Opinion

Editorial: New look doesn’t change Colts/Pats old rivalry

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There's still the cutoff hoodie on the opposing sideline. There's still a Hall-of-Fame quarterback under center. There's still Foxborough with a genius in the owner's box. But somehow this Patriots team feels different, and I KNOW this Colts team is different.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck face off in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck face off in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.
I've been a Colts fan for a long time and I've seen a lot of Colts/Patriots games. I don't feel scared of the Patriots like I have in the past (yeah I'll admit it). In fact I feel calm. Why? I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with the no-names at wide receiver in New England and the major injuries on defense. But there's another team I know who has no-names at wide receiver and injuries on defense, so maybe that shouldn't give me so much confidence. Another difference? It doesn't chill my blood to know my team is traveling to chilly New England. Anyways can it really be colder than it has been in Indiana? Deep down inside though, I know this Patriots team will play like the old ones. They're good. This Colts team isn't like the old ones, but they're also good. The jury is still out (and will be for a while - let's not get ahead of ourselves) on whether there's still a Hall-of-Fame quarterback in Indianapolis. One thing's for sure - his name isn't Manning. There's no Marvin, not even a Reggie (sigh). No Saturday. Ok, technically there is still a Saturday in this game, but not THAT one. No Dungy, no Polian, not even the same waterboy (ok I made that one up, but that has to be a job with high turnover). There's no vaunted offense on EITHER sideline, though the Colts showed they can put up points last week and something tells me that Tom Brady still knows how to light up a scoreboard. But this is still Colts vs. Patriots. All Colts fans know the history. In 2003 and 2004 we (yeah I said we, get over it) were left picking up the pieces after continually losing to the Patriots in the playoffs. Not just losing, but losing hard. The kind of losing where our starting quarterback threw more passes to the opposing cornerback than our best wide receiver - that kind of tough. But then came the shining moment, the one we'll never forget. It's the game that will always be my personal favorite, no matter what this Colts team does. It was the day we took down the evil empire... FINALLY. It was the day we staged the biggest comeback in AFC Championship history (yeah I guess we're still doing comebacks too). It was the day we went to the Super Bowl. And that was the last time these two teams have met in the playoffs. Maybe that's why this one feels different. Yes, a lot of the faces have changed. But let's face it: these teams haven't played a meaningful game - and I mean a meaningful game - in almost seven years. Sure, the teams have played in the regular season. But even that hasn't happened in over a year. By the way, you won't find me talking about that regular season game because I'd rather forget it. Google 2012 Colts Patriots and you'll see why. So yeah, it's been a while. But that doesn't mean the rivalry has died. Ask any fan of either team and you will still find the scars of past defeats. That's why, despite the differences, I expect the same old same old. This game will go down to the wire. It will be a chess match. It will be fun to watch, and it will feature two really good teams. Oh and, just like old times, I can't wait for it to start!   Prediction: Colts 31, Patriots 28 - last second Vinatieri field goal, let's make it a classic.
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