Patriots Look to Dole Out Some Home-Cooked Payback to Indy

The big conundrum I face today is the following … I am at least 0-4 when watching the Pats play the Colts at a particular sports bar and with particular company. It may actually be 0-5 but I am not sure said “company” was in attendance for that Brady golden sombrero on November 5th, 2006. So as Lebron is now famously known, “what do I do?” Mix things up? Head across town and try to conjure up some of the magic from November 4, 2007? Stay home, save my beer money and scare the crap out of my nervous dog? (The Tooz doesn’tlike the tension that comes with big third down battles or late turnovers) Or do I bet that streaks aren’t built to last and my viewing curse will fall today? Stay tuned for the answer ……

On to today’s game.

Well, it’s been four years, but the Pats finally get the Colts at home this afternoon after the last four games between these two teams were played in that god forsaken toilet out in Indy.  Included in that run was:

1) One of the five worst losses I have experienced as a sports fan – the 2006 AFC Championship – that turned on a ridiculous 2Q “pick” penalty on Troy Brown. If that flag were never thrown, the Pats go up 28-3, the Colts surrender, and the Pats steal a Super Bowl that rightfully belonged to San Diego. The 2007 Super Bowl was a stomach punch but it had nothing on 2006.

2) A miracle win that Brady pulled off in 2007 that propelled the Pats to an 18-0 start.

3) A complete abortion in 2008 where Matt Cassel kept the Pats in the game long enough for David Thomas to commit an asinine personal foul that prevented the Pats from kicking a game-tying FG.

4) Fourth and two to win the game and the Pats run a play designed to pick up 54 inches. WORST REGULAR SEASON LOSS OF MY LIFE!

So this series hasn’t exactly gone in New England’s favor since they steamrolled the Colts in the 2004 playoffs. Add in a blowout from the 2005 “hangover” season and the aforementioned four interception game from 2006, and the Pats are just 1-5 against the Colts since George Bush was inaugurated for his second term of office. Yes, the games have been close. And yes, the Patriots have had great opportunities to win at least two additional games. But for whatever reason, they have fallen short, usually because they haven’t been able to stop Peyton Manning late or the offense simply can’t make that one big play. Today, that will change.

I realize coming off last week’s big win, the Pats are probably trading a little bit higher than they deserve. And I don’t like the fact that everyone likes New England today, largely for the same reasons. ( I see that some people are now flipping and that makes me feel a bit better.) But I am buying the Pats today. I have been wrong the past two weeks so I am hardly an axe when it comes to predicting New England’s performance, but I am confident that the Pats will bring no worse than their “B” game and that should be enough.

Yeah, I am a little concerned that Brady will throw some picks since he is due, and I sure wish it were ten degrees colder with ten more miles of wind. But I am willing to bet the Pats had a nice week of practice and come ready to hand out some payback this afternoon. They got physical last week and I suspect we’ll see lots more of that today, especially because it’s The Colts! Moreover, while the passing game has been off all year, it seemed to find a home last week and I suspect Brady will be able to do plenty this afternoon, particularly if New England can slow down Indy’s pass rush. Manning is always a problem but with his stable of pass catchers banged up, the time is ripe for New England to keep him in check. Hey won’t stuff him. But I’m thinking 22-36 and 240 yards won’t be enough this time around.

So I’m not sure that it matters where I watch the game today. If it were a coin-toss game, I might feel motivated to shake things up. But I feel pretty good about this one so I will be looking to end the streak this afternoon, watching Pats-Colts where I always do and probably with the same company. The dog just breathed a sigh of relief as she just made plans for a 4:15 nap. Pats 27 Colts 21.

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