RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
There were two undefeated teams left in the NFL last week. After yesterday's game, there is only one: the undefeated New England Patriots had a dramatic 24-20 win over the previously unbeaten Indianapolis Colts. The game has been dubbed the Unbeaten Bowl.
Joining me now to talk about the game and whether it lived up to its hype is Jemele Hill of ESPN.com. Good morning.
Mr. JEMELE HILL (Columnist, ESPN.com): Good morning.
MONTAGNE: So I just said it lived up to its hype. Describe how it did that.
Mr. HILL: Well, you have the two best teams in the NFL and it came down to a couple of late touchdown drives, some great defensive plays. Quarterback Tom Brady - he led the Patriots back from a 10-point deficit. And I think most people anticipated it will be a good game, but I think it kind of left you wanting more. And that's the best sign of a really good game is when you - when it's over and you can't wait to see round two, then I think you've just seen something pretty good.
MONTAGNE: Well, of course, yesterday's game also featured Peyton Manning, premier quarterback of the Colts. Was it - it was something of a face-off against Tom Brady?
Mr. HILL: Yeah. It was - it certainly re-engineered those debates that we've been having over the last week about who would you want in a late game situation, you know, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. And Tom Brady yesterday, I think, he sort of turned the debater over, once again. Because, as I said, the Patriots were down. They were on the ropes and he brought them back. And for a lot of people who have a say about the MVP race in the NFL. They're going to look at that as kind of a defining moment for him. But, you know, both of them are two great quarterbacks, but Brady was just a little bit better yesterday.
MONTAGNE: Even before yesterday's game, there was talk about the Patriots possibly going undefeated for the entire season. That's going to escalate now, obviously, since they've beaten the Colts. Why do you think their chances are?
Mr. HILL: Their chances are pretty good. The only thing that could - I could see possibly slowing New England down is if they get late in the season and they decide that they would rather rest their guys for the playoffs, you know, for fear of injury. They're so far ahead in their division. That won't be, you know - they should clinch pretty soon. And, you know, now, they're sort of playing for home field advantage. But if they get home field advantage, it will be interesting to see if Coach Bill Belichick - if he goes ahead and goes for the record. You know, an undefeated season is one of those records, kind of like the homerun record in baseball, that it just - it maybe only falls, you know, once in a generation or, you know, once in a lifetime. But now, the Patriots have a real shot of seeing this thing through to the end because they're just that much better than everybody they play.
MONTAGNE: Jemele, thanks very much for talking with us.
Mr. HILL: Thank you.
MONTAGNE: Jemele Hill of ESPN.com.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.