Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge
by Bryan Harvey

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'
by Bryan Harvey

A world of child soldiers & cowboys

A world of child soldiers & cowboys
by Bryan Harvey

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
by Bryan Harvey

2014 AFC Championship Game

January 18, 2015

Some quick points (also, click here for some thoughts on the NFC Championship game):

When Indianapolis has the ball:

T.Y. Hilton understands there are always more Patriots, like ants, like roaches, like legions out of Valhalla. 
I'm not trying to pretend I'm an expert on the Indianapolis Colts offense or New England's defense. What I do know is this: Andrew Luck's career, but especially his Playoff career, has gotten off to a rather historic start. Moreover, this historic start is not like Matthew Stafford's career, where the history making has been shaped by rule changes and Calvin Johnson.

Andrew Luck is for real, and this is a big game in his career because it can help him gain legendary status--remember the time Andrew Luck went into Foxboro and put the final proverbial nail in the Brady-Belichick era--or this can be one of those proverbial Jordan versus the Pistons moments--remember the time the old guys taught Andrew Luck how the game is supposed to be played. Either way, barring some unseen catastrophe of the mind, body, or spirit, this game will help to shape the substance of Andrew Luck as opposed to the idea. It's cool this is happening against Brady, and it's cool he's wearing a Colts uniform, which lends a very Alpha and Omega aspect to the whole event. In the beginning Brady battled the Colts, and in the end he battled the horse upon its return from the land of nonexistence. This is cool, or at least should be.

New England has Darrelle Revis. He's intense. He's aging. He's more intense. His days with the Jets and the Bucs make today an especially ripe moment for him to etch his name into the postseason narrative. He probably, to some extent, because he's intense, both wants and needs this moment. All logic suggests Luck will not look Revis' way. If the Pats are vulnerable, it's in the middle of the field. Luck and the Colts can attack this defense by through slants and underneath routes. Then the edges of the field and the territory beyond the safeties should become navigable for settlement. Watching Andrew Luck, his beard like a bundle of wool wire, lead an offense always seems reminiscent of those mid-century Disney cartoons about Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. He's young. He's ambitious. Goshdarnit, he just wants to prove himself. Now is his chance, and it's not at all a cartoon.

When New England has the ball:

Gronk say, Gronk must destroy pretty white horses.
The story when Indianapolis has the ball is an easier sale: it's the hero's journey, and there's a natural-seeming arc to it. When the Patriots have the ball, this narrative dissipates. Brady's completed that journey and is now in the narrative portion of Beowulf that is all sad and depressing and fighting dragons. This is as much about courage and loyalty as it is about a stubborn refusal to end the story. This is the San Antonio Spurs but without international goodwill. Brady is not surrounded by budding superstars but by minions. He yells at them. He grunts. He matches Revis' intensity. He yells for another cask of wine and demands one more time to hear that story of how he killed the boar in the woods, all the while knowing that another boar, with sharper tusks, awaits. He is king of the mountain. And he is unrelenting.

As usual for New England, and this does not take a lot of time or effort to parcel out, they are playing a defensive unit that is less experienced in these situations than they are. In the past, when such units have resembled the renegade revivalism of the Baltimore Ravens or the bullish strength of the New York Giants, wry cleverness has cracked like a dry twig wedged in the steel jaws of a bear trap. But the Colts are not this kind of team. They do not intimidate or overwhelm. They are a middle of the pack defensive unit, and middle of the pack means that they can be figured out, dissected, analyzed, and defeated. Moreover, the Patriots know how to score against this team. Here are the scores from the two teams' last five meetings:

-Nov. 16, 2014  Colts 20, Pats 42
-Jan. 11, 2014   Colts 22, Pats 43
-Nov. 18, 2012 Colts 24, Pats 59
-Dec. 4, 2011   Colts 28, Pats 31
-Nov. 21 2010  Colts 28, Pats 31

In fact, the last time Indianapolis beat New England was in 2009. Tom Brady quarterbacked the Patriots, but Andrew Luck was still about three years away from being drafted. Brady knows how to beat the Colts. Brady has beaten the Colts. The question is when and how does that dominance come to an end. So far,  the Andrew Luck-led Colts have had only the very worst of answers.

Bryan Harvey can be followed on Twitter @LawnChairBoys.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 

© 2008-2010 ·The Lawn Chair Boys by TNB