Patriots - Colts: Game Balls & Goats

The Patriots blow another big lead against the Colts. Who deserves the blame or, actually gets some credit? We hand out our Game Balls (good things) and Goats (bad things). Colts 35 - Patriots 34.

GAME BALLS

1) Tom Brady -- 29 of 42 for 375 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception. Brady hit the receivers he had to, avoided pressure when needed and generally ran the score up to where it had to be.

2) Randy Moss -- 9 catches for 179 yards and 2 TDs. Moss changed the game in the first half. He was able to burn the defense deep, and then still made solid catches to move the chains underneath.

3) Kevin Faulk -- Faulk had 9 runs for 79 yards before he ran into a brick wall as the Patriots bogged down late in the game.

Honorable Mentions
Sebastian Vollmer -- Solid job on Dwight Freeney most of the night.
Wes Welker -- 9 catches for 94 yards and a huge return to give the Pats momentum after Maroney's fumble.
Derrick Burgess -- finally getting pressure on the QB
Peyton Manning -- How can you not take your hat off to this guy?
Reggie Wayne -- Made the comeback possible.

 

GOATS

1) Coaching -- It's easy to second-guess the Patriots' decision to go for it on fourth down at their own 28, but the defense still gave up the TD. The coaches had no confidence in their defense and too much confidence in their offense. What's inexcusable is to waste time-outs while going for a critical play.

2) Officiating -- The call that turned the game was the sideline judge who ruled Kevin Faulk was bobbling the ball when he caught it at the first down marker. The ref spotted the ball a half-yard further back to give Indy the ball. One more reason the NFL needs cameras on the line of scrimmage. They have the technology. Pass interference calls were also big momentum turners.

3) Pass defense -- The Patriots defense managed to hold Manning and company in check early, but melted later in the game. Allowing Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne to get open late in the game is inexcusable and a certain invitation to disaster.

Dishonorable Mentions

Nick Kaczur -- was beaten at least three times (by our count) by Robert Mathis, on big plays.
Pass defense -- Patriots give up 327 yards through the air when the Colts were one-dimensional.

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