INDIANAPOLIS -- If the Patriots showed confidence in their offense going for a fourth-down conversion at their own 28-yard line late in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's 35-34 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, what did it say to the Colts' defense?
"Total disrespect," said linebacker Clint Session. "They disrespected us and got what they deserved. They fought hard throughout the game, but they disrespected us at the end and they got what they deserved."
The Colts leaned hard on the disrespect card after the win as their prideful defense, which gave up a season-high 34 points despite entering the game as the best scoring defense in the league, came up with a critical stop. Defensive back Melvin Bullitt tackled Kevin Faulk a yard shy of the first-down marker, forcing a turnover on downs at the two-minute warning.
Reggie Wayne hauled in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning with 13 seconds remaining as the Colts prevailed. Here's a collection of the Colts' reaction to Bill Belichick's fourth-down call.
DE Dwight Freeney: "To be honest with you, that's how we take it. Any defense should take it the same way. Whenever you go for it on fourth down in that situation, we've got to make a play. It even happens in video games. You go for it on fourth down when you're not supposed to and something bad happens. We're happy. We got to continue the streak. We won another game."
QB Peyton Manning: "Not much surprises me with New England. You kind of expect the unexpected. When you see them going for it on fourth down, I can't lie to you, obviously you certainly get a little nervous because you realize you might get a shorter field, but the game might be over."
WR Reggie Wayne: "Coach Belichick has never shied away from confidence. He really feels like his team can get the job done. He made a call and they had to execute it, and our defense did a good job of holding them short and giving us an opportunity to go out there and take a lead."
DB Melvin Bullitt: "Not with the New England Patriots. You never know what you're going to get with them. You can expect anything and you always have to be ready. They have that die-hard type of attitude."
DE Jerraud Powers: "I was surprised. I thought maybe he was going to try to get us to jump offside or something. I didn't think he'd actually try to run a play. That's the confidence Belichick has in his players and his quarterback. But we just stepped up to the challenge and made plays when we had to."
DE Robert Mathis: "Wow. All you can say is wow. They were going to do it like that, so we had to step up and fortunately we did. That's a lot of disrespect. I know they're trying to win the game just like we are, but we were fortunate to get a stop on that play."
DB Antoine Bethea: "We were like, 'Look, man, they don't respect us.' Like a reporter said, they might want to convert because our offense was clicking at the time and they wanted to keep our offense off the field. But as a defense, that's kind of disrespectful, and that's how we took it."