Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Oct 2012

When Peyton Met Tom

How it all started. You were probably watching the Rams instead.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 04 Oct 2012

22 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2012, 4:31pm by fyo


by Independent George :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:07am

Chrome just does not like Sports On Earth.

by PatsFan :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:54am

Yeah. The page doesn't come up in Chrome for me at all.

by Ranccor :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:04pm

I'm using chrome and had no problems.

by Independent George :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:14pm

It's working for me now, too. I'd chalk it up to bugs in the tubes, but it happens to me consistently - Chrome won't open up the page about 75% of the time, and then it works perfectly at random times.

by fyo :: Sat, 10/06/2012 - 4:31pm

That sounds like an issue with an extension or your ISP / internet connection. I've never experienced anything like what you describe with Chrome on multiple platforms... and from a technical perspective, it seems like a very... unlikely... "bug".

by Athelas :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:15am

I had a 3-month old and football kept me sane. Lovely work Mike.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:19am

Very well written and enjoyable to read. Great job, Mike.

by bernie (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:44am

I remember that game well. The colts had racked up two 40 point games in the first two games of the season, and New England was playing a backup quarterback. I was all set for a blowout....it just ended up being the wrong way. I was ready to write it off as just a bad day, until it happened again 2 weeks later. Looking over the game logs of that season, it's scary how terrible the Colts defense was that year. They gave up 486 points that season.

by Ryan D. :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:47am

It sounds like the offense gave up at least 12 of those points, just in one game.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:45am

That's my favourite out of the articles Tanier has done for Pigs in Space, sorry, Sports on Earth so far.

by PatsFan :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:54am

Agreed. An excellent article, Mike!

by Mike Tanier :: Fri, 10/05/2012 - 7:16am

Thanks guys! And I keep telling the bosses that we need to incorporate puppets somehow.

by Ranccor :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:49am

I was at this game. As a colts fan living in Providence, RI, I wanted a chance to see my team play. I remember distinctly before the game laughing with my buddies about how it was going to be a slaughter against this "Tom Brady guy, whoever the hell that is". It didn't turn out that way.

by justanothersteve :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:56am

So, if Brady is Starr and Manning is Unitas, does that make Kevin Faulk Paul Hornung, the running back who does a little bit of everything?

by James-London :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:20pm

It's Walkthrough, but not (quite) as we know it...
Great read.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by Passing through (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:21pm

I can't read this as a member of Team Manning

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:23pm

I'll have what he's having ...

by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:31pm

The other game that is forgotten is the 2003 Game, the real start to rivalry as we know it.

Both teams entered the RCA Dome 9-2, and the Patriots won 38-34. The game itself featured so many things that would become a major recurring theme in the rivalry.

The Patriots went up early (17-0, 31-10).

Manning figured that defense out (Brady helped this time with two bad INTs) and led a strong comeback attempt (tied the game 31-31).

The Pats benefited from great special teams play (Bethel Johnson had a kick-return TD and a 68 yard return on another play).

Brady and the Pats couldn't close out the game on a 4-minute offense drive against the Colts when leading by one score or less (also happened in the: 2003 Title Game, 2004 Week 1, 2006 Title Game, 2009 4th and 2 game and 2010 game - he was successful in Super Bowl 41.5)

Patriots make large defensive play to win anyway with McGinest stoning Edgerrin James at the 2-yard line (much like the four straight incompletes in 2003 Title Game, McGinest sack and missed field goal in '04, Sanders pick in 2010).

Also had huge implications that year, as keeping everything else the same, if Colts win, Indy ends up with #1 seed, Pats get #2, KC gets #3, and a possible playoff rematch is in the dome.

by Purds :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 2:03pm

And, don't forget that game marked the the beginning of controversy/questions about fair/legal play by both organizations in games against one another: McGinnest fell to the ground the play before with an "injury" that stopped the Colts no-huddle offense and gave NE's defense a rest, and then miraculously recovered to make the game-saving stop one play later. Other controversies follow: grabbing of WR's leads to Polian-led committee creating DPI penalty emphasis; BB leaves tarp off the grass field for days leading to playoff game; Polian yelling "break his leg!" in the press box in 2005; should BB have gone for it on 4th and 2? Was the 4th and 2 converted, or not?

Even some lesser ones: did the Colts pump music into the dome to make it hard for opponents? did the Colts heat up the dome one year? were Patriot players sick during the AFCC or not?

by PatsFan :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 2:40pm

McGinnest fell to the ground the play before with an "injury"

McGinest and Ty Law both went down with "injuries" but Law immediately got up when he saw that McGinest was staying down.

did the Colts pump music into the dome to make it hard for opponents?

Of course they were. Every team does. One of the things I hate about gameday presentation these days. Obnoxious, earsplitting music played from the moment the ball is blown dead to the moment it is snapped. The real question is whether or not the Colts were pumping in crowd noise.

were Patriot players sick during the AFCC or not

They were. In the injury reports leading up to the game you could see "flu" (actually norovirus, I'd bet) running through the roster, and some beat writers said there were a lot more players "looking like death" than were listed on the reports. Que sera sera, though. Even with that the Pats had the game in their hands and blew it, failing to get the one first down they needed to close out the game (and as I recall they took a really stupid penalty that helped make it hard).

by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 2:47pm

Yup, 12 men in the huddle right before 1st down. Somehow, never heard this brought up ONCE when teh Vikings under Chilly-Dress did it in the 2009 NFC Title Game.

The flu has nothing to do with the Colts and some chicanery in the rivalry. It hurt the Pats, I guess, but in the end, as you say, que sera, sera.

As you state, the issue with the Colts wasn't pumping music, but crowd noise, and even as a Colts fan I think it happened, but I think it happens everywhere. That place went from seriously being like a church when teh Colts had the ball to a rock concert when the opponent did.

by andrew :: Fri, 10/05/2012 - 6:16am

or "Brady and Manning at Foxboro!" in formal Darmok.