Sure, Tom Brady and the offense loved the vote of confidence that their head coach was giving them, but the message sent to the defense was loud and clear. It was a message of doubt. A message that will be with the entire defensive unit -- coaches and players -- until a situation comes up like this again. And I'm not talking about stopping the New York Jets with Mark Sanchez. I'm talking about the biggest of games on the biggest of stages. A showdown on "Monday Night Football" with the New Orleans Saints is on the horizon. Let's see if the defense is considered good enough to be on the field when the game is on the line in two weeks.
I'll go back, too, to what Colts tackle Ryan Diem told me in the locker room after the game.
"If they punt, they probably thought we were gonna have a shot at running it back down the whole field," Diem said. "Yeah, I think they had some respect for our offense. I still think it’s a pretty bold move. If it’s me, I make us go the long field. But hey, they went for it, our defense executed and gave us that chance."
You have to remember whom the opposition is here. The Colts' offense, in these kinds of spots, usually makes good on its chances. And considering that, maybe it's a little easier for the defenders to swallow.
Still, that's a prideful bunch there and, as Bruschi wrote, that pride may have taken a little bit of a hit after seeing what happened when it really counted.