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An AFC Championship Snapshot

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A few quick-hit thoughts from last night's AFC Championship game.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Full Fan Notes will be coming tomorrow, as for some reason this game didn't record on my DVR and I have to watch the replay tonight on the NFL Network in order to get the full perspective. Anything I write this morning after spending all of yesterday stomping around Patriot Place getting kicked out of every establishment before heading into the nosebleed section to cheer in the rain with my fellow degenerates isn't going to make a lick of sense, as all I really remember from the game yesterday was the noise, the atmosphere, and an absolute blur of touchdowns. So I want to go back through the game and really look at it before I post any of my usual nonsense.

A few things I will say, though, from somebody who has been to more than his share of Patriots games and has been extremely vocal in his criticism of the way Pats fans behave when attending a game:

  • This was one of those games that was over as soon as the Patriots scored first. There was just a vibe in the air, a vibe that everyone picked up on, and the amount of positive energy radiating out from every nook and cranny of Gillette Stadium was enough to make me want to reconsider all those mean things I said in the past. Well, almost.
  • It's likely going to be hard to see on television, as cameras only focus on the ball, but both Jamie Collins and Devin McCourty likely ran about 20 miles collectively throughout the course of this game. Both players were absolutely flying all over the field, from their pre-snap reads to their constant chasing down the play. McCourty has become one of the premier safeties in the NFL and with each game locking him up in the offseason becomes more and more of a priority.
  • Every time the Patriots declared a lineman eligible, the whole place went nuts. A nice and not-so-subtle jab at Harbaugh.
  • The number of "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!" chants reached over a dozen by the time the game was over. His last play of the game was a handoff to Bount before handing the reins over to Jimmy G, which I thought was an extremely nice gesture from Belichick, as it allowed Tommy B to leave the field to a standing ovation.
  • Not that anybody had to stand to clap; every fan in my section, and every fan in every section within my eyeline, didn't sit down for a second throughout the course of the game.
  • Just a phenomenal night overall. The Colts were dominated, and the Patriots looked unstoppable. All the pieces are in place for an absolutely epic Super Bowl in a few weeks.

More soon. Plenty of time to enjoy this one.