Faith Hill sings, John Madden eats (back from his two week vacation), and Al Michaels still believes in miracles. It's Sunday night Football on NBC!
8:20- Pats kickoff, Peyton Manning heads on to the field. First down play to Dallas Clark gets 8, then the Pats D stiffens and stuffs Addai on second down and bats a pass away on third down. No flags, and it's time for the Pats offense to get to work.
8:26: I already love listening to Al Michaels try to say "BenJarvis Green-Ellis". Some more uninspired Josh McDaniels play-calling, but Chris Hanson pins the Colts back deep. (Marvin Harrison returned the kick, which is a rarity).
8:30: Miscellaneous news from the day-Charissa Thompson is back to blonde, the Kansas City Chiefs really blew one today, the Cowboys just blow, and Buffalo is falling apart.
8:32: Back from break with a chick dressed like Palin standing next to a guy dressed like Obama. Who says Halloween is a one night event?
8:35: The Colts offense is starting to find some rhythm. 2 first downs already on this drive, however the Colts still are not able to rush the ball. Another catch by Dallas Novaceck Clark and it is another Colts first down at midfield. I wonder if McDaniel realizes yet that he can't piss away drives against the Colts? Jonathan Wilhite "Ole's" Reggie Wayne and it's another Colt first down.
8:39: Indy now at the Pats 20. Did I mention that Josh McDaniel's play-calling on the first drive was horrible? The Pats offense might not get the ball again in the first quarter. Another first down, now at the 12 yard line. Touchdown pass to Anthony Gonzalez and it's 7-0 Colts. Nice defense Pats...
8:45: Ellis Hobbs is running back kicks, even though he is nursing a shoulder injury. Brilliant. Not a bad return, now let's see if McDaniel actually tries to take advantage of the fact that Randy Moss is being guarded by a second-string corner. My guess is no. ON the bright side, East Carolina is playing Central Florida, so I can change the channel during commercials. The Pats open u[ the drive with-wait for it-a dump off to Kevin Faulk for 7 yards. A running play loses a yard, but Cassel completes a third down catch to David Thomas for a first down. That was straight out of the Marv Cook era right there. Cassel back to pass, and surprise, he runs with it for a yard to end the quarter. Beautiful.
End of first - Colts 7-0
8:52: Second quarter begins with a dump-off to Faulk that gets a first down. This is followed up by a nice Un-Marion Butts-like run by Green-Ellis for a first down, and the Pats are at the Colts 27. By the way, did you know Matt Cassel's brothers play baseball? Well if you forget, they will remind you every week. Faulk with a run out of the friggin wildcat, which sets-up a Heath Evans run on third down which is good enough to keep the drive alive. Drive bogs down, and Cassel's pass on third down to Ben Watson is batted down. Moss and Welker are still MIA. Stephen Gostkowski hits one through the upright and it's 7-3 Colts.
9:02: After 8 minutes of commercials with a kickoff sandwiched in between, we finally get a play in, which is a Manning incompletion thanks to Pats rookie Terrence Wheatley (I do not think he is related to Tyrone). Wheatley hurt himself on the play and guess what, we go to commercial. At least I haven't heard John Mellencamp sing "Our Country" yet (which is one of the best things about the economic downturn).
9:05: Joseph Addai takes a dump-off from Manning for a first down. Two straight Addai runs sets up a 3rd and 4. They hand-off to Addai again, but Mike Vrabel trips him up and the Patriots are going to force a punt (no, that is not a typo). Nice return by Welker to get the ball back to the 22 yard line. I think we need another commercial. Amazingly NBC agrees.
9:09: It's the Green-Ellis show, as he runs for 5, catches one for a first, and then runs for 2 more that gives the Pats another first down. Al Michaels has the breaking news that Green-Ellis's nickname is "Law Firm" because of all of his names. I bet Belichick gave him that nickname. A screen pass to Faulk gets another first down. Paging Moss, paging Mr Randy Moss. Welker finally catches one for 5 yards. They follow that up with a lame shotgun hand-off to Heath Evans. The Pats go hurry-up and force the Colts to burn a timeout, which brings us to, yes, you guessed it, another commercial. It will be 3rd and 4 from the Indy 31 when we get back. My halftime show will be tonight's episode of Family Guy, by the way...
9:17: And we're back for the third down. Nice throw to the left side to Jabar Gaffney for a first down at the 20. A run by the "Law firm" will bring us to the two minute warning, and another commercial break. Are they triple-teaming Randy Moss? Could we maybe take a shot to the end zone with him? Just a thought.
9:20: And we're back. Faulk out of the wildcat with a screen to Welker that loses yardage. Indy takes a timeout and, you know, let's sneak a commercial in here. It will be third and forever when we come back.
9:23:Which commercial has better music, the Polamalu/Tomlinson commercial or the Lebron James one where everyone throws powder in the air? We're back for a 3rd and 12. Draw play to Faulk and it is G'Towski time, of course after a commercial (which features Peyton Manning). GT splits the uprights and it's 7-6 Colts. The 44 point over is not looking so good right now with 1:27 left in the half. Subway commercial and we are back for kick-off. Manning takes over at his 18 yard line. Reggie Wayne gets the Colts downfield with a couple of receptions. Jerod Mayo nearly picks one off, then the Colts clock operator get involved. Marvin Harrison makes a catch in bounds, and he gets while still in. The Colts have no timeouts, but with 19 seconds left the clock has stopped. For no reason. Luckily, because as Al Michaels says "There is Justice", the Colts get nailed with a false start, which causes a 10 second run-off and ends the half. 7-6 Colts at the half, let's hope for some more original play-calling in the second half. It's time for Family Guy/At the Half.
9:45: Pats get off to a decent start, but once again, Josh McDaniel decides that running on 2nd and 1 is better than play action to say, Randy Moss?