In all the talk about Sunday night’s Patriots-Colts game, there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about anything other than the wild ending and Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s decision to go for it on fourth down. So the fact that Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was held without a sack for the first time all season has been largely overlooked.
Freeney was asked on Tuesday about seeing his sack streak come to an end, and he credited the Patriots for coming up with a game plan to slow him down.
“They did a great job,” Freeney said. “They quick-counted when they needed to. They slid the protection when they needed to. I was guessing wrong sometimes. I couldn’t get there.
“Like I’ve always said, if [sacks] come, they come; if they don’t, they don’t. You don’t really know when it’s going to happen. The big thing is about winning the game.”
Mike Reiss, the Patriots beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, noted during the game that the Patriots’ ability to protect quarterback Tom Brady was allowing him to exploit mismatches between the Patriots’ receivers and the Colts’ depleted secondary, and that Patriots tackle Sebastian Vollmer beat Freeney one-on-one on Brady’s 63-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss. That would have been one of the major post-game storylines if the Patriots had won the game.
Instead, the Patriots failed to convert on fourth-and-2, the Colts came back and won, and everyone forgot how well the Patriots protected Brady. Everyone, that is, except for Freeney, who remembers that the Patriots did a great job, even if they didn’t win.