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News Blitz 1/11: Get ready for a Patriots-Colts showdown
However, after this news came out, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald talked to another source who says that Mortensen's report is 'absolutely untrue and unfounded'. According to Howe, Spikes placement on the injured reserve was mutual and garnered no disagreement from Spikes himself. He compares this situation with that of the one in 2009 involving Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton, and Derrick Burges.
It seems as though the Patriots appear to be slightly more appealing to the experts this week. Eight of the thirteen ESPN experts picked New England to win today. NFL.com's Dan Hanzus also picked the Patriots to win 24-17 in his preview, while both Michael Irvin and Steve Mariucci from the NFL Network also have New England winning. If you want to share your own take on the outcome of today's game, WEEI has set up a poll on their website where you can voice your opinion.
But in order for the Patriots to win, they are going to have to play well. Indianapolis will certainly not be a pushover. They will have to do a number of things right in order to advance to the AFC Championship. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss lists 11 things along the path to a Patriots victory.
Boston Herald writer, Ron Borges offers his own take on the Brady-Luck hype. Though the two quarterbacks will never be on the field at the same time, Borges says all eyes will be on them in this matchup.
"Is there a new kid in town, or will the aging but not yet aged fastest gun in the East again prevail?" asks Borges. "That will only be determined when Andrew Luck is helmet-to-helmet with Tom Brady tonight, each with an itchy trigger finger near their holsters. All we have to wait for now is for them to draw and all questions will be answered...for now."
One guy who isn't convinced Luck will be able to get it done today is Peter King. During a radio interview on WEEI's Mut & Merloni, King said he is skeptical that Luck will be able to produce a great game. King expects that the Patriots defensive line will be able to pressure Luck, while the secondary will take away T.Y. Hilton -- both of which could spell trouble for Indianapolis.
"He's not been averse to making some huge mistakes. Look at the first half last week, where he was vastly outplayed by Alex Smith," explains King during the show. "I kind of look at him right now and just say I think he can be great any week. But I also think he's going to still make mistakes because he's still learning the game."
"It is what playoff football is supposed to be. It is a good match," concludes Kenyon.
The Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young echoes this idea stating that resiliency is the Patriots' biggest strength. She applaudes the team's mental toughness.
"It's not something you can see, manufacture or predict. But getting every player working toward the greater good, to put aside his interests for the interests of the team, to believe that injuries, even to key players, can be overcome and three-touchdown deficits against future Hall of Fame quarterbacks can be erased, are necessary elements for a successful team," says Manza Young.
In other words, Manza-Young believes they're battled-tested and they're ready. Her Boston Globe colleague, Dan Shaughnessy also notes that the patriots have specifically had a lot on Saturday playoff games. He lists six Saturday wins where New England has played exceptionally well.
And lastly, check out this great interactive element on Boston.com. This "play predictor" tells you the percentages of run or pass for each down and distance the Patriots have faced this season. You can also specify the area of the field you want to research. Very cool!