7-Things for

Indy Part I.


Patriots Game


7-Things For The Colts: Part I.

By Tom Mahoney

1. The Big Mac Attack- Last week’s game was the weirdest game I ever saw. On TV the conditions looked fine. But the winds was so wicked and wild that it really was like playing in a Monsoon. A player said before the game that it was the third worst weather conditions he ever saw. The 50 to 60 MPH winds made the ball do wacky things in the air. That was when we could see how bad the conditions really were. The Big Mac attack only threw 3 passes, and implausibly only completed 2 passes and won the game. That is positively Brady like. What made Brady the GOAT is that he just won. He won in every way possible, including seven Super Bowls. But he never won completing 2 passes.

“When you watch the film, you just appreciate what those guys do and how we won the game. That's the most important thing. Regardless of how you do it, whether you throw it, run it, whatever the situation is. They did their part,” Mac said. “Someone that I did leave out is Jakob [Johnson]. I think he deserves a lot of credit too, just the way he stuck his nose in there, and Big Mike [Onwenu] too for coming in as a jumbo guy, along with the five offensive linemen.”

He looks more and more like Brady every week. And I’m not talking about the Tampa Bay Brady. I’m talking about the Redshirt Freshman Brady. The 2001 Brady. Mac actually has better stats currently than the 2001 Brady. But football was different back then. They ran more and the passing games where not as advanced and relied upon. Like this year’s team, they relied on the run game and Defense. Brady completed 63.9% of his passes for 2,843 yard, 18 TDs and 12 INTs. Right now, Mac is a more efficient passer than 2001 Brady, and like that Brady he’s still learning to win more each week. Has won 7 straight games, which Brady didn’t do in the 2001 Regular Season. Granted, Brady did have a 9-game winning streak, the last six game of the Regular Season and three Play Off Games. That is the legacy that the Big Mac Attack is chasing. A three-game win streak in the Play Offs, not the Regular Season.

“I don't think so. We're all people and everyone has a different purpose,” Mac said. “I think we're all blessed to be where we are. When you're an NFL player, you realize what impact you can have on other people and also just understanding that it's a job. You have to enjoy it, but it comes down to winning games. That's what makes it fun, winning games. When you do that, it's a lot more fun.”

Now, we don’t know what’s coming up. But the 2021 Mac Jones is playing better than the 2001 Tom Brady. They are playing in pretty much the same Belichick system. Granted, the passing games are said to be a lot more complex. But Mac is throwing the ball a lot better than Brady. Which is not shocking. The Big Mac Attack was the best QB in the FBS last season. And not just win wise, but also statistically. He broke about every statistical passing record they had in the FBS. And he made winning the Championship Game look easy. Dude set the Championship record throwing for 464-yards and five TDs, completing 80% of his passes (completing 36 of 45 passes). That is Brady like.

“I think just, each week, there's a new plan. We just have to go out there and do it better. Like I said earlier, you can't just reinvent the wheel and create these new plays. It just comes down to execution and a mindset that ‘Hey, we're going to score here instead of kick a field goal,’" Mac said. “We can do a better job of that obviously. The statistics say that. When you watch, you want to put up six points instead of three. But if we can get three, that's also good versus maybe turn the ball over. I think scoring is important and then getting up to that 70% mark, where the really good teams are at in the red-zone, around 74% or whatever. That's where we want to be.”

As Nick Saban himself said: “Can you believe this? From a scout-team QB to a national championship.” That is why Big Mac didn’t get his due in the Draft. He was a scrub. A fill-in back up for Tua and Jalen Hurts. But he kept on truckin’, until he made himself the best QB in the FBS in 2020, and the most winning QB in the FBS, ever. A very similar story to Brady, who kept getting passed over at Michigan, but older classman QBs like the wretched Drew Henson. It was those battles that made Brady the GOAT, and Mac the Big Mac Attack. Their college stories are similar.

“It’s not surprising to me that Mac’s doing well,” Saban said. “I think it’s a really good fit with Bill because Mac has the same kind of mindset. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s very instinctive, he does a great job of preparing for a game, and can go out and execute, and do what coaches want him to do. So that’s exactly how Bill likes it.”

But… because of Saban, the Alabama Football Program, and his backup role? He didn’t get his due, like Brady his Senior year at Michigan, where he won the Rose Bowl. Which back then was the biggest Bowl of the year. It was called "The Granddaddy of Them All." The more you study and watch this kid, the more he reveals his similarities to Brady in 2001. Now? Mac still has to show he has that win or die mentally that turned Brady into the best NFL QB ever.

“He did a great job,” Brady said after he played Mac and the Pats in Foxboro. “That offense did a great job. Josh dialed up some plays there.”

So Mac just keeps following the blueprint. BB brought Brady through it, with a season that stunned the Football World. Now? It looks like he is doing it again, with a great underrated QB, who never got his due in college and as a rookie QB. He has been positively Brady like this season. The only thing left for him to do, is do it in the Play Offs. Can Belichick drag another 1st year starter (and a true rookie this time), through the Play Offs and win the Super Bowl? It seems to be turning to “yes” more and more each week. Just like the 2001 Patriot, they suddenly just kept winning, and Brady never won a game throwing 3 passes, or having only 2 competitions. With Mac on a current 7 Game win streak, and throwing the ball like an NFL veteran, it is impossible not to compare the two.

2. Indy?- Okay, so this is going to be a tough one. The Colts are a tough team, with a tough refurbished Veteran QB, who is playing better than he ever has. Carson struggled early in the season, but has steadily improved. And now just wins. A QB is a veteran when he doesn’t play at his best, but can still win. The Colts are similarly built team to the Pats. They Pats have just did a quicker, more consistent, and better job than the Colts. Pats have won Seven straight with a rookie QB. Colts have won four in a row with the Pats tough D and power running Offensive strategy.

“We’re encouraged. Coming into (this season) no matter what, even with Carson and Frank (Reich’s) relationship and past history, we knew there was going to be an acclimation period where he needed to get comfortable with what we were doing offensively even though he had run a lot of it, there still were some new things that we do here that I know he didn’t do in Philadelphia,” Ballard said. “And also watching him each and every week. Watching his confidence grow. And watching the entire offense’s confidence grow has been good to see. Especially starting to get some more continuity along the O-line (and) being able to protect him better, All those things have led to him being able to play good football.”

I loved Jonathan Taylor in the Draft. He was a better runner than Stevenson, but Stevenson was the best blocking RB in the FBS last season, blocking in pass pro for his QB. But Taylor was a beast in the run game at Wisconsin. He is going to pound the Pats Defense the way the Pats run game has been pounding their opponents into submission in the 4th quarter. The Pats have been more successful with this strategy than the Colts. Now the Pats Defense is going to have to stand up to that strategy of pounding the Defense to win.

“I've been impressed by Rhamondre's growth. He's very coachable. When you ask him to do something, he really tries hard to do it the way that you want him to do it. He's improved greatly in every area of the game. He's a player that has gained a lot of trust and confidence from his teammates, certainly from the coaching staff, really in every area,” BB said. “Running game, the passing game, ball security, blitz pick-up, run reads, run techniques, so forth, using the blockers and understanding the blocking schemes. He just gets better every day he goes out on the field. So, he's been great to work with and has really shown a lot of improvement, consistency, consistency in his daily routine and being out on the field just continues to get better, because he is out there practicing every day and trying to take the instruction and coaching that Ivan [Fears] and Vinnie [Sunseri] and Josh [McDaniels] are giving him.”

3. The Big Mac Attack- Last week’s game was the weirdest game I ever saw. On TV the conditions looked fine. But the winds were so wild that I wrote before the Game that the best O-line would win the Game. That was a Brady Win. The Pats battled the Bills, the Wind, the Weather, The Road, and the weirdest game I ever watched. They overcame it all to win in Brady like fashion. It didn’t matter. The artic weather, the frozen field, the bizzarro cross wind, and just won in a way that seemed obvious after the game, but no one could predict before the game.

"They've done a nice job of utilizing their skill at the running back level as well as the receiver level. The tight ends that they have, they've done a good job with that,” Colts DC Matt Eberflus said. “Then obviously with the quarterback and the efficiency of the quarterback. So, I think you look at the whole body of work and they've done a nice job."

As we soon saw with Brady in 2001, they just kept winning. Big Mac is on a similar attack. He just keeps winning. I mean, this week’s game is for the First Seed in the AFC. I Don’t see how you can look at what he is doing and how, and not see the spark of the young 2001 Brady. We haven’t seen that obsessive refuse to lose in the Play Offs yet. But he is well on his way to that test. With the first seed on the AFC side of the pyramid, he keeps revealing it a little more each week. Never more so than his bizzarro three throw victory over that vaulted Bills.

"I thought highly of him, very accurate passer. He seemed to have really good touch,” Colts HC Frank Reich said. “Arm strength seemed above average, and he can get the ball all over the field. Then just watching a couple interviews with him, you could tell he kind of got football and had good football smarts."

This might be the toughest defense Mac has faced this season. With the combination of their brutal run game and their Defense. They want to rush four guys every down. According to Pro Football Reference they’re still getting pressure 24% of the time, in their Tampa Two style defense. This is a very tough defense to beat. If they can stuff the run just bringing four guys every down? Then that leaves seven guys dropping in coverage every single down. That makes throwing against their Tampa Two Zone very difficult for veteran QBs. Never-mind a rookie QB who likely has never seen this before.

"I think he's good. He's confident back there. He's got a good command of the offense,” Colts Linebacker Bobby Okereke. “But we're really going to try to make the game one-dimensional and see what he can do. We're excited for the challenge."

So the Big Mac Attack’s Job tonight is to break, and not bend, the Colt’s Tampa Two defense. Mac has shown that he’s willing to keep dumping he ball off if he has too. Which is what he will have to do. The Tampa Two philosophy is to keep everything infront of the Back-Seven, with all seven guys moving backwards eyeing the Offense, not turning back and running. You have to defeat the Tampa Two with patience and smarts. Mac has shown enough of both to be able to stick with the plan and help the Pats Defense win the game.

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