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Knee-Jerk Reactions: AFC championship game, Patriots vs. Colts 01.19.15 at 10:53 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski is going to the 'ship again. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski is going to the ‘ship again. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Things to consider while regretting the hippies didn’t pull anything because we missed out on 60,000 Patriots fans turning them into street pizza like they were smellier, less-attractive opossums:

— No matter how hard I try, I find it impossible not to go back to the end of September when the Patriots were 2-2 and everything around here was mass hysteria. When the order of the day was all-out panic. Streams, brooks, tributaries, rivers, oceans of panic. When supposedly Tom Brady hated his coach. Brady was allegedly mad about his lack of weapons. Jimmy Garoppolo was speculatively about to be handed the starting job, and on and on. As one of the few voices of reason during that dark time, pardon me if I spike the football. Or don’t, for all I care; I’ll Gronk-spike it anyway.

— At that same time, the Colts were 2-2. As were the Packers. But only in New England was the record treated as a reflection of the arrogance of the coach and an indictment of the cold, heartless ways of the miserly ownership who were finally getting the comeuppance they deserved. But I went on Barstool and on Comcast with the numbers that showed Brady and the offense were in almost the exact same situation at the same point last year. A year in which they not only went to the AFC championship game, they finished third in the league in points. I said there were grown-ups in charge of that team and that they and Brady were working hard to figure the thing out and they’d succeed as they’d done before. For that I was called a homer, a fanboy and a bootlick for the Krafts. One thing no one’s been able to call me since then, though, is “wrong.” So, apology accepted, Captain Needa.

— This game was more or less over on Saturday when Colts players started going AWOL. Then those Colts who did have the courage to show up barely lasted through the first possession for each team before they threw down their weapons and abandoned their posts. Sun Tzu said every battle is won before it is fought. Well, on this one we’ll never know because Indy never fought it.

— I’ll say again: We have gotten way ahead of ourselves on Andrew Luck. Yes he has a bright future. He’ll make throws no one else can make through windows no one else can fit a football through. I get it. But is there any doubt remaining that Bill Belichick has had him figured out since Day 1? He might be a big deal against the rest of the NFL, but against the Pats he gets worse with each game. He led the league in passing yards but the Pats held him to 126 yards on 36 percent completions and a passer rating of 23.0. If football was Dungeons & Dragons, Luck would be a super strong Dwarf-Cleric Warrior who can’t be defeated in battle, but Belichick is the Shadow Elf-Wizard with the spell that takes all his powers away.

— The group I watched it with had an ongoing debate about what that abomination Luck calls a beard makes him look like. The consensus was a terrorist, although there was strong support for Unfrozen Caveman Quarterback. I stuck with my original dark horse candidate, Amish Farmer. And it helped my argument when he played the whole game like he was resting on the Sabbath. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Luck, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, Julian Edelman
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