Patriots-Colts has become the Ali-Frazier of NFL rivalries
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It's like getting
A couple of years ago, New England-Indianapolis was billed as the regular season Game of the Century. The Pats and Colts were both unbeaten and it represented the latest meeting of NFL unbeatens since the Buffalo All-Americans played the Akron Pros in mid-November in 1921. I think
The 2007 Patriots beat the Colts in '07 and remained unbeaten until
The Colts are the undefeated team this time around. Ravaged by injuries to its defensive unit, Indianapolis hung on to beat the Houston Texans, 20-17 on Sunday. The victory gave the Colts a 17-game regular-season winning streak, which is a franchise record and the fourth-longest in NFL history. The longest regular-season winning streak of course belongs to the Patriots. New England won 21 in a row between 2006 and 2008 before
The 2009 Patriots are not the chest-thumping, take-no-prisoners Pats of 2007, but they think they have enough to beat the Colts and improve to 7-2 in Indy on Sunday night. They have won their last three games by an aggregate 121-24.
Nobody expects a blowout this week.
"You can't go out there and play your B game, because you won't beat those guys,'' Brady said after throwing for 332 yards in Sunday's win over the Dolphins. "They're good. They can rush the passer. They cover. Obviously, they can score a lot of points. They run it, they throw it, they have very good special teams, so we've got to match them. We've got to do the same thing this year on the road, you know, we've had a couple good first halves and not so good of second halves, so we're going to need a four-quarter game.''
And then the Patriots imploded. They surrendered 32 second half points and lost, 38-34. The Colts went on to win their only Super Bowl of the Manning Era.
New England responded the following year with its 16-0 season, running up scores and making enemies. And we all knew the seeds of perfection had been planted in the floor of the RCA Dome.
It was not the first time a Pats-Colts playoff game triggered events. After the Patriots thrashed the Colts, 20-3, in the 2004-2005 playoffs at Gillette Stadium -- a game in which
Polian hates the Patriots with the power of a thousand suns and the Krafts have been angry at the Colts since
Any way you cut it (Remember Peyton's "Cut That Meat" commercial?) history is made when the Pats play the Colts. And they play a lot. Sunday's joust will be the 10th meeting of these teams in the last six seasons.
"We have so many games with them and so much history with this team the scouting report looks like a phone book,'' Belichick said last year.
Sounds a little like the old