Which QB would you want in a big game, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Boston Globe writers Ron Borges, Nick Cafardo, Jerome Solomon, Dan Shaughnessy and Jack MacMullen each offer their own point of view in the arguement and give their reasons for picking either player.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that the Indianapolis Colts are coming into Foxboro as a seemingly unstoppable machine. They're healthy. They're balanced. They're undefeated. The Patriots are hurting on both sides of the ball and are battling an inconsistency rarely seen under Bill Belichick. Their defense can't seem to stop anybody. But history tells a different story. The Pats have been here before, and just about every time they've defied the experts and handed the Colts a devastating loss. So how will the Patriots do it this time?
Jerome Solomon and Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe report that in a bit of a surprise move, the Patriots released safety Arturo Freeman yesterday to make room for free agent running back Michael Cloud. Solomon and Reiss writes that the release of Freeman is curious in that he was the lone healthy strong safety on the roster. Rodney Harrison and Guss Scott are out for the season with knee injuries, and James Sanders is questionable with a sore ankle and hasn't been at the opening of practice this week. Cloud played in five games for the Patriots two years ago, rushing for 118 yards on 27 carries with a team-high five touchdowns. "People that win big games are people that can function in a pressurized environment and do the same things that they do in a training camp practice, and that's what we have not done against New England," said Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy. "We've gone up there and false-started on the first play of the game when we haven't had a penalty in four or five weeks. We've done those kind of things, which you can't do, because it's hard enough to beat a good team when you do everything right. . . . You hope that you're in a lot of big games and you learn from that and you realize that you can function that way and you hope that your veteran leadership has a calming influence."
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots have won their last six games against Indianapolis and are 7-1 against the Colts since Bill Belichick took over in 2000. Study those games and you realize that, in many of them, the Colts did more to lose than the Pats did to win. Put another way, the Patriots haven't been that much better than the Colts, they've just been less stupid when it counts.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that almost all of the evidence says this time it will be different. Indianapolis, the team that has yet to play in a Super Bowl, rolling at 7-0, against New England, the two-time defending champion and winner of three of the last four titles, reeling somewhat at 4-3. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said these Colts aren't doing anything the Patriots haven't seen (and stopped) the past few seasons. The question is, will they stop it tonight at Gillette Stadium? "It's the same guys," Belichick said of the Colts, who lost to the Patriots in the playoffs each of the last two years. "It's the same plays and it's pretty much the same results. "You give me the coverage, I'll tell you where the ball is going. You show me the front, I'll tell you how they are going to block it."
Bill Reynolds of the *Providence Journal *writes that there are two levels to this game tonight: it's a game that both teams need, albeit for different reasons. The Pats need to win a signature game and start to get control of this season, while the Colts need it for own self-respect as a team, proving that they can win in Gillette Stadium, that they no longer are the soft Colts, the team that puts up all the big numbers until it really counts.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal analyzes the matchups for tonight's Patriots - Colts game at Gillette Stadium.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.