West Coast defense is all the rage

— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) January 11, 2014

How Did New England Do It? The Colts hadn't won at New England since 2006. Andrew Luck's first visit, in 2012, was a debacle. TMQ's AFC preview said, "Colts at Patriots was the defining game of this team's 2012 season. Indianapolis gained 448 yards on offense -- and lost by 35 points." This time the Colts would gain 386 yards, and lose by 21 points.

On the initial Indianapolis possession, the Colts faced third-and-2; the Flying Elvii had press corners across from every receiver. Luck threw a short stop, which can't work against a press corner, rather than audible to a go or an out. Interception returned to the Colts' 2. Luck is much-praised, including in this column. But he's also thrown eight interceptions in three postseason contests, and is fortunate to be 1-2. There but by the grace of being the No. 1 pick goes Andy Dalton.

The performance of the New England offensive line was worth the price of admission. Most of the year using quick-snap pass-wacky tactics, the Pats not only favored the rush but controlled the clock, with time of possession at 35 minutes. In the third quarter, New England scored from the Indianapolis 3 on a power rush, then got a deuce on a power rush -- consecutive power rushes at the goal line haven't happened much under Bill Belichick. New England's sudden proficiency in power rushing means for the AFC title contest, Denver coaches must prepare to face either fast-snap passing or clock-control rushing. New England's tactics and line play not only defeated the Colts, but also increased the team's chances of winning the title.

At Least There Are No Brigadier Governors: Currently there is a mini-scandal involving the lieutenant governor of Arkansas, as well as lingering controversy caused by the lieutenant governor of Florida. In recent years, lieutenant governors abusing their positions have generated numerous scandals. Why do lieutenant governors even exist? The position is an anachronism that should be abolished.

Forty-five states have lieutenant governors. In some, these officials preside over statehouse sessions; in others, they merely hang around in case the governor resigns or dies. The notion that a state needs a governor-in-waiting dates to the period when the nation had no standing army; then, state militias required a civilian commander at all times. Today, governors have no meaningful input into what's now the National Guard; see this 1990 Supreme Court decision and this 2007 act of Congress. (When governors boast of being "commander in chief of the state National Guard," this is pure political bloviation.) States do not conduct foreign policy, have no defense needs, and in most, much of the time the legislature is not in session. So why must a lieutenant governor be standing by? In modern politics, the position is just featherbedding.

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