Let the week of discussion begin.
Manning vs. Brady.
Troy Brown or Marvin Harrison.
Matt Light vs. Dwight Freeney.
Vinatieri or Vanderjagt.
Wait you mean this is a different Colts team?
Now led by second year man Andrew Luck, the former Stanford standout who engineered one of the great comebacks in NFL history over the weekend, the Colts bring their Luck to Foxboro on Saturday night.
Exciting stuff for some, but to me this match up doesn’t have the same cache as it used to. It has that “been there done that” feeling to it. The feeling is much like the past few years of Red Sox/Yankees.
I don’t know if the Colts and Pats ever had that Red Sox/Yankees-type rivalry but it was close. Only now, without Peyton Manning in Indy it just doesn’t feel the same. Yet, there is drama to be had here.
This is a statement game for both quarterbacks. For Andrew Luck, it’s about knocking off a true legend to establish his own. He made a huge leap forward against the Chiefs on Saturday, but if he gets shut out in Foxboro, the dream dies at least for this season. But if he beats Brady in Brady’s house, everyone will proclaim that the next “great one” has arrived.
As for Brady, a win would bring even more validation that he is among the greatest to ever play the game. Look at the turnover at wide receiver. He’s held the offense together with duct tape and bubble gum for the season, during what may be his most incredible year ever. Think about it. He’s been throwing to rookies for the most part and he’s had to adjust to a new wide receiver to replace the one he’s had for the past six seasons. Of course his two best weapons are either on the side line or in prison.
Brady’s focus isn’t on the upstart young Indy quarterback. Instead he’s focused on trying to frustrate and contain Robert Mathis, this season’s sack leader.
“I’m not worried about the opposing QB, I’m worried about their D, and I have to face them. My job is to score points on their D,” Tom Brady said on his weekly radio show on WEEI. “We’ve got to figure out how to slow down Mathis he’s a great player, with 19.5 sacks this year.”
Mathis is one of the only holdover players from the Colts team that last beat the Patriots in the AFC championship game after the 2006 season.
Brady also needs to mimic what Alex Smith did against the Colts secondary.
The Colts defense ranks in the top-15 in the league, and they have two former Patriots in their backfield with Darius Butler and Sergio Brown. It may not be a big edge, but it’s an edge nonetheless, and against Brady you take ANY advantage you can get.
I’ll watch and listen to Dan Dierdorf’s final game just like most of America, hoping for a good cry at the end, but I just don’t get that worried feeling I’d get when Manning had the horse shoe on his helmet, parading into town with his arsenal of weapons.
By no means is Luck low in the weapons category, but he is low on big game performances, and Tom Brady’s weapon of choice is Bill Belichick!
People talk about Bill Belichick as Coach of the Year. How about this to all who get to vote on league MVP – Tom Brady is hands down the MVP of this league because without him, the Pats are watching football on Saturday instead of playing.