The Super Bowl Champion Colts had a bye this weekend and used some much needed time to heal some injuries. When you are the champs, you play the toughest schedule and everyone brings their "A-game".
The most competitive game I was able to see yesterday was the Tennessee-Tampa Bay matchup. It was the kind of game I like: smash mouth hitting, low scoring, with emphasis on defense. Tampa Bay's last minute field goal was the difference in a game that could've gone either way.
But, the big game yesterday was the NE Pats - Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys showed some heart, but also showed they have some work to do before they can break into that elite upper tier of NFL aristocracy. NE's offense has way too many weapons for the average defense. And although the Pats running game was limited to 75 yards rushing for the entire game, they used a West Coast style offense almost flawlessly.
If NE showed any weakness at all it was on defense, but not much. There were some opportunities for Dallas to score more, but inexperience and lousy play calling was evident in some key situations. Wade Phillips has never impressed me as the kind of coach that can exploit match-ups in big games, very well.
While Chris Collinsworth and other NFL pundits are ready to anoint the Patriots as Super Bowl Champs this year and calling them the best team of all time, they still have Indianapolis looming on the horizon. The Colts and Pats are almost mirror images of one another. Both have a high powered offense that can be compared to a racking machine. Both have efficient defenses that bend but do not break and can make key plays at critical points of a game. They both seem to be on a collision course with each other.
Before any team can win the Super Bowl, they will have to beat one of these two teams that are in this class, all by themselves. And if you ask me, as Colts fan, I do not mind Chris Collinsworth spouting off how the Patriots are the best team ever in the history of the NFL. Besides the fact that there were a number of teams that I think would take some exception to this analysis, there is one team they must get through to even lay a reasonable claim to this kind of subjective accolade. This kind of talk will only serve to motivate the Colts even more and remove attention from them. (Which is a good thing.)
Meanwhile, the Pats will continue their powder puff schedule next week against winless Miami, while the Colts will have the hard-hitting, bruise-making Jacksonville Jaguars.