Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Saturday Playoffs Discussion Thread

This thread is for in-game discussion of Saturday's two playoff games: Washington-Seattle and New England-Denver. (Nuf respek, yo.)

You can find discussion of the Sunday second round games here.

Comments

301
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:18pm

Mack Strong goes off like an SUV out of control... one piloted by Lamar Smith, no less. Career long run.

302
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

chuangtzu (#296 )--

So you're an Eagle player?

They're still technically the NFC champs until a new one is crowned.

303
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

Mack bleeping Strong...how fitting

304
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

“You� are skins fans. “We� are conference champions.

Bit premature, don't you think? Unless the conference you refer to contains neither the Panthers nor the Bears.

305
by Nacho (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

Washington is going to come back just watch.

306
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

Sid writes "game over" in his notebook.

306
by Reno (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

And Holmgren and/or Hasselback give Strong some glory. Getting that run makes me really happy for him, having lived in Portland and been forced to watch the Seahawks for so long. Just a really great fullback for a long time, I liked Darryl Johnston's "Hey!" during the play.

308
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:19pm

Do you know what time it is?

It's Morris time!

309
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:20pm

Please, chuangtzu, we're Seahawk fans. We won't believe that Seattle really won the game until about a half an hour after the final whistle.

310
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:21pm

That was a great block by Seattle #86 on that long run, as well as by whichever receiver was blocking Skins #24.

Re: 290. If he didn't pull up, he likely would've been called for a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness on a defenseless receiver. Possibly fined during the week as well, if he got enough helmet into the hit. As much as I love lighting people up, in that case playing it safe was the right thing to do.

311
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:21pm

Good bit of analysis on the missed FG by the UK studio guys. Seattle overloaded one side of line, and Trufant was completely unblocked as he came around to block the kick.

It's concieveable that that was enough to make Hall 'snatch' at the kick. It might not have made a difference, but it was a smart bit of work to pick it up.

312
by Ruben (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:22pm

"So amazing without Alexander!!!!111oneoneone"

Does that mean people will stop slurping on Alexander, and understand that he's only a small piece of a relatively complex offense, fueled by a competent line?

Hutch deserved that MVP...

313
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:22pm

For symmetry's sake, Washington needs to get a late TD here (on a turnover perhaps), have the game go to overtime where Seattle wins it on a FG.

314
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:23pm

Has a receiver ever dropped a ball in a way such that it was intercepted by the defense?

315
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:23pm

Matter of time at this point, mi amigo. The Panthers have one less offensive threat than the Redskins, and the Bears have two less. Then again, maybe I'm just getting cocky at my team's first playoff win in 21 years.

316
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:24pm

And Vegas is waiting breathlessly for this Seattle FG attempt...

317
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:24pm

#312 - so... should they let Alexander go after this season instead of paying the huge amount he's due? Is this a broncos interchangeable RB offense?

318
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:25pm

26*12=312 (Genuflect)

Re: 310 Oh please, this is football, not tiddlywinks. That hit would have been plenty devastating without Trufant using his helmet and defenseless recievers are the best kind.

319
by Jon M (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:25pm

Skins can still win, provided Seattle puts Roy Willaims in at safety.

320
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:26pm

Not to poop on your parade or anything chuangtzu, but I can think of several franchises I wouldn't trust to hold a 10-point lead in a playoff game with almost three minutes left. Guess if Seattle is one of them.

321
by Ruben (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:26pm

TMQ watch:

The Seattle cheerbabes are bundled up...does that mean the football gods will frown upon the hapless 'Hawks now, or preserve their wrath for the NFC championship?

322
by Matlock, Attorney at Law (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:27pm

317: Maurice Morris' 49 yards on 18 carries say no.

323
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:27pm

Has Siragusa ever contributed anything worthwhile to a telecast? I've heard him say funny things in radio interviews, so I'm not prepared to say he has no business in broadcasting, but during a live game he adds absolutely nothing.

324
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:27pm

If the score stays as is, bookies are going to get killed on this game because the spread opened at 9, and closed at 10 on most sites.

325
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:28pm

I understand the reluctance to trust the Seattle D. But all that was B.L., Before Lofa. Things are different now.

326
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:28pm

Not saying I like the rule, but taking the shot there gives them first and goal, down seven. And anything more than that would've been called. By pulling up he didn't give them a free shot to tie it up.

327
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:29pm

MDS (#323 )--

He just mentioned Seattle using line stunts to get pressure.

Plus, he has the cleavage.

328
by Shelley (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:30pm

"If you give Brunell time, he'll pick you apart." Tony, are you and I watching the same game?

329
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:30pm

chuangtzu - I was all prepared to get my Bears dander up and come back at you with both barrels when I realized: I'm hearing trash talk from a Seattle fan. I decided to ponder the historical significance instead.

330
by Ruben (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:31pm

Andrew:

Eh.

Depends on a variety of factors, but I would pose to you that this offense would not fall apart without him.

Keep the line, keep them healthy and disciplined (per the Tainer article from the other day), and keep Strong and Hannam (maybe), and I'd say the loss wouldn't be as great as the idiots/bobbleheads want you to believe.

If they could pick up a need in defense or two or three, on the mega bucks Alexander would command, I'd say they should take that option.

331
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:32pm

TomC. It's a rare experience for me too. I intend to savor it while it lasts.

332
by Ruben (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:32pm

did anyone else hear Samules say "Dat's bull, mang!" over the ref's microphone?

Awesome.

333
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:32pm

Are we sure Brunell hadn't crossed the line of scrimmage on that long completion on fourth-and-16?

334
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:33pm

333: He didn't cross the 20 yard line, if that was the actual LOS.

335
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:34pm

Now see? If Trufant buries Moss 10 minutes ago that catch doesn't happen.

As far the penalty, the ball hit Moss's hands, so I think he's far game.

336
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:34pm

Chan Gailey would call a spike here.

337
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:34pm

Ruben - Does Samuels have a Puerto Rican accent?

338
by Matu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:34pm

Re: 333

I was wondering the same thing.

339
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:35pm

If the Redskins lose this one, some idiot is going to say the Redskins failed to establish the run, and that is why they lost.

Don't they have plays that go more than 10 yards?

340
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:36pm

Game Ooooover. Time to eat me some Nachos.

341
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:36pm

Karma for Seattle. The win a playoff game on a dropped pass in the endzone.

341
by Nacho (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:36pm

So close

343
by Ruben (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:36pm

I have no idea, but I swear I heard the "mang" instead of "man."

I laughed out loud...

344
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:37pm

Wow, great play to not interfere there. I thought at first glance it was one of those "we just won't call it because it's late in the game" garbage non-calls, but he actually didn't interfere. Great play.

345
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:37pm

Peanut butter jelly time!
Peanut butter jelly time!
Peanut butter baseball bat!
Peanut butter baseball bat!
Peanut butter jelly time!
Peanut butter jelly time!

346
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:38pm

Re: 333

I just re-watched the play, and Brunell released the pass at the 17 or 18, behind the line of scrimmage.

347
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:39pm

If Seattle wins without Alexander, what would they have done with him? Also, what is a standard recovery period for a concussion? Odds on him coming back versus Chicago next week?

348
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:39pm

I expected to be a lot happier than this when the Seahawks won.

349
by Paul (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:40pm

I agree...First look I had to wonder why the ref, who was there did not call defensive pass interference. Then on the replay, you could see that the defender clearly played it well and in fact knocked the ball away from Moss. I can't blame Moss for not catching it; however, he should have tried to establish position a little better and then he might have caught it or at least got an interference call.

350
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:41pm

I can't believe Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf are doing the game tomorrow. Of the four games that was the one I was most looking forward to. Not anymore.

351
by Nacho (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:42pm

Give the skins their credit we were 5-6 at one point this season and to make the divisional playoffs and play a good game is a big accomplishment. we we're told at the beginning we'd be dead last in our division. We have some holes to patch up and we'll be back next year.

One last thing, since football season is officially over for me and now I can watch something besides nfl network I would like to know is that "24" show any good?

352
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:45pm

C'mon MDS, don't you have any radio station in your area covering the game?

To Nacho, I do indeed give the skins their due. Being the last team from your division in contention is worth something. I also give Brunell his props... he won my alma mater a national championship, after all.

353
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:46pm

This just in: Seahawks hate God, convert to Shintoism to appeal to Japanese fanbase. Also hire Ichiro in offseason to field punts.

I think this was a game of who wanted to lose more. Could the Seahawks special teams lose the game, or could Washington's offense lose the game?

I don't remember seeing so many 3rd and 15+ and 4th and 15+ conversions in a game. Yikes.

354
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:48pm

Oh yeah - depending on the player and the level of concussion, it's usually a one-game thing. Looking at Alexander on the sidelines I think he'll be in next time.

Morris also looked pretty wobbly there at the end. Wonder what happened to him?

Morris did about as well as Williams did last week. I don't think he's as good as Alexander at making cuts, but he doesn't dance around as much. He's a good but not great back.

355
by Ruben (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:48pm

God, I hate pre- half- end-game shows.

Can't we get Aaron, MDS and Tanier around a table saying things that didn't come off a Foley board: "Establish the run, get turnovers, give it their all, mental mistakes!"

When I become a FOX Sports exec, you guys are in the booth and "back in the studio in New York."

356
by Matlock, Attorney at Law (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:50pm

The McDonald's Pounder Index: A cutting edge mathematical formula if I've ever seen one.

357
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:50pm

Congratulations seahawk fans.... good luck to your team the rest of the way.

358
by Tim (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:51pm

Isn't this Mack Strong's 29th year as Seahawk? Nice to see him get carries. He looked like John L Williams reincarnate on that one run.

359
by Adam (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:52pm

I don't know why, but I absolutely love the fact that the Indianapolis Colts have already won tomorrows game.

It's nice being the heavy, heavy underdog. Makes it that much more enjoyable if we win.............

360
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:56pm

RE:51 I Hope you are here when this game is over so I can gloat

:: Nacho — 1/14/2006 @ 4:57 pm

Heh. Heh heh.

361
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 9:59pm

And the Pittsburgh underdogs take the field... oh wait, that's tomorrow. ;-) Forgive me, I'm just giddy at my team winning a playoff game for the first time since I've been legal to, uhh, drive, let alone drink.

362
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:04pm

I'm confused. Why are the number two CBS crew doing the best game of the weekend?

363
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:07pm

All I can do it thank God that the "number one" Fox team of the three stooges didn't do the
Skins/Hawks game. My stereo in the room with the TV doesn't get AM radio... Is broken Thighsman really the best they could come up with for Monday night next year? Really?

364
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:07pm

Cause CBS wanted to put the Patriots in a primetime game and the top crew in a Sat night primetime game guarntees a lot of viewers.

365
by morganja (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:16pm

Why couldn't the refs call penalties against Seattle? Is this a new home team rule this year? No reason for their O-line to stop holding if they never get called for it. Also, nice spotting.

Seriously, what is the deal with refs and playoff games? I understand they don't want to turn it into a flag-fest but you have to call at least one of the more obvious holds to try to keep the line semi-honest. I hope this is the last time we see this in the playoffs. It mars what should be great games. I didn't support either team but had to start supporting the redskins after the one sided officiating.

366
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:16pm

Well, okay - but if they want to retain viewers for next season it might not be a bad idea to put your best foot forward.

I'm still astounded that the Seahawks managed to win despite giving it their all. This has to be a major setback in their ineptitude. I think it's because all week long, they've been praising Tom Brady and genuflecting.

On a side note, the #12 flag that is flying in the stadium - right behind it is a big billboard for "Bruchi's". Conspiracy? I think so.

367
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:16pm

Anyone here ever try Brooklyn Dark Chocolate Stout? To quote a noted Fox celebrity, it's sacrilicious.

As an obligatory football comment, if NE wins, Corey Dillon gains 100 yards rushing, and yes, that's reversed purposely.

368
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:21pm

Whoa.. that was definitely an 8-man blitz.

369
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:21pm

Serious disrespect for Brady by Lynch and the officials.

370
by Adam (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:22pm

HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT THE BRADY!

371
by Dante Svalbard (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:23pm

You know what this means - Brady's going to have to drill a ref to restore order...

372
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:23pm

Over/under for number of genuflects and disrepectings the next 3 hours of posts will bring: 100? 200?

373
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:23pm

Re 362/364

Sorry, I misread MDS' post. I thought Dierdorf and Enberg were doing tonights game. Once the game started and we got the feed I began feeling a little silly.

374
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:24pm

Jeff Triplette is reffing this game? Was Walt Coleman not available?

375
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:26pm

Disrespect. Genuflect. Disrespect. Genuflect. Wash, rinse, repeat. Disreflect. Genuspect. Wait... who fed Brady roofies?

376
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:27pm

Man, that Steve Largent is fast.

377
by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:30pm

now we have perfected the burger king commercial, we have to find a way to get marcus vick in one of the ronald mcdonald on the park bench commercials.

378
by seven year lion (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:33pm

Maybe it's just due to his team being on my tv all the time, but in my mind Tom Brady bitches and whines to the officials more than anyone this side of Coach K.

379
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:34pm

I call a QB sneak.

380
by putnamp (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:34pm

What I'm trying to figure out about the Seattle/Washington game is why so many injuries? Is there something about the Qwest field surface that doesn't hold up well to rain? The last time Seattle played a playoff game there, the weather was sunny, and it was actually moderately warm for the time of year, as I recall.

A playing surface in Seattle that responds poorly to rain. The joke tells itself.

381
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:35pm

HOW DARE YOU TAKE HIS NAME IN VAIN! Forgive him, Lord Brady, for he knows not what he does.

382
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:37pm

Perfect example of why Triplette is a terrible ref: He calls for a measurement there even though the Patriots were obviously a full yard short of the first down. Why delay the game by a couple of minutes when you can see just by looking that they're not close to the line? Please, spare me the announcer-speak of "the Patriots requested the spot." Triplette should have denied the request.

383
by VinnyMurphSully (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:37pm

It’s Lynch, it’s Brady, it’s the honkey showboat showdown!

384
by admin :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:40pm

OK, can I request that we limit the "Brady genuflect" references? People know that nobody is as annoyed by the "Brady can do anything" mindset as I am, but if people are making fun of it every three comments for the rest of the playoffs, I'm going to lose my mind. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

385
by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:41pm

Re: 283 I'd watch that show. They should put it on before Big Man Dance Challenge. Brett Farve could play the banjo and Tom Brady can just be handsome.

386
by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:41pm

seconded.

387
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:41pm

3 yard pass on 3rd and 6, I love it.

388
by admin :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:41pm

One more thing. Apparently, comment 378 has never seen a New York Giants game. A team of 11 Tom Bradys could not whine as much as Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress combined.

389
by Matlock, Attorney at Law (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:42pm

Can we still genuflect on every post number that is divisible by twelve?

390
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:44pm

Thanks, Aaron. Agree in full on 384.

391
by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:44pm

only if it is prime.

392
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:45pm

That's what sets Brady apart from the other top QBs. When he hits a linebacker right between the numbers, he knows how to make the linebacker miss.

393
by The Wes (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:46pm

I disagree, today is the last chance to respect and flect for him, so may as well have fun with it.

394
by seven year lion (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:47pm

I watch the Giants all the time. I'm pretty sure Shockey's too dumb to know when to complain though, and that limits his total.

395
by DavidH (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:48pm

Highlight of the game so far - after the first Patriots false start penalty on the first drive, Lynch got to Brady before he realized the play was dead, then started celebrating the penalty, pumping his fist in the air. ... Then Brady decides to follow him and mock him by imitating his celebration, then patting him in the butt. Made Brady look like an A-Hole, but it was funny.

396
by Queequeg (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:49pm

It's Kyle Orton for the Patriots!

397
by DavidH (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:50pm

What is Coach B so upset about?

398
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:51pm

Aaron: You cannot possibly be as sick of the "Brady can do anything" mindset as the rest of us. You at least like Brady (I presume).

399
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:52pm

Hey, no fair: MDS gets to make Brady jokes but the rest of us can't?

400
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:52pm

397: My guess would be he wanted a measurement.

401
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:56pm

That pass was positively Vince Young-ian.

402
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:56pm

Who put a thin Grizzly Adams in as QB for the Broncos? Did he bring Ben?

403
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:59pm

Good tackle by Tatum Bell.

404
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:00pm

What I like about Jeb is that he's so much Putzier than the rest of their tight ends.

405
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:04pm

4th & 1. Bradlee Van Pelt on the QB draw again?

406
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:05pm

What a bad call.

407
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:06pm

Worst. Playcall. Evar.

408
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:06pm

Awful play call. What's wrong with a rollout TE drag with an option for Jake to run?

409
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:07pm

Awful call. Unless you have an All-Pro, tall WR, you should never run the fade pass on 4th and goal.

410
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:07pm

If you're trying to use your WR's height advantage, shouldn't you not throw the ball so he doesnt't have to go through the defender?

411
by stan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:07pm

Once again, the NE defense comes thru in the playoffs. That pass is an admission that Shanahan knows he can't run on NE unless he fools them.

412
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:08pm

Well, most receivers look tall next to Asante Samuel.

413
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:08pm

Why are so many pro teams fascinated with the fade pass? I've never understood that and I guess I never will. It's pretty tricky to execute most of the time. (I'm not basing this on the last snap, of course. I've felt this way for a while. Remember all thsoe chances the Dolphins flushed against New England, down in Florida, on the same bloody call?)

414
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:08pm

Did Denver really need to burn a TO (after the clock stops for a measurement) to call a fade? Or has Herm Edwards been advising on how to manage the clock?

415
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:10pm

If I'm New England, I'm testing Denver deep, especially if they keep blitzing.
Also, I agreed with the choice of going for it on 4th and 1, but the playcall was dumb.

416
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:10pm

Re: 414

There was no measurement, because they lost yardage on 3rd down.

417
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:10pm

I agree with 413, it's such a low percentage play.. unless your receiver is 7foot tall and the corner is 5feet tall, then I might do it. But on 4th down, it's definately a bad call. They could have thrown on third down and then come up with a sneak on 4th down. That would be respectable even if they don't make it.

418
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:10pm

Wow. That was so stupid. Either Shanahan has lost all faith in his offensive line, or he's really that dumb.

Who throws a fade on that route - especially when you can actually get a first down as well as a TD? Lame.

419
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:11pm

Does anyone else think that false start penalties are getting called really late this postseason? I swear I've never seen so many plays run mostly to completion when they should have been never happen because of a pre-snap penalty.

420
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:11pm

Does this game seem a ittle extra chippy to anyone else? Looks like a lot of semi-late hits getting thrown in, at least to me. (Faulk limping off as I type this.)

421
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:11pm

Asante Samuel looks tall... next to Ellis Hobbs.

422
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:12pm

The PAts are doing a good job picking up the Denver blitzers. Albeit, it's an overload so there are more people than they can cover.. the Pats trust Brady to find either the short guy who can stretch the other defenders (Branch) or the deep routes being run. Brady is being rushed and I'm pretty sure he's thrown to Branch twice in such Denver blitz situations.

423
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:13pm

should have been never happen

Wow. "Should have never happened"

424
by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:13pm

after watching every player on closeup jabber at the camera i have to wonder... whatever happened to the classic old school glory of "hi mom"?

425
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:13pm

A few more things:

Colvin looked like a moron with the repeated signalling of false start, up to the point that an official had to push him away.
Triplette, you don't need to signal it 18 times. BB isn't blind.
The announcers were saying the D was built for the LBs to make plays. Well, ALL 34 defenses are like that. On this Pats team, though, the strength is the DL. Did you see how the Denver OL got pushed back on 3rd and 1? Kudos to Wilfork and Seymour.

426
by stan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:14pm

420

Agreed. Several almost, maybe should have, not called in the playoffs late hits.

427
by Reno (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:15pm

That's the Jake Plummer I know and love.

Watch his feet!

428
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:15pm

I have to admit, Dever looks better than NE so far, but at least the Pats look respectable.

Where's a Plummer int when you need one?... so close

429
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:16pm

Anyone taking bets on whether Triplette has the stones to overturn this?

430
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:16pm

Wilfork is the unheralded hero of the Pat's D line. The minute he faces less than a double team, the offense has a problem. Sooner or later, he's going to cost too much for the Patriots to keep him.

431
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:16pm

I think the discussion between Triplette and Belichick, was over whether the 5 yards would get a first down.

432
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:17pm

I was wondering which Plummer would show up.

432
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:17pm

Go go gadget replay!

434
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:18pm

Why didn't they hustle and try to get another play off before BB got the oppurtunity to decide to challenge it?

435
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:18pm

And they called a timeout! WTF is Denver doing?

436
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:19pm

Bad bad throw. And Denver call TO after the play. They must have known that the Pats would challenge, so why burn a TO?

437
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:19pm

Dumbest. Timeout. Ever. Mike Tice is relieved.

438
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:19pm

Whoa, Jeff! I apologize!

439
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:19pm

435: Clearly they borrowed Herm Edward's book of clock management.

440
by admin :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:20pm

By the way, for those of you playing the home game, Vince Wilfork was chosen with the pick the Patriots got from Baltimore so they could move up and take Kyle Boller. Thanks, Brian Billick!

441
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:20pm

The ball moved! The ball fucking moved!

Consistency? Anyone? Please?

442
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:20pm

Herm Edwards has done the exact same thing.

443
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:21pm

Are Bailey's arms that short? Wow, he didn't really make a play on the ball, so it looked to me.

444
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:22pm

Terry Bradshaw says that turnovers may determine the course of the game... or was that the impersonator? Was it the last game? Does anyone give a rat's ass? Do I?

Am I allowed to say that the announcers are disrespecting Plummer?

Am I allowed more questions?

445
by Jon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:22pm

Wasn't the left tackle downfield early?

446
by charles (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:22pm

Swagger alert... Swagger alert brady brady on fire

447
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:23pm

Branch took his Reggie Williams pill before the game. Yap, yap, yap. I'm all for the catches, but get back to the huddle, son.

448
by wilbert (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:23pm

That Brady to Davis pass was a thing of beauty. Genuflect indeed.

I don't think calling the fade on 4th and 1 was a bad decision, Plummer just overthrew the pass.

449
by admin :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:23pm

Just to clarify, I wasn't asking people not to joke about Brady. I was just asking people not to tell the same joke over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

450
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:23pm

Jon (#445 )--

Branch backed up on the screen. The tackle was ahead of him, at the line.

451
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:25pm

Brady's completed less than 50% of his passes.

452
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:25pm

I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY! PLEASE FORGIVE ME! *genuflects profusely*

453
by Travis (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:26pm

Re: 445

I just re-watched the play. The LOS is the 38, Branch catches it at the 39, while Ashworth is on the 36.

454
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:26pm

449, Why can't we tell the same joke over and over again? Isn't this Saturday Night Live? (Most. Overrated. Show. Ever.) Actually, i'm with Aaron on that.

If we didn't watch football, we wouldn't know how inspiid CBS's programming is.

455
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:26pm

No worries Aaron. Standup tip of the week, never acknowledge even the politest heckler unless you're making a joke out of them. Shows the audience their place.

3rd and 7, Brady magic time? Not so much. Time for Adam.

456
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:27pm

No picture on that scorecard. 3-0, Pats.

457
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:27pm

I like how Simms says, before the play, "Nice disguise of the blitz." Phil, if you can spot it before the snap, I guess they weren't disguising it all that well.

458
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:29pm

I've got bad feelings for Denver at this point. They've played well so far, but still manage to trail. NE is great at halftime adjustments.

459
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:29pm

Not liking how the Pats have been mostly unable to pick up the DEN blitz. Meanwhile, Plummer has all day back there.

460
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:29pm

If Vinatieri doesn't kick that way right there, it's blocked.

It went just around the hands of three Broncos.

461
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:30pm

Alright, I'm officially scared of Jake turning back into a pumpkin.

462
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:31pm

In the Seattle/Washington game, they called that intentional grounding.

463
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:31pm

Thinking more about the Lelie fade - why would you throw your critical goal-line pass to a guy who scored all of one TD all season? Not to mention the fact that Lelie's a deep threat, not a possession guy . . .

I think Shanahan's a bright guy and I like going for it there, but the call, yuck. In other words, I agree with the other 47 people who said this.

Jeb Putzier kind of scares me.

464
by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:32pm

wow, Asante is really having a pretty good half. Even disregarding the INT.

465
by stan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:32pm

We are almost thru the half and Brady has yet to throw a quality pass. The long one was thrown too close to Bailey, who should have easily knocked it away. Witht the safety drawn up, the ball should have been put where it led the receiver away from the coverage.

Every other completion has been a dink to a wide open receiver. Some of the misses have been really awful.

466
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:32pm

OK, sorry to keep bashing Phil Simms, but he just said the Broncos have dominated the game. What game is he watching? The Patriots' defense is destroying the Broncos' offense. Anderson and Bell have combined for eight carries and 20 yards.

467
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:32pm

Denver has to wonder how it's behind. They've had the better of it through the opening 27 minutes.

468
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:33pm

This is Todd Sauerbrun's field. Everyone else is just playing on it.

469
by KenF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:33pm

Do you think TMQ wrote "Game Over" when Denver did the 4th and 1 fade route?

470
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:34pm

465: I thought that strike to Givens was pretty nice. Of course, it happened after you posted.

471
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:34pm

Sauerbrun does get the best kicking "thud" in the league. It's unfair to have a former steroid user kicking in Mile High air.

472
by stan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:35pm

In a game as low scoring as this, 3 pts mean a lot. Anyone else got a problem with Denver going for it and not taking the chip shot? And not 2d guessing just cause it didn't work.

473
by Shylo (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:35pm

Damn it. I missed the multiple of 12, so I'm just going to say it here: How did the genuflect cliche start? Is FO trying to become Fark or something?

474
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:36pm

I think Denver *has* dominated the game. They're definitely winning the field possesion battle. The score could easily be 14-3 Denver.

475
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:36pm

463: I believe it's called the Vrabel Maneuver.

476
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:36pm

469, Gregg will write GO when a team gets burned on a blitz. He'll forget all the blitzes the Broncos have executed perfectly tonight.
Get the alpo and the bone, Faulk just fumbled.

477
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:37pm

FLA-AG

Great job, Asante.

478
by stan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:39pm

That looked like obvious interference to me. I was wondering where the hell the flag was, when it finally came.

479
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:39pm

I guess the refs forgot about the "it's not PI if it's not catchable" rule. Typical Triplette bullshit.

480
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:39pm

Yikes - fumble, pass interference.

Bad call.

481
by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:39pm

Wow, late flag. And geesh, Lelie's pushing him. I think that's a bad call, not to mention an insanely late call.

482
by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:39pm

that's a crappy call - that ball was way too high

483
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:40pm

It looked to me like Samuel was trying to ride Lelie out of bounds. Is that legal if you have position? Is it legal if you're looking for the ball?

Bad PI call though.

484
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:41pm

Looked like Lelie initiated the contact there. May have been a late arm bar by Samuel, but that's reaching to say the least...

485
by Reno (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:42pm

How was that even a catchable ball? It landed out of bounds.

And I'm in on the Broncos.

Horrible call, and the flag came way too late.

486
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:44pm

I don't really care who wins this game and I have a little bit of money on DEN, but that was a completely horseshit call. It was A; wrong, and B; about 5 secs too late.

487
by KenF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:45pm

Objective Eagles fan here.......not pass interference

488
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:48pm

464: back when Starks was starting, Samuel used to be known as NE's "good" cornerback. That would be before a small, untested rookie took over as their number one.

489
by zip (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:48pm

Did the Patriots just melt down so hard they took the FO server with them?

490
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:52pm

482: Normally I'm all for going for it on 4th and 1 inside the 10, but when you lose yardage on 3rd and short, it's time to kick a fieldgoal.

491
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:52pm

That looked like obvious interference to me. I was wondering where the hell the flag was, when it finally came.

Hardly. That was a BS call through and through. If anything it was offensive PI.

492
by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:52pm

Huge turnover, and an even bigger penalty. I thought the call was harsh, and as I write Denver goes in from the 1.

Followed by another fumble! Two huge breaks for Denver and they needed them. They've had fantastic field position all through this half and not to take advantage of that would have been criminal.

While I'm on the subject of criminal, the more I see the P.I call, the less I like it.

Aaron, I like the new WordPress message. It makes a change.

493
by Shelley (not verified) :: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:55pm

So, how does the offensive player shoving the defensive player's shoulder (while said offensive player is clearly playing the ball, too) count as defensive pass interference? I mean, that was just a horrible call.

Also, on the huge Davis catch, I think there should have been a facemask penalty. While Davis was catching the ball, Bailey had his hands on Davis's helmet, and then grabbed his facemask as they were going down or as they hit the ground.

494
by countertorque (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:01am

I don't think there's a time limit on calling penalties.

And it looked to me like the DB was trying to ride the WR out of bounds. But, that happened at the 12 or 15, not in the end zone.

495
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:02am

492, I agree with the new WordPress message too.. At least it's creative.

496
by charles (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:05am

RE: 489
That's the line of the year so far

497
by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:05am

samuel had a chance to play the ball b/c he knew where it was but decided to ride lelie out of the play instead. i think its PI if the defender plays the reciever instead of the ball even if he knows where it is, samuel initiated contact with the body instead of running to the ball.

498
by charles (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:08am

asante samuel shouldn't worry too much, jake plummer will throw him another interception this half.

499
by Kal (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:09am

That PI call was bogus, and I am absolutely rooting for the Broncos in this one. It was just a BS call.

Sauerbrun causing the fumble - how on earth do you go back into the locker room after that one? Can you even be allowed to play football after that? Ever? It was a great form tackle though.

The DB is allowed to ride the guy out of bounds as long as he's looking for the ball. It's fine. Samuel had damn near perfect position, was looking back, and the contact was incidental at best. It was just a BS call from the league's worst officiating team.

500
by B (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:10am

Was that a naked screen?

501
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:13am

I think the Pat decided to roll Brady out for the second half.

*genuflect* is from an ESPN Page 2 article... but I don't have the link.

502
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:13am

An announcer just said QB sacks are overrated! Progress.

503
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:14am

w00t! welcome back, passing game!

504
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:14am

Big blitz on 3rd down. Big completion for a first down. Denver should know better. That was six, maybe seven men rushing. Bad, bad idea versus a good QB.

505
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:16am

Denver's been blitzing all day, seemed good so far.

Looks like the Pats may have adjusted though.

506
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:18am

There is a vast difference between a surprise blitz and a predictable blitz. Given a telegraph message that a blitz is coming, even mediocre pass blockers can adjust. Dash. Dot. Dash. Dash. Dot. Third and long, blitz coming...

507
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:18am

The Refs have single-handedly given the Broncos 10 points in this game.

508
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:21am

Crushinator (#507 )--

I dunno, those two fumbles may have contributed. :-(

509
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:23am

Anyone else think the Broncos aren't running enough?

Leading the game + 2nd best rushing offense in NFL + Jake the Snake = RUN THE BALL ONCE IN A WHILE

510
by Reno (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:24am

Well, Belichek's certainly gotten the Broncos to turn away from the running game, and kept them from doing a damn thing with it.

I feel like everything's going the way the Patriots hoped they would, save the fumbles.

511
by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:26am

...and the score. That tends to count rather heavily in the end.

512
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:28am

RE: 468

Looks like I was right. Best player on the field.

513
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:28am

go Troy!

514
by Reno (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:29am

That was kind of implicit in my comment, that they want to be winning.

515
by Reno (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:30am

And it looks like they may soon be.

516
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:30am

1st @ goal NE. Mike Vrabel time.

517
by Paul (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:32am

Re: 510, 511
I did some statistics, and the team with the most points at the game had high correlation with the team that won.

518
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:33am

491: No way it was offensive PI. Samuel was in his way, and neither player really did much to the other except Samuel getting in Lelie's way and Lelie running into his back.

But it's irrelevant, since the ball was definitely uncatchable. No PI either way.

519
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:33am

HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP

520
by Adam (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:33am

WOW!

BEN WATSON JUST WENT DON BEEBE ON HIM!

521
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:33am

My, My, My. What a play.

(insert disrespect joke here)

522
by TomC (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:33am

Probably won't mean anything, but great hustle by Watson.

523
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:33am

Bailey is hurt. But what a great play.

524
by Reno (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:34am

Whoah, nice hustle by Ben Watson. Shades of Lett/Beebe. How does the TE from across the field catch Champ Bailey?

525
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:34am

Brady gets owned for throwing a crazy pass, and Bailey gets owned for showboating.

526
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:34am

At least no one can complain about league conspiracies theories about the officials giving the game to the refs. I don;t want to hear DEN complain about another call during the game.

527
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:34am

safety?

528
by Stevis (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:35am

Um, I know Bailey shouldn't pull up, but did no one else think about blocking Watson there?

529
by admin :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:35am

TOUCHBACK.

530
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:35am

If he fumbled it out of the end zone, what happens?

531
by MKEPack (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:36am

That has to be the first time a 100+ yard return was not a touchdown. Anyone?

531
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:36am

I say it's out of bounds at the 1. Opinions?

533
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:36am

I don't think there's any way that can be overturned. There's nothing close to indisputable evidence.

534
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:36am

They can't overturn this. It's not "incontravertable"

535
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:37am

Re: 524

Bailey did grab his hammy when he hit the ground - he may have pulled something. Or he may just have been gassed.

Still, hold the ball in the right hand!

536
by Reno (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:37am

It would be hilarious if this is a safety. Does back line of the endzone extend to infinity as well?

Ah, the ball didn't go far enough back.

537
by Noble (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:37am

WOW. I wish the camera shot was a little wider, because Watson looked like a damn rocket.

538
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:38am

529. I think it should be a touchback because Bailey going out of bounds tossess the ball while his leg hits the pylon. This is a tough call though.

Kudos to Ben Watson though, to not give up.

That is really hard to find conclusive evidence to overturn. I'm sure if it was called a touchback it would've been hard to overturn too.

539
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:39am

I don't think there's indisputable evidence here. Baily should have been carrying the ball in his outside hand.

540
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:39am

So what's the rule?

If it crosses the plane of the sideline before crossing hteplane of the goalline, is it atouchback or OOB?

541
by Will (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:43am

Payback for the year's of NE getting the breaks.

Payback for the tuck rule, the 20 uncalled interference calls against St. Louis in SB 36 and against Indy in '04.

Death to NE's colorless corpratism and arrogance! BB might be the rudest man of all-time...

542
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:44am

Fantastic effort from Ben Watson. From that last aerial shot, he must have covered 120 yds.

543
by Expertise (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:45am

Good call; there simply wasn't enough visual evidence.

But that was one hell of a save.

544
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:45am

Not looking good for the magic beans.

545
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:47am

101 yard non-touchdown, new record?

546
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:49am

If the NFL is smart, the dispute over the Bailey fumble will lead to fixed cameras at both goal lines at all games. There is no way any of CBS's current cameras (or the refs) could have been in position to see anything there.

547
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:49am

If the NFL is smart, the dispute over the Bailey fumble will lead to fixed cameras at both goal lines at all games. There is no way any of CBS's current cameras (or the refs) could have been in position to see anything there.

548
by Kal (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:50am

Damnit, damnit, damnit. Now for the next 84 years, I'm going to either have to hear how the refs gave the game to the Broncos and that's the only way the Patriots could lose, or the Patriots won in spite of having horrible calls and came back after huge odds against them.

Either way, those Pats fans (you know who they are) are going to be insufferable. Damn.

549
by Paul (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:51am

The player (#25) running with him kept looking over his left shoulder at Troy Brown and near the end steps in front of him. Should have checked his other shoulder. The other guy was heavy and gassed and unable to move to the block. Bailey needed to put that ball in his other hand, in that case, there would have been no doubt it would have been out of bounds. Honestly, I am rooting for a Denver win (Steeler fan, Patriot hater) but that ball probably went through the end zone. Visual evidence was unclear at best, so ruling on the field stands is understandable, but I think it went through the endzone and should have been a touchback.

550
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:51am

I agree, there's no way you can overturn that.

That hustle by Ben Watson, shown from the blimp, is one of the most impressive plays I have ever seen.

Note to Patriots fans:
If the Pats lose, and you want to make the argument that the refs are to blame, DO NOT use this call as evidence. It will make you look like a blind homer.

551
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:55am

Brady throws an INT, 2 fumbles lost and now Vinatieri misses a FG. Someone forgot their magic beans tonight.

552
by Dante Svalbard (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:56am

and then Vinatieri misses - those beans had better get jumping in a hurry

553
by Dean from Oz (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:57am

Magic beans will only ever get you a giant beanstalk.

554
by B (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:59am

550: I plan on using the phantom pass interference call for this game.

555
by nat (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:00am

Visual evidence is easy. You know where the ball landed. You know where the pylon is. Extend the line. On which side of the line was the ball when it left the ballcarrier?
Fumbles bounce funny. But, oddly enough, they fly through the air in a straight line.
Looked like a gutless noncall to me.

556
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:00am

What happened to Brady stepping it up in the playoffs and Vinatieri being the best clutch kicker in NFL history?

557
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:01am

NE fumbles the punt. If this goes in, game over.

558
by JBC (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:01am

Oh thing of beauty.

559
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:01am

Today isn't a good day to be fielding punts, apparently.

560
by Expertise (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:02am

I think that might have all but sealed up this game with that fumble.

561
by Will (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:03am

Has Brady ever actually come back? All his "game-winning drives" of lore are when they're tied???

Judgment night.

562
by Reno (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:03am

Re: 548

I think history is going to remember this more as a game where the Patriots lost because they played worse and couldn't hold onto the ball, and happened to get a bad call and a borderline call against them.

563
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:04am

So help me, if the Pats come back and win this and the writers rave about how Brady willed them to victory, I will vomit from my eyes. Course, with that catch I would say the odds are against it.

564
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:05am

Brady misses another open receiver...and Vinatieri clutches one wide right.

565
by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:07am

Ding-dong the witch is dead, the witch is dead, the witch is dead.

566
by Bill (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:08am

Re: 553

Or a nice cow.

567
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:09am

Well this has been an atrocious game by the Patriots.

Two fumbles, a muffed fair catch, and a pick. Ugly.

568
by Travis (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:10am

Anyone else notice the similarities between this game and last playoff game in Denver, the 1998 AFC Championship? So many opposition fumbles, all recovered by the Broncos; really poor special teams play; a really low scoring first half, etc.

One crucial difference: Ed Hochuli was the ref in that game.

569
by zip (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:14am

#554

I'll agree with you on that one :)

If the Pats pull this out, there will be global genuflecting on a scale never seen before.

570
by michael (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:14am

#555
Bailey's position had changed during the ball's flight from his hand to the ground. You must fix his location when the ball left his hand, then trace the line to the landing spot. I don't know if the present technology enables that.

I come down on the "it's not incontrovertible and let's not hear any more about the tuck rule" side.

571
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:15am

Well regardless of what happens from here on out, I do not think DEN has looked very good at all and I expect IND to win by 10 minimum. NE has handed this game to DEN with all the fumbles and such and DEN has not done anything convincing with it.

572
by TomC (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:18am

I believe Bobby Wade has pulled a Frank Drebin / Enrico Palazzo on every Patriots return man. They'll find Ellis Hobbs and Troy Brown trussed up in a utility closet after the game.

573
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:20am

Mike Anderson is having the greatest 17-carries-for-47-yards game in the history of the NFL.

574
by ernie cohen (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:22am

DEN needs to review the defensive concept of "selling yardage for time"

575
by Dean from Oz (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:23am

Re:571

Just to be certain, Pittsburgh havent conceded tomorrows game have they?

576
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:24am

#571 - I think that while the Broncos as a whole looked pretty good, but Plummer and the cornerback have not.

I don't see the point of the Broncos kicking that field goal. How is being up by 14 any better than being up by 11? If Denver runs it again, they take more time off the clock, and have a pretty good shot of ending the game.

577
by Michael David Smith :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:25am

TomC, outstanding Naked Gun reference. Well said.

578
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:26am

Who swapped the Patriots for the Saints? They've been terrible. And yet, they still have a shot to win this one. Kicking the FG means the Pats need 2 TDS, but a 1st down on 4th and 2 wins the game.

As I write Lynch picks Brady, and my point is moot.

"I'm sorry sir, but the Blue Plate Magic Beans Special is off today".

579
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:27am

571: Indy ain't in the AFC Championship yet.

I see four key differences between this game and the last PIT-IND game:
1. Silent count.
2. Better D-line play.
3. Marvel Smith back in for revolving door.
4. Roethlisberger not in first game back, no thumb issues, no knee issues.

580
by kleph (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:27am

admit it. you are dying to see what borges writes tomorrow.

581
by Shannon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:30am

The silver lining of all this for the Pats is - more rest == fewer injuries == better luck next year.

Can't expect a super bowl every year, I guess...

582
by richconley (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:34am

pats blew that game with the turnovers,

but I've never seen a worse called game. Its like they replaced them with the Sun Belt refs. That PI on samual should have been called on ashley lelie. I counted 3 obvious PI on denvers DBs that werent called, and that muffed punt, brown fumbled it, but the bronco hit him before the ball hit the ground, which is suppsed to be a 15 yard penalty, whether or not the guy has control of the ball.

583
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:34am

Pats lost because people started giving them enough respect.

584
by Kal (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:35am

Oh, delicious apples. Tasty, delicious apples.

(Sorry Aaron)

585
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:37am

I think complaining about the refs is one of the lesser-known stages of grief.

586
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:37am

Pats lost because they played a good team that got to Brady early and often. I was very impressed by the way Denver played. Sure, there were a couple non-calls that would have heled the patriots, but Asante Samuel was a walking pass interference flag today, and only got caught once. Compared to the early game, the officiating was brilliant.

Let's give the Broncos some credit. They played a heck of a game.

587
by fromanchu (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:38am

um, are we still supposed to genuflect?

588
by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:38am

582: Only a penalty if he still has a chance to catch it. Considering the ball was nearly on the ground and several feet from him, it was NOT fair catch interference.

The fair catch interference call against Pittsburgh I assume you're referring to was made because officials erroneously believed the ball was still within his reach.

589
by KenF (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:38am

Re 555: Can you always assume that a football is traveling straight in the air in a fumble. Footballs can spin (like a field goal). The wind could slightly change the trajectory of the football's path during the fumble. Yes, I know the path would only be changed very very slightly, but this is why you cant try to draw a line in this situation. It seems very harsh to call the non-reversible gutless in this case.

590
by Kaveman (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:39am

Apologies in advance to Aaron and nice Pats fans.

But... everyone who gave the Broncos no chance in this one... how's that pie?

591
by Kal (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:44am

#586:

The Pats lost because they had 5 turnovers. I don't care what team you are - you turn the ball over 5 times, and ref calls or no, you're highly unlikely to win that game.

Yeah, there were two fairly questionable calls - the PI call and the int return - but the 5 turnovers were totally unquestionably the Patriot's fault (or Denver's success, take your pick).

592
by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:44am

RE #583:

Dude, you know good and well that PI penalty that was called on Samuel that set up that TD was such an utter B.S. call.

Denver was the better team today because they won, but don't act like Denver was the '85 Bears or anything out there.

593
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:52am

If anyone seriously thinks PIT has a chance tommorow I will take bets of any amount just post your email and I will arrange a straightup wager :)

Seriously, minus the Polamalu interception that game was 100% IND and I am guessing IND will be more prepared for this one. All of those things you mentioned about PIT playing better can be repeated in various ways for IND.

I would say the 10pt line is just about right and for those of you who haven't bet playoff games in the past 10pt is a pretty big line.

Obviously PIT could win tommorow but I would put the odds at less than 20%

And I like PIT a lot more than IND from a fan perspective.

594
by RCH (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:52am

Only two questions - when did the NFL change the rule regarding uncatchable balls and pass interference? And if Bailey was carrying the ball in his right hand and is in the field of play how is his fumble not a touchback? All that said without either the Faulk or the Brown fumble the Pats win the game, so they had their chances.

How hard to you think Peyton is smiling right now?

595
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:55am

pbp at NFL.com doesn't have the Bailey interception. It's just blank, then the next play Denver has the ball.

Apologies to Patriots fans, but I was really happy to see Denver win.

596
by RLB (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 1:59am

I have to admit that I'm a Broncos fan and am glad they won. Having said that, I think they were very lucky at home to win this game. The Patriots had at least one very questionable call against them, and Denver lucked out on getting some turnovers. Still, I think that Denver deserves the win.

597
by Darin (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 2:08am

As a through-and-through Denver fan, I will say the following:

1. Tom Brady got the hell smacked out of him out there...ouch.

2. That PI call was awful.

3. Asante Samuel reached "Deion Sanders early in his career" levels in the first half in my mind. Throw to the other side of the field!

4. What a play by Ben Watson, that blimp shot was fantastic

Congrats to Sauerbrun on player-of-the-game honors. Grats to everyone who picked him before kickoff.

598
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 2:10am

Becephalus: Do you really think it's crazy to think that one top-flight team stands no chance against another? It's not like the Colts haven't lost this year. And the PIT/IND game was not going too poorly until happy onside kick time. I think Indianapolis is getting a bit of the same awe that the Patriots have been getting. We just saw what happened to them today.

Oh, and according to Aaron's "games that matter" weighted DVOA, I believe the Steelers are 4% behind. They're a good road team, Indy's a good home team. Looks like a good matchup to me.

599
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 2:11am

Correction: "stands a chance."

600
by Pio (not verified) :: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 2:11am

Denver won by 14 points. Even if all of the calls go the Pat's way, 14 points is a lot to explain away. If it was a 3 pointer or a even a touchdown game, the Pats fans might have a point, but face it, we won legit.