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Official website of the New England Patriots News Blitz - 1/19/2007

In today's News Blitz... The Patriots are getting ready to go to Indianapolis for this weekend's conference championship game.

John Powers of The Boston Globe reports from Indianapolis on former Patriot Adam Vinatieri, now with the Colts. "The lesson we learned last Saturday was, don't discount field goals," said Colts coach Tony Dungy, after the Colts won a playoff game for the first time in their history without crossing the goal line. "You always want to score touchdowns, but you can win a game with two field goals just as easily as you can with one touchdown."

Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe reports on coach Bill Belichick's personal history with the Colts. While still green in the NFL coaching scene, Belichick worked for the Colts, breaking down film in a broom closet. "The Colts stiffed The Coach over a lousy four grand 30 years ago and, boy, are they gonna pay on Sunday," writes Ryan.

David Abel of The Boston Glove offers a story on a friendly wager between Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray and his Indiana counterpart, Becky Skillman.

Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe reports on safety Rodney Harrison, who returned to the practice field yesterday for the first time since spraining his right medial collateral ligament Dec. 31. Also included are notes.

Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe reports from Indianapolis, addressing the implications of playing inside the Colts RCA Dome. "Call it dome-field advantage," writes Gasper.

Ever wonder why there are so many commercials with Peyton Manning and so few with Tom Brady? Keith Reed of The Boston Globe explains, "Manning, star quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is by far a more prolific pitchman than local hero Brady. But Brady, who is not that far behind Manning in terms of endorsement dollars, just may be a lot more efficient."

Jim McCabe of The Boston Globe talks to former Florida Gators coach Steve Spurrier about coaching Patriots receiver Jabar Gaffney. McCabe also speaks with Gaffney's former teammate, current best friend and cousin, Eagle's safety Lito Sheppard.

Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe features center Dan Koppen. "He's a good player that plays at a good, consistent level," Belichick said. "He's strong. He's physical inside. He's able to move people on the line of scrimmage. He's very smart and can direct traffic in there and makes good adjustments. For his size, he has quickness."

The Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun features linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, who hails from Indianapolis. "I never played in [the RCA Dome] in high school," Colvin said yesterday. "We weren't good enough to qualify." A few years after high school, Colvin was back in the dome -- working at a concession stand. "I was the cotton candy guy," Colvin said.

Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe features Indy tight end Dallas Clark.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald offers a play that exemplifies why Tom Brady is the king of clutch quarterbacking, featuring the Pats storied QB.

The *Boston Herald* sports staff compiles the stats and scenarios from Brady's top five comebacks.

Karen Guregian of the* Boston Herald* features tackle Matt Light, who'll be facing Dwight Freeney this weekend when the Pats travel to take on the Colts.

The Boston Herald's John Tomase reports that a number of Patriots players have come down with the Flu. Team spokesman Stacey James said he has a seen a number of players lying in the trainer's room with towels over their heads, while cornerback Ellis Hobbs noted the sick have been quarantined.

Boston Herald writer Michael Felger takes a look at key matchups in the game, offering a position-by-position breakdown.

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald reports from Indianapolis, discussing Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

Boston Herald writer Steve Buckley features Colts safety Bob Sanders, who's been compared to Pats safety Rodney Harrison. "That's a great compliment," said Sanders of the comparison. Included are Colts notes.

Karen Guregian of the* Boston Herald* offers a piece on Belichick's personal history with the Colts.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald offers officiating statistics on Bill Carollo, who will be the referee in this weekend's Pats-Colts matchup. Also included are Patriots notes.

Albert Breer of The MetroWest Daily News explains that the chemistry Manning has built with his receivers is unparalleled in today's NFL.

Shalise Manza Young of The Providence Journal reports on the Colts electrifying offense.

Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant reports on Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri. "He's not going to miss," Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel said. "You're going to have to block a kick."

Hartford Courant writer Alan Greenberg explains that coach Belichick was a Colts fan as a child.

Jennifer Toland of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette features linebacker Rosevelt Colvin. In last week's divisional win over San Diego, Colvin made a nice play to intercept a Philip Rivers' pass intended for LaDainian Tomlinson at the end of the third quarter. Also included are Toland's notes.

Chris Kennedy of The Republican compares the Colts defense to the Patriots, wondering which one "will crack first?"

Jim Fenton of The Patriot Ledger explains that Peyton Manning is looking for one last piece to make him the total package.

Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle explains that when Bill Belichick was a young foal, he was really a Colts fan at heart.

Mike Rocha of The Standard-Times features defensive end Richard Seymour.

Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call takes a look at the Patriots passing game and the strides it's made this season.

Don't forget to check out USA Today's Inside Slant, updated today.

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