It was the renewal of an old rivalry. The Colts against the Patriots in a contest that once boasted the two greatest active quarterbacks in the game of football. Both quarterbacks are still setting records, but one of them is no longer playing for the same team. Instead, the newcomer, rookie Andrew Luck from Stanford, runner-up Heisman Trophy candidate and #1 pick in the draft, now carries the torch.
On the other side is the all too familiar, Super Bowl winning, MVP, first ballot HOFer, will he ever get too old to play the game, veteran Tom Brady. He eats rivalries for lunch. This is experience versus raw talent.
The game would not be the same without one of the leading characters, but you wouldn't know it from the hype this game received for more than a week prior to the kickoff. The big question would be: can the young upstart continue his impressive showing against arguably the best Quarterback in the business?
If you quit watching after the first half, you might have thought that the visiting Colts had come to trade punches with the perennial playoff Patriots. You saw Indianapolis take advantage, as many teams have, of a porous new England defense. And then you would have been slapping your forehead.
Of course... Tom Brady isn't going to lay down and die. Of course... the Patriot defense has some playmakers. And you would have seen a final score that reminds you that this offense is the highest scoring unit in football, again.
And you might ask yourself: who could have let this happen?
Well, I'm about to tell you.
It would be way too easy to pick on a rookie, even though he has been on a tear for the past few weeks and making people say that this Colts team is the dark horse and biggest surprise in the AFC in the 2012 season. Are they playoff bound? Maybe.
But I have to call Luck my Goat in this game anyways. You had to see the second quarter interception for a touchdown, and may even have seen the fourth quarter interception for a touchdown as well. Badly thrown balls killed young Andrew today, resulting in 3 interceptions to mar his otherwise good statistical day.
Yes, the Colt defense got torched, but it's Tom Brady for crying out loud; at least they kept the run in check! The New England running game could even be labeled "anemic" with more than a third of their yards coming on an end-around to receiver Julian Edelman. It nearly resulted in his third touchdown by three different methods: punt return, reception, and run.
And just to take the easy way out, I name Edelman my hero of the game; after making up for a failed offensive drive with a punt return touchdown, he helped cap a 76 yard drive to start the 3rd quarter with a 2 yard receiving touchdown. And his run extended yet another drive in an impressive offensive performance for the Patriots.
And Brady was efficient, with no interceptions and 3 touchdowns, while equalling Luck's very good 330+ yards. Sure, Gronkowski amassed nearly 200 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own (before sustaining a reported broken forearm). But Edelman still gets the nod for providing a spark when it was needed most.
And yes, Talib performed admirably in his debut as a Patriot; yes I called it and I see big things for this guy going forward as a member of the team.