If you had a chance to watch the Ravens @ Colts game last night, one thing might've struck you as a Patriots fan: this is not the same Ravens team that we played 6 days earlier. Instead of capitalizing on mistakes, Baltimore was making them. And you can't make mistakes against good teams, especially in the playoffs. One L and you're done, season over, cleaning out your lockers. We know the reality of that all too well.
The merry-go-round is still spinning even if we're not on it. We've spent the week analyzing and agonizing over the season, what could've been, and what should be done. Armchair coaches all, we've burned up a few bytes playing Hoodie. But time marches on, even without us. In a sense, we get to watch football without the stress of a game on the line. We can appreciate the skill and talent of a hated rival because they're not playing us, not scoring against us.
It's decided - the Colts are in the AFCCG, the fight to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Admittedly, they're having a heck of a season, almost historic for that franchise. If not for Bill Polian's ridiculous decision to sit starters in Week's 16 and 17, they may have run the tables, become the second 16-0 team. But all of this is unimportant considering the events taking place in Haiti. What's the connection? Well, a Haitian American made the play of the game last night. I'll let Colts blogger BigBlueShoe explain:
Needing a play to halt what was a dominant Colts performance as the third quarter was winding down, Ravens safety Ed Reed stepped in front of a deep pass for Pierre Garçon. The pass was off play action, and either Garçon ran the wrong route or Peyton Manning made a bad pass; or, perhaps a combination of both. Regardless, the turnover was exactly what the Ravens needed. Down 17-3, they had been dominated up until that point. The Colts had scored two impressive second quarter TDs, with the last one coming 3 seconds before the end of the half. Starting the third quarter, the Ravens were doing little to help their situation. They were stopped by the stout Colts defense at the Indy 45 yard line on a desperate-looking 4th and 3 play. On the Colts next possession, Manning went for the knockout, but Reed was able to jump the route and make the pick. At this point, the Ravens had a HUGE turnover in the hands their most dangerous return man (Reed), who was streaking down the sideline looking to score some points.
However, Reed hadn't counted on one player disrupting his chances of scoring. That player was Haitian American wideout Pierre Garçon, the player Reed had cut in front of to make the play. With the INT tucked into his right arm, Reed was cutting his way down the sideline at a speed other-worldly for a safety. The sideline was to Reed's left, but he had the ball in his right arm. Behind Reed the entire time was Garçon, who had never given up on the play. Garçon chased Reed down near the Colts 25 yard.
Then, he made the play.
As Reed slowed down to avoid a Colts tackler, Garçon swung his arm underneath Reed's and jarred the football loose. The ball popped out of Reed's arm and danced down near the 24 yard line. Colts tight end Dallas Clark was right there to scope it up and fall on it. First-and-ten Colts at the 24 yard line.
That play, right there, was the ball game.
This is not a political blog, it's a blog about football. But it's important, when there's a connection, to bring things together for a moment, to make others aware. Pierre Garçon may be a player on a rival team, but he's a human being, worried about his family in Haiti. It is fitting that he had such an influence on his team's success last night.
Let us hope that his friends and loved ones are fine. And let us keep him in our thoughts. It must be agonizing to be so torn, torn between his responsibilities to the Colts and his family in Haiti.