First off, forget Shaun Phillips as my ex-Purdue athlete of the day. I love the guy, and it sucks he had to leave with that groin injury. But my, oh my, how about that Roosevelt Colvin interception (it's small, but that's the picture to the left). Incredible. Which reminds me...
... the Patriots had some serious pixie dust going on in that game. Planet Killer will probably pick this observation to shreds because he's smarter than me, but didn't Tom Brady and the Pats do their best impersonation of a typical Manning/Colts playoff debacle... except for the end result? First, the Pats completely--and I mean completely--abandoned the running game. By my count, for the second half stretch before the series where Brady completed that huge dagger of a completion to Caldwell and the Pats started running clock, 30 of 33 plays were pass plays. During that stretch, the Chargers blitzed the hell out of Brady and forced him to fumble once and throw two picks. Brady was constantly rushed into bad decisions, a lot like the Pats have always seemed to be able to force Manning into bad decisions.
If it wasn't for incredibly, incredibly fortuitous plays on defense (Colvin's pick), special teams (the Eric Parker fumble and Pats recovery), and in transition (the most incredible of them all--the Troy Brown forced fumble after a Brady pick), the Patriots wouldn't have even been in this game. At all. Philip Rivers looked really, really good. LT ran the ball like LT always runs the ball. And the Chargers still lost. And I'm sure Pats fans will natter on about how this is just the way Patriots teams play playoff football, they do what it takes to win, and blahblahblah. But sometimes that shit is luck, plain and simple. This is one of those times. If the Colts want a blueprint of how to take down this Pats team this weekend, they need look no further than this game tonight.
Good on the Bears for winning today and ruining a perfect 4-for-4 for trout this weekend. Bastards. I'm not sure they deserved it, but they've been winning games like that all year. That game against New Orleans is going to be a fun one to watch. And really, how fun is the Super Bowl going to be, regardless of who gets there? Three out of the four remaining teams haven't sniffed the big game in a long time, and the other one is the closest thing professional sports has to a dynasty right now. Good stuff.