New England will travel to Indianapolis this weekend with hopes of improving their playoff chances. The Patriots face a tough task in beating the AFC East-leading Colts, a team that New England has had great success against in recent years.
Earlier this season the Patriots scored 24 points unanswered points to stun Indianapolis 31-28. It marked the seventh straight win over the Colts, and it improved Drew Bledsoe's career record to 10-2 against Indianapolis.
On the other side, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning has never won in three meetings with the Patriots. Despite the records of the two quarterbacks, New England Head Coach Pete Carroll said beating the Colts will be no easy task.
"[Indianapolis Head Coach] Jim Mora has been around, and he knows how to finish ball games," Carroll said. "Their level of confidence is very high right now. The first time we played them we got a couple of turnovers across the 50-yard line that weren't in their game plan."
While a Colts letdown helped New England the first time around, Mora said he does not expect any mental lapses from his team on Sunday.
"These guys have kept their focus," Mora said. "We know how important this game is for us and New England. I don't expect a letdown because we have too much respect for New England."
The game is big for both teams. The Patriots need to make up ground in the AFC playoff race, while Indianapolis could clinch its first postseason spot since 1996 with a win and some help from other teams. If the Colts win and either Kansas City, Seattle or Miami lose, Indianapolis goes to the playoffs.