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Official website of the New England Patriots News Blitz 1/11/05

Many pundits seem to be considering Sunday's game a foregone conclusion already.

Fluto Shinzawa of The Boston Globe recounts Bill Belichick's comments regarding the matchup with the Colts. Having watched tapes of all their games the last two seasons, Belichick is familiar with the Colts offense, which he has high praise for. In his notebook, Shinzawa discusses the mental aspect of the Colts-Pats rivalry, as well as some upcoming shuffling in the defensive secondary.

Also in the Globe, Nick Cafardo muses on some of the changes that may occur at season's end. It is likely the Pats will enter the offseason without its two coordinators, leaving the Pats with a number of decisions to make.

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Globe reports from Indianapolis, where yesterday Peyton Manning was awarded the NFL's Most Valuable Player award. Manning received 47 out of 48 first-place votes, one year after he shared the honor with Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans.

Dupont also reports Colts coach Tony Dungy's views on the Patriots secondary. Dungy does not believe the hype that suggests the Pats defense is ripe for Manning to shred it, and points to the Patriots 14 wins as a stronger indicator of the team's prowess.

In The Boston Herald, Michael Felger reports some strong words coming from the Colts locker room. Mike Vanderjagt, who Manning once called "our idiot kicker," proclaimed the Colts would return to Indy winners on Sunday night. Felger recounts the comments, as well as some rebuttle from the Pats locker room.

In his notebook, Felger tells of a free agent signing the Patriots made yesterday. In an effort to bolster the injury-ravaged secondary, the team signed street free agent Hank Poteat, a cornerback formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kevin Mannix of the Herald reviews the defensive attempts made by the Denver Broncos over the weekend, and opines it foretells a tall task for the Patriots defenders.

Tom Curran of The Providence Journal builds the game up quite nicely as a date with history, noting a win would provide a tremendous statement for either team.

In his notebook, Curran discusses Vanderjagt's "guarantee," as well as the injury situation.

Bill Reynolds of the Journal looks at the game through the lens of Manning's legacy, as it seems beating the Patriots is the one achievement that has eluded the MVP throughout his career. Manning is 0-6 in his career at Foxboro, and has often been criticized for being unable to win the big game.

Alan Greenberg of The Hartford Courant looks at the Pats secondary, and wonders aloud if it will hold up against pressure from the Colts high-powered offense.

Tom Pedulla of USA Today checks in on Charlie Weis, who Pedulla says is holding up just fine under the intense pressure of being both the Patriots offensive coordinator and new head football coach at Notre Dame. When the Pats season is finalized, Weis will depart for South Bend full-time.

Don Banks of believes the Patriots will gut out another win against the Colts this weekend. Banks recognizes the matchup problems facing New England, but has faith Belichick will scheme up a win yet again.

If you enjoy News Blitz, you might want to check out where Bruce Allen also offers links to what the media is saying about the Patriots as well as the other Boston sports teams. Allen also includes commentary on the media and does a good job holding everyone accountable.

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