So, who were these guys posing as the 3-time champion New England Patriots? Five turnovers, 8 penalties? Did Belechik suddenly lose his ability to engineer a game plan to beat even the best of rivals?
I guess the real answer is that the tandem of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, when they are in tune, are just plain unstoppable. You get the sense that even if the Pats did not beat themselves, somehow, Manning and Harrison would have figured out a way to get a "W" last night in Foxboro. The Colts 27-20 victory was riddled with 7 or 8 "Oh my God, how did he do that?" plays where Manning (seemingly caught for a loss) managed to put a pass where no one else but a Colt could possibly catch it.
Tom Brady, by contrast, was merely semi-mortal. At times he seemed as laser-sharp as he has been over the last few weeks. Other times he was making ill-advised throws off his back foot that resulted in an interception (a career-high four picks). The only lasting highlight for the good guys was Troy Brown breaking Stanley Morgan's team record for career catches (538)--of course, on a third-down conversion.
So, the loss makes the post-season hill much steeper to climb. In all likelihood, the Pats will have to play at least one game on the road. They've done it before, but given the flaws that still exist on this team, the smoother the road the better.