Let's get this story in perspective right off the top. Despite the admission by the NFL that they completely blew an interference call on Ellis Hobbs leading to a third quarter Colts TD, there is no guarantee that Manning would not have punctured our porous defense on third down for a another score. Also, if the Patriots defense had played beyond Pop Warner level on the final Colts' scoring drive, we would all be finalizing our chili recipes right now.
So, having said all of this, it still raises serious questions about the state of defensive interference rules and (most importantly) the ability of officials to immediately reverse a blown call on the field—while the teams themselves can still decide the outcome.
This missed call will go down in Pats history next to many other unlucky quirks that kept us from victory in the past. In the last five years, we have become used to playing with a horseshoe in our collective pockets. In the AFC Championship game we received the horseshoe (fittingly by the Colts) in the same general spot on our anatomy.
Bottom line: the zebras screwed us out of a victory—but none of us is certain that the Pats (on that day) were up to the challenge of pulling off a victory anyway.