USA About: Patriots Publish: 12/19/2021 Edit: 12/19/2021 Author: Gardener
INDIANAPOLIS - Jonathan Taylor sprints across the field, turns and looks at the New England defenses, wondering where the hell they are. On the sidelines, Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich is just glad he didn't tell his boys about church mode. Ever heard of church mode? Neither do I, but as Reich later told us, it will be game over. All you can do is kneel down - church mode, you see? - by kneeling two or three times until the clock runs out. The Colts were in church mode, or would have been if Reich had informed his players on the field. And after Taylor hit the end zone and sealed the Colts 27:17 win on Saturday night at the insane Lucas Oil Stadium, this is a good team. We've been wondering for weeks, haven't we? The Colts were terrible earlier this season, losing four of their first five games and then they started winning, but it was hard to believe what to believe. Yes, they won, but they beat most of the bad teams. There's no going back from that game, that 27-17 win over the hated New England Patriots and the gross Bill Belichick and the ridiculous Josh McDaniels. The Colts beat the Patriots with their offensive line and running game, blocked a punt for a touchdown and held the Patriots offensive in check until it was almost too late. And then, just as you started wondering again - what are we looking at? - the Colts gave us the answer. They performed 20-17 and it was almost church time, and someone on the Colts staff tried to tell Frank Reich that the first thing they did was get away from getting on their knees. In other words, there is no need to score a touchdown here. In fact, the employee tried to tell Reich that it is better not to score. If necessary, stop at the 1 yard line. It was runner-up and eighth, way back on Colts 33, and Reich considered calling a passing game. He wanted the final as first down, you see, and the Patriots invited themselves against the run. Reich discussed it with his staff, especially offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, and decided to call another running game for Jonathan Taylor. He didn't tell anyone in the field that it was church time. What is Taylor going to do anyway? Run 67 yards for a touchdown? The crowd sang MVP because it's true. There are other candidates for MVP - let's not be ridiculous and pretend the guy in our town is the only legitimate candidate in the league - but Taylor's case is compelling. He has run 100 yards in eight games. The Colts stand 8-0 in these games. He didn't run 100 yards in six games. Yes, the Colts are 0-6 in these games. Taylor ran 170 yards on Saturday's 29th carry for the worst run defense, trained by the best (if still hideous) coach in the league. The Colts were leading 20:10 when they got the ball 8:52 on the left and only tried to hold on after scoring the first 20 points of the game. The Patriots knew the Colts would run the ball to eat the clock, and yet the Colts ran eight times for 38 yards. Two were wentz runs totaling 2 yards. The rest was Taylor, who chewed on the clock helping the Colts score two first downs using more than five minutes of play time. And then, after the Patriots got the ball back and hit again at 20:17, the Colts had the ball left on their 31 at 2:16. They needed one more first down, just one, and it was church time. Second, Taylor gets the ball and it's gone. He uses the last 50 yards to look over the shoulder of cornerback J of the Patriots. On the sidelines of the Patriots, Belichick has a disgusted look on his face. You know how we feel every time we see him on TV. In a few minutes it will be game over and Frank Reich walks towards midfield trying not to smile. So he holds it back when Belichick approaches, and the Patriots trainer offers a hand but not a single word before heading out to be miserable elsewhere. This was the haughty end to a haughty game in which the Colts skipped the Patriots early and the Patriots responded with brute force. It was stupid little things, like £ 315 Patriots defensive tackle Lawrence Guy ripping the ball out of Taylor's hands as he stood up after a brief first-half win and tried to get into the running back's head , I think. It's Patriots pass rusher Matthew Judon approaching the Colts sideline after firing quarterback Carson Wentz and covering his mouth for just playing a game, even though the scoreboard showed the Colts 20- 0 lead and Wentz does not back down and Colts DeForest Buckner tackles defensively defusing the situation by standing between Judon and Wentz. It was Patriots safety that Kyle Dugger nearly pried the helmet off the head of Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr., then slapped Pittman when the Colts receiver objected, and finally took the helmet off. The officials checked the skirmish and decided it was fair to disqualify both players as the officials were making mistakes, but now the Colts are without their # 1 receiver on a day Wentz has to fight (5-for -12 for 57 yards, a touchdown and one.) Interception). This game is starting to get ugly, the Patriots are acting like tyrants and the Colts are starting to choke - Mo Alie-Cox can't take a hard catch sitting down in third place, resulting in a field goal ... and Michael Badgley misses two-in Another FG tries even though he gets a second chance if he fails and converts - and when we have church time it will be to ask God why he keeps leaving our town for the (god) damn New England Patriots. But there's the MVP sprinting 67 yards and now we can relax and have another conversation. We don't have to wonder what the Colts got anymore. You have a dominant running game and a defense that wants the ball. The Colts added two more interceptions on Saturday, one from Darius Leonard (his 11th takeaway of the season) and another from diving linebacker Bobby Okereke. J. Speed restored in the end zone for a touchdown. Buckner had a massive 15-yard sack to end a drive, and cornerback Kenny Moore tackled behind the line and cleared passes, including one in the end zone in the fourth quarter. The Colts can win with defense and ground attack, and Frank Reich is finally inclined to do so. The Colts passed for 58 yards and someone asked Reich how he felt about it and Reich said, “We have proven over the years that we can be dynamic in passing. What we have to prove is that we can win a game like this, with the defense and the run of the game. ”For two years, Reich has been criticized for failing to play the ball, especially in the devastating defeat to Tampa Bay on November 28, but now he gets it: He has such a good defense that he can't worry about the other team. And he has such a dangerous running game that he can stop letting the defense dictate what he's going to do. Fuck it, Reich said on Saturday, calling on Jonathan Taylor to do 29 runs - let's answer New England. "If you can keep pounding and pounding with the offensive line we have and the back we have," Reich said afterwards, "it just breaks." Taylor hit a speed on Saturday, according to next-gen statistics from the NFL of 22.13 mph, giving him three of the five fastest ball-feeding games this season. It makes sense to run Taylor. It's a deep pass, all alone. Michael Badgley, who beat Rodrigo Blankenship in kicker, missed two shots on Saturday - one didn't count for a penalty, but still - and he also missed a field goal in the previous game against Houston. Do the Colts see it now? He wasn't good on Saturday, his sixth or seven subpar game of the season. He's had some wonderful games too, but depending on how strictly you want to rate, he's suggested about 50:50 play good or bad this season. And a coin toss at the quarterback is not a good thing. Everyone loves how tough Pittman is with the ball in their hands - he runs angry like a bull - but he lost it on Saturday as he had to be pulled away by his teammates twice after the dugger swap. The second time, Colts receiver Zach Pascal Pittman had to pull away from the referees. This is not good. This Colts team is not perfect. But it also has the ability to crush anyone in their path, as it did on Saturday in New England, and as it can be when the calendar shifts from 2021 to 2022 and the playoffs begin. This Colts team can play in any weather with their running game and defense. And for the first time in what feels like an eternity, the Colts have just beaten the New England Patriots. Call it church time, call it a miracle, call it proof of God's existence. But the Patriots came to town and left a loser.
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