Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that the Colts are 2-10 against New England since 1998, Manning's first year. Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt declared before the Patriots' 20-3 victory in the AFC playoffs last season that the Patriots are "ripe for the picking", Monday night it could come to fruition as the Colts look to break through against the Patriots. When asked if he feels better about his team heading into a showdown against the defending champions, Manning said, "We've had good teams here the past few years. All we are is off to a good start. We put ourselves in good position over the first seven games. So this will tell a true tale of what kind of team we are, what kind of team we have." John Tomase of the Boston Herald and Tom Weir of USA Today both offer similar articles.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Colts QB Peyton Manning is 0-7 in Foxborough, and 0-3 at Gillette Stadium, where the teams meet Monday night. According to McGinest, there is no measurable psychological advantage for having toppled the Colts so often, including twice in each of the last two years, with two playoff victories. "Psychology doesn't win games. You have to go out on the field and win games," McGinest said. "You have to execute. You have to make plays. The players and coaches and what we do on the field decides the win-loss factor. They're not going to come in here and lay down because we won in the past. They're going to be more amped up and ready to go. They don't come in here worrying, 'Oh, we're going to lose because we lost before.' I don't think that even goes through their mind. They expect to win, like whenever we play them, we expect to win."
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that Monday night's game will feature the AFC's most balanced offense in the Colts vs. the reeling defense of the New England Patriots. Patriots safety Rodney Harrison has had some of his signiture games vs. the Colts but will have to watch this one from the sideline as he recovers from a major knee injury. "Given that this has been my signature game each year since I've been here, I'm really stoked and disappointed not to be able to play in this particular one," Harrison said. "We have the best team in town, the Indianapolis Colts coming in 7-0. They're on a roll, they have a much-improved defense, Peyton (Manning) is Peyton, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley, Dallas Clark and all those guys, and we didn't even mention Edgerrin James. It's a matter of making plays."
Jim McCabe of the Boston Globe previews this weeks games and offers his picks.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that it is still unknown whether defensive lineman Richard Seymour will play in the Colts game this Monday night. Seymour is still recovering from a knee injury. "I'm hanging in there, trying to get better," Seymour said yesterday. "I was hoping to play last week and things didn't happen the way I wanted to. Emotionally, I was ready to go, but my body didn't respond the way I would like to. When I get healthy, I'll be back out on the football field." Seymour, was off to perhaps his best season when he was injured while playing fullback, and the sprained left knee has cost him three games, and counting. Tom Curran of the Providence Journal also offers a similar report on Seymour.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that no team has been better able to ignore odds and facts than the New England Patriots. Colts head coach Tony Dungy wasn't able to do it yesterday. Dungy entertained a line of questioning from the New England media yesterday afternoon that Bill Belichick would never have allowed a single syllable to fall from his lips that registered an iota of doubt. Dungy, grilled about the mental state of his team as it prepares to face its nemeses the Patriots this Monday, went coach-speak on most of them. But did say that the Patriots game is a big one. "I think it would put some doubt in our mind if we went up there and didn't play well," Dungy answered when asked if he feared after-effects from a loss to the Patriots.
Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant writes that in the past, the Patriots have done a decent job against Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. Because their regular left tackle, Matt Light, struggles with speed rushers - Freeney might be the quickest - the Patriots put the 257-pound Graham, a savage blocker, on Light's outside (left) shoulder. By chipping Freeney when the ball is snapped, Graham forces Freeney - assuming he is rushing from the outside - to take a wider and less direct path to Tom Brady. Expect the same scheme with Kaczur in place of Matt Light. "What they do a lot is chip the tight end outside of me," Freeney said. "It's primarily double teams. ... To be honest with you, it probably hasn't worked as well because I've had a sack pretty much every game I've played them."
Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa of the Boston Herald's "Inside Track" write that during a "60 Minutes" interview to be aired this Sunday, QB Tom Brady talks to correspondent Steve Kroft about dealing with fame, his three Super Bowl rings and what he would be doing if he was not in football. "Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me?" he asks Kroft. "A lot of people would say, 'This is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream.' Me, I think, 'God, it's got to be more than this.' I mean, this isn't what it's all cracked up to be," Brady says.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.