Who woulda thunk it? A 24-21 victory over the best team in the NFL. I thought the Pats had a chance, but believed that a loss for New England was the likely outcome of the game. As it turns out, though, the Patriots came to play today, especially the defense. San Diego has better players as a whole, but the Patriots are better coached and that came through in this game. It’s not a huge surprise that Marty Schottenheimer has never been to the big game, even though he’s won so many regular season games as a coach.
New England made almost all of the big plays in today’s game. Antonio Gates was almost a non-factor and Matt Light took the threat of Shawne Merriman away. Ladainian Tomlinson was incredible as always, but never broke any huge ones loose. Tom Brady didn’t look very good, but the Pats were executing on so many cylinders, the rest of the team’s play made up for it.
It was close, though, and any one of several key plays going the other way, including Schottenheimer’s throwing the red flag on what was an obvious turnover, would have changed the result of the game.
I thought that New England’s play during the regular season was less than stellar. They still found ways to win most games though (12-4 record). In the playoffs, they seem to have hit their stride. Hopefully, they have enough horsepower to take down Indy and win the big game. Certainly, Indianapolis is going to be tough, especially on their own turf.