After taking care of business in Pittsburgh and enjoying a couple of days off, the Patriots return to work today, preparing for another big challege to their defense. Peyton Manning and the Colts may be banged up and not the team they’ve been in previous seasons in November, but a wounded tiger (Colt?) is a dangerous tiger.

Patriots face a different QB challenge in Manning – Tom E Curran says that Patriots approach this week will have to be different from last week. Glen Farley says that Manning is a horse of a different color lately.

Will Patriots keep it coming? – Greg A Bedard wonders if the Patriots will use a similar blitz scheme this week against Manning and the Colts.

Bill Belichick Explains Which Stats Aren’t for Losers and 19 Other Thoughts – Jeff Howe drops 20 thoughts on the Patriots.

Pats’ numbers don’t add up, but wins do – Robert Lee looks at the anomaly that is the New England Patriots, statistically.  

Pats defensive line rivals Big 3 years– Rich Garven looks at the Patriots defensive line, which has been impressive despite shuffling players in and out of the lineup.

Crystal ball a bit cloudy this year – Mark Farinella tries to figure out why he’s been so lousy at predicting NFL games this season.

Troy Brown blasts Terrell Suggs for anti-Patriots comments – The Patriots don’t need to respond in public these days. With Brown, Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi in the media, they’ve got their defenders out there.

Ron Brace steps up – Karen Guregian’s notebook has the second year lineman making progress. The Globe notebook from Monique Walker has Shawn Crable getting his walking papers. Again. The Patriots Journal from Robert Lee has BenJarvus Green-Ellis playing his best against the toughest defenses.

Allen proves his game is more than long-range – A. Sherrod Blakely has a very good look at Ray Allen, and his complete game.

Big Baby growing up for Celtics – Scott Souza has the fourth-year forward showing maturity on and off the court.

Things we learned at the GMs’ meetings: Warning shots from Theo Epstein – Rob Bradford reports from the GM meetings.

Red Sox comfortable with Saltalamacchia as starting catcher – Sean McAdam has more from the meetings, including Epstein’s thoughts on the catching position. Mike Fine has more on the catching position.

David Ortiz wanted ‘something different’ – Jackie MacMullan chats with the Red Sox DH.

Bruins Look to Build Momentum With Trip to New York to Face Rangers – Douglas Flynn has the Bruins looking to keep things going.