It comes down to stopping the run
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After a week of the media fawning over Peyton Manning I think we can now say that Brady is the best QB in the league. Brady consistently comes up big in the biggest games and Manning does not. Manning is an excellent QB, but he really has done most of his damage on poor D's. He has not only been unable to beat the Pats, but not been able to beat any good teams in the playoffs (his only 3 playoffs wins have come against KC and Denver -- poor defensive teams). Plus Brady being 6-0 vs. Manning cannot be overlooked. Although it's not all Manning's fault you would think he could carry his team to at least a couple of wins there. Do you agree we can now rate Brady as the No. 1 QB in the NFL?
A: Rich, you can rank Brady anywhere you want. Free country. I wouldn't dislike you if you named Manning, McNabb, or Vick over Brady. It's your opinion and I would respect that. The way I look at, and I've changed my mind about a hundred times on this, is Brady is the best money quarterback there is. I think Manning is the best quarterback. Because Manning can't beat one team -- a team that we're calling a "dynasty" -- doesn't diminish what he's accomplished.
Great column Nick -- vitals for out of town Pats fans like me. My question is why nobody has seemed to mention Asante Samuel's hit on Brandon Stokely. He was, I think, their top receiver all day, and their most successful play was to run him in motion and throw to him out of the slot. But when Samuel flattened him (I was surprised he got up), I don't think he saw another ball all day. Why hasn't anyone paid more attention to this?
Jon, New York
A: After I wrote that night, I thought to myself, "I forgot to mention the Samuel hit." I'm with you. That was fun to see. It reminded me of one those old Lawyer Milloy hits that I used to enjoy. You'd have to be gun-shy after getting smacked like that. I know I would be. I believe he did make some catches after that. Stokley is a pretty tough guy, but he had to feel it.
In the two weeks leading up to the Colts game, I asked myself, "What is Belichick going to find that almost no one else has that will shut down the Colts' offense?" Well, he obviously found it, and several of the defensive players, notably Harrison, said that the coaches had given them a great plan that they were excited to execute. Having watched the game, I'm still not sure exactly what the plan was. It seemed to be a typically aggressive, unpredictable Patriots defensive showing. Can you shed light on just what we did that was so effective?
Jason, Melrose Continued...