Broncos 27, Patriots 13
This game was a lot closer than the score dictates. I enjoyed every second of it (the first half was a little boring) but that's only because I've always disliked the Pats.
As I watched this game I kept thinking that the Patriots would eventually win the game, with some kind of fairy-tale comeback win coming from the usually clutch Tom Brady. New England had many chances to come back here, making a few huge plays here and there but they never amounted to anything in the end.
My feeling is that overconfidence was key in this loss for the defending champions. This team has had 100% dependability in every aspect of their game over the past 2-3 years. A precision quarterback. Staunch defence. Fantastical coaching. A kicker who couldn't miss. What was the main difference though, between this year and last year? I would say overconfidence.
The Patriots became cocky on their side of it.
First, how could Vinatieri miss a field goal? This guy has been perfect all year, I think last year too. I can only think it had to be overconfidence. Something his head snapped and instead of focusing on kicking, something must have said to him that "I'm not going to miss because I never miss", so he missed. That was a key play.
Second, how could you blitz on a punt when the game is still within reach? I could see you doing that if you're in trouble, so you become desperate. I think in this case, Belichick became overconfident and went for the big play thinking that if they messed up they could still make up for it. But they didn't -- Troy Brown had to run back to get it and they fumbled it. Another key play.
Third, going for it on 4th down in the first quarter. Seriously, who does that besides Bill Belichick? It never amounted to much, or any mistake but I think it just shows the cockiness and balls that this team had become too full of. Not that having balls is a bad thing, but sometimes it gets into players heads that they're unstoppable. There's nothing worse than players thinking they can't be beaten.
Fourth, throwing into the endzone at one of the best cornerbacks in the league. One thing I truly admire about the Patriots is that 90% of their plays work perfectly and that their target receiver is always open somehow. But in this case he wasn't. Champ Bailey was all over him and Brady threw it right at him. This was a Favre-like mistake (post-Holmgren). It's too big a risk in the 3rd quarter. Again, this game was still within reach. Brady became overconfident in his receiver's ability and made a big mistake.
I guess my biggest disappointment last night was that the Pats lost because I was really hoping to see them play next week against the Colts if they can pull it out over the Steelers tonight. It would have been the best way to conclude the AFC, the defending champs against the team who couldn't beat them so many times in previous years; but a team who had made huge improvements to their defence.
Seahawks 20, Redskins 10
I didn't watch most of this game because I had been at the theatre watching "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Seahawks MVP RB Shaun Alexander to a concussion but they still pulled out the win. Maurice Morris filled in well enough for them to establish some kind of running threat and I guess Matt Hasselbeck was able to capitalize on Redskin mistakes.
I did see the missed field goal though.. and that was a huge.