPissah

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
No love for this year's down 14 twice battle v Baltimore? Brady put this team on his back and had a second half that was simply amazing.
Bingo!
Down 14 comes back to tie
Down 14 again in 2nd half, again comes back to tie
NOBODY EVER came back from so large a playoff deficit to win. NOBODY.
Winning score is a 4th QTR comeback where TFB threads a TD pass to LaFell
Brady was pounded most of the game with Flacco little touched

Now look at the zero run game production

Brady once again carried the team on his back to a W, passing with no running game
 

TommyBrady12

Hall of Fame Poster
i don't know about the top 5, but the best game easily for me is SB 49. If you consider the competition he faced it's even more impressive. I don't think Brady has ever faced a defense like that before in the playoffs.
 

Wrath Mania

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
1. 2015/14 Super Bowl 49 vs Seahawks
2. 2003/2004 Super Bowl 38 vs Panthers
3. 2007/08 Divisional Round vs Jaguars
4. 2004/2005 AFC Title at Steelers
5. 2015/14 Divisional Round vs Ravens

Something like that.
 

BradyToAmendola

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
06 Chargers game has to be one of the best Brady & team performances. Patriots had no business winning that game against an elite Chargers team.

Brady came up huge.
Defense came up huge.
Troy Brown came up amazingly huge with the strip fumble of an interception that was the result of terrible coaching / pure on the Chargers part.
I agree. That's probably one of my favorite games in Pats history. That deep throw on 3rd down he made to Reche Caldwell down the sideline is one of my favorite plays he's ever made, just a perfect clutch throw. He had 3 or 4 INTs but the Chargers had an insane pass rush, great secondary, and our receivers couldn't get separation to save their lives.

Here's the play:
I honestly think it's the best individual play of Brady's career. Factoring in the game situation, degree of difficulty on the throw, and ball placement being absolutely spot on.
 

Shockt327

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I commend you for looking deeper than most people, but you still aren't completely accurate.

Indy's run defense (rank/ypc) by year

2002: 20/4.3
2003: 20/4.5
2004: 24/4.6
2005: 16/4,4
2006: 32/5.3

Injuries are a great explanation for why they veered from merely bad to historically awful, but not for how they became "elite," There is no trend during the season to explain this, either. Looking at ypc for the final stretch starting with the game Sanders returned for....

TN: 6.3
JX: 8.9
Cin: 4.4
Hou: 4.5
Miami: 5.8
KC: 2.6

Which of these numbers looks out of place? Did they just get healthy in one week? Did it click into place for every single youngster all at once?

You are building a false narrative by using points allowed instead of rushing defense and setting arbitrary end points. Despite improving greatly in points allowed, Indy was no better at stopping the run in 2005 than they had been earlier (which is critical, because that's where their defense improved in the playoffs) and they showed no upward trend at the end of the year due to health or experience. These are the facts.

I'll grant you that Indy did run through health issues and that they had a solid corps of youngsters coming along, but it doesn't explain the sudden improvement between Miami and KC at all. FWIW, ESPN doesn't have Klecko as playing any DL until the Miami game.
So, you claim I'm "building a false narrative by using points allowed instead of rushing defense." Hmm. I find this response to be entirely hypocritical.

No one is saying to 2005 or 07 Colts were "elite" strictly vs the rush. No one even implied that. You said the 2006 Colts D were awful...and you didn't just restrict it to their rush D either. You even compared them to the 2011 Pats....in a discussion about how well Tom Brady does (i.e. passing) in the playoffs. So, we aren't just talking vs the rush, here. If you want to cite the rush as one example? Great. But don't try and re-frame the entire convo.

Because now you are mincing words in order to and trying to conveniently re-frame the discussion to strictly run-defense. Except, no one is saying to 2005 or 07 Colts were "elite" strictly vs the rush. No one even implied that. So, you know full well it was in relation to total defense. I cited those very points/yards stat from my very first post. This whole convo took place in a discussion about how well Tom Brady does (i.e. passing) in the playoffs. So, we aren't just talking vs the rush, here. Now, If you want to cite the rush as one example? Great. But don't try and re-frame the entire convo. You yourself admitted that the 2005 Colts D were "elite" and the 2007 Colts D were "elite." You weren't just talking about run-D either, so don't fault me for doing the same. Cause if this whole convo were strictly about the rush, then why would I even bother to cite losing Mike Doss, or the emergence of Bethea or Marlin Jackson by years end? Those are DBs. They won't have such a huge impact against the run.

Your argument? Again, You are trying to make some vague argument that 2006 Colts playoff D were little more than an illusion. A truly bad D that simply got lucky in the playoffs ("Any bad defense can play a good game. In fact, most do."). Well, if so, then explain how the same personnel took the field in 2007 -- and by your own admission -- were elite. For all year. That's not an illusion. Oh, and they weren't nearly as awful vs the run either. No, they were never "elite" vs the run. I never claimed otherwise. But they could hold a team to under 100 yards rushing in 2007. They didn't have the colossal breakdowns either. Oh, and that team had speed; especially if you ran off-tackle or tried to run a screen, they swarm all over it. So, what's the reason for that difference? It was the loss of personnel in regular season. And that's the gist of my argument; I'm citing personnel injuries/loss at every level; which got filled in by young guys who were there for 2007.




Because you were correct, injuries pushed them up into historically bad territory and they had some youth coming along. 2007 was a legitimately great defense across the board.
Great, then we agree.



I'm going to charitably call this statement "absurd" rather than the more accurate "willfully dishonest."

You said he didn't play at all after getting hurt. Not once, nada... the clear implication that his return was a big boost for the defense. I said he had already played for a month and the defense was as lousy at it had been all year.

It turns out, the truth is that he returned a month prior to the playoffs only to get hurt again, and in that game Indy allowed over 6 ypc and 200 yards. Yet somehow that makes your recall more accurate than mine? Had he played only a few snaps before getting hurt or if in that game the defense had performed well I'd gladly admit error. As is, there is no such justification for your assessment. He played, and they were terrible.
Yes, and me forgetting Bob Sanders playing for one standalone game within an 8 week stretch on the bench, wasn't nearly as "great of a disparity" as your initial claim that Sanders played for the weeks heading into the playoffs -- thus using it to claim that he had no impact on KC or Balt. But, see, he wasn't playing. So, there goes the logic behind your initial claim.

Lastly, you still need to address why Bill Belichick himself would do a film review the week before the game illustrating why the Colts' defense wasn't as improved as people were making them out to be. You'll forgive me if I take his word over yours.

Enjoy the last word.
Sorry, but if ones memory of Bill Belichick's Belistrator is akin to the memory of how Bob Sanders played in all the remaining weeks before the playoffs, then that's not saying much. Link? Also, because I've never heard Belichick say overtly negative things to put-down an opposing team, I have trouble with him expressing what you imply. Either way, it's a moot point cause that same personnel were "improved" for 2007, and it was with the same guys that came together for the 06 playoffs. And that's pretty much it. In the NFL, having bad personnel filling in key holes at literally every-level can make things far worse than they really are.
 
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