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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Patriots vs. Colts, AFC Championship Game: 1st Quarter

Illustration for article titled Patriots vs. Colts, AFC Championship Game: 1st Quarter

- I'm not really into trophy presentations, so I think I'll go ahead and switch the channel. On the other hand, I'm not really into Dan Marino interviewing Tom Brady, either. Hey, college wrestling on CSTV. Sweet.


- Yolanda Adams is on national anthem duty for the Colts/Patriots game. And for the second time today, I have no idea who the person is singing the anthem. I don't know if that says more about me or them. Frankly, anyone except Kenny Chesney would have been a great disappointment for me.

- CBS's pregame video thingie compares Brady/Manning to Ali/Frazier, Magic/Bird, Nicklaus/Palmer, and DiMaggio/Williams. Cute little video, but I don't know if you can even call it a rivalry at all until Manning wins one that really counts. Still, the edge in the pregame video department goes to CBS. That Troy Aikman thing, still, four hours later, is remarkable in its lameness.


- I'm not really rooting for either team here today, but if Tom Brady and Matt Cassell were to both get hurt, and Vinny Testaverde came on and beat Peyton Manning in an AFC Championship game... that would be awesome.

- On 3rd and 7 on the game's first drive, it's Kevin Faulk on a draw play out of the shotgun, and he's got it. Great play call.

- 3rd and 8 now, as the Colts defense continues their impression of the '86 Bears. The little dump-off to Kevin Faulk is at his feet, and Todd Sauerbrun, who is not in fantastic physical condition, is on to punt. Todd Sauerbrun could have a Super Bowl ring soon... that just occurred to me. I feel about that much the same way I feel about Antoine Walker having an NBA ring.

- The Colts will go for a quick three-and-out, too. A long pass to Joseph Addai goes just off his fingertips, and the Colts are going to punt.


- Dwight Freeney, according to Jim Nantz, hobbled off the field... Matt Light, Patriots tackle, dove and put his helmet into Freeney's knees. I hate that. Now another Colt is down, and CBS is taking an injury timeout.

- According to Phil Simms, this is the only game in the history of the National Football League in which timeouts are important. On this particular third down, they need 8 yards, and they go to Kevin Faulk on the draw again. They like the draw today. And man, that measurement is one of the closer ones you'll ever see. Less than an inch.


- Belichick, because he's such a fucking genius, is going to go for it.

- And yeah, he just might be. Corey Dillon finds a huge hole, and goes for 35 yards... if that had been any running back in the NFL other than Corey Dillon and possibly TJ Duckett, that probably would've gone for a touchdown. First down Pats at the 12.


- Touchdown Logan Mankins, and damn, that Bill Belichick is a genius. He called this play where Laurence Maroney let go of the football, a bunch of Colts would fail to recover it, and The Mank would fall on it in the endzone. Unbelievable. The 7 points are bad for the Colts... but not nearly as bad as the effect that will have on the collective psyche of everyone in that building. The suicide rate in Indianapolis is skyrocketing up as I type this.

- CBS has a shot of Manning's face as the Patriots scored that touchdown... and it was a frustrated half-smile like, "You have got to be kiddin' me."


- 3rd and inches for the Colts at the Patriots 26 as they attempt to respond to the New England touchdown. They give it to Addai, and it's close. After the measurement, he has it... 1st down, Horsies.

- Nice job by Ellis Hobbs to get his hand on a deep ball that was intended for Reggie Wayne. I hate to rub it in, but that's not a play that Fred Thomas would have made.


- Vinatieri comes on for the Colts, and slides his attempt just inside the right post, getting the Colts on the board. Less than a minute to go in the quarter.

- And that's going to bring an entertaining first quarter to a close. New England leads, 7-3.

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