We kick things off this morning with the Patriots Game Day Roundtable, as we toss around out thoughts on the Chargers game, the matchups this week, and ends with a special invitation to submit your own thoughts on what is going to happen on Sunday.
Bob Ryan has Bill Belichick talking about his childhood affinity for the Baltimore Colts, his one season with the 30 years ago and why he was only there one year. Mark Farinella also does a good job on this topic. Karen Guregian has a much shorter version of Belichick’s trip down memory lane back to his Colts days. John Tomase looks at Tom Brady’s confidence as the key that allows him to play with such cool and calm in the clutch. David Pevear looks at the humble legend of Tom Brady. Jim Fennell notes that Bill Belichick likes talking about NFL history even while he is making it. Chris Ryan notes that the preparation of Belichick is behind everything the Patriots do.
Ron Borges goes through the matchups for the Patriots and Colts, giving the edge to the Patriots in most areas, however he gives the Colts the edge in special teams solely because of Vinatieri, and calls the coaching matchup “even.” Michael Felger also goes down through the matchups, giving the Colts the edge only in receivers and running backs. Shalise Manza Young looks at the Patriots and Colts offense and how each goes about making their points in a different way. She also focuses in on the receivers of the two clubs, noting the stark contrast. Chris Kennedy says each defense faces a stern test on Sunday. Ron Hobson says that the Patriots must deal with Bob Sanders if they hope to win.
Mike Reiss looks at the importance of Dan Koppen to the Patriots success, as Bill Parcells used to note that without a good center, an entire offense can be held captive.Karen Guregian looks at the job facing Matt Light as he prepares to protect Tom Brady once again from Dwight Freeney this weekend. There’s a lot of back and forth between Light and Rosevelt Colvin in this one as well, as the two talk about their college days together at Purdue. Jim McCabe looks at the college days of Jabar Gaffney, where he made quite and impression and left a legacy at Florida. Mike Rocha has Richard Seymour moving from pupil to mentor in the Patriots locker room in the course of his career.
Mark Blaudschun talks to Rosevelt Colvin about returning to his hometown of Indianapolis this weekend, and how his career has evolved. Kennedy has more on Colvin returning to his roots this weekend. Farinella also reports on Colvin and preparing for his life after football back in Indy. Tom King has still more on Colvin and his Indy background.
Michael Parente has Tom Brady never losing faith in his offense and receivers this season and being rewarded because of it. Christopher Price says that the running backs will tell the tale of this game. Tomase reports on the flu bug that is going around the Patriots locker room this week. Jeff Howe has the Patriots doing their prep work for Peyton Manning. Tomase also says that even though Rodney Harrison attended practice, he didn’t look like a guy who was getting ready to play. Keith Reed notes that Manning may get the attention for his endorsements, but Tom Brady isn’t a slouch in this area either.
Reiss’ notebook has more on Harrison’s return to the practice field. Thomase’s notebook has the Patriots seemingly drawing a favorable official for the game Sunday. Alan Greenberg’s notebook has more on Belichick talking about his childhood admiration for the Colts. Joe McDonald’s notebook has Colvin hoping for some hometown cooking in his return to Indianapolis. Jennifer Toland’s notebook has more on Colvin. Dan Pires’ notebook says a little bit of chatter between the clubs is already starting. Michael Parente’s notebook tells us that Adam Vinatieri is still as clutch as ever. Farinella’s notebook reminds the Patriots that if they win this game, they’ll have to suffer the consequences and talk to the media.
John Powers has a feature on Adam Vinatieri and what he has brought to the Colts this season, as well as his thoughts on facing his old teammates on Sunday. Alan Greenberg has more on Vinatieri putting his Patriots days in the rear view mirror. Jennifer Toland says Vinatieri could come back to haunt his old mates on Sunday.
Christopher L Gasper has a piece on Colts tight end Dallas Clark, who could be a matchup nightmare for the Patriots this weekend. Clark came into college as a linebacker, but his coach saw a little Marv Cook in him and moved him to tight end. Albert Breer looks at the Colts timing offense, which can be just about impossible to defend on some throws. Steve Buckley gets creative and writes about Peyton Manning’s legacy if he doesn’t beat the Patriots and go to a Super Bowl. OK, maybe not such a creative topic. Jim Fenton also has Manning looking for that last piece to his career. Hank Lowenkron looks at the impact of Bob Sanders on the Colts defense. Tom King has more on Sanders.
Gasper’s notebook examines the edge that the Colts will have Sunday by getting to play at home in the dome. Buckley’s notebook has Bob Sanders and the Colts very careful to show the Patriots proper respect.
Links from Colts Land:
- Indianapolis Star
- FortWayne.com (News-Sentinel and Journal Gazette)
- Indy Star Colts Message Board
- Stampede Blue – a Colts Blog
- ColtsFreaks Message Board
The impeccable timing of the Globe strikes again as the paper uses the Friday before the AFC championship to lecture the Krafts about an incident in the stands at Gillette where a young boy was hurt two weeks ago. Brian McGrory has the lecture.
David Scott notes that the Patriots and fans might’ve jumped the shark nationally this week.