Pats Host Colts in Renewed Rivalry
"The rivalry is back on."
That was Colts GM Chris Ballard in the offseason when Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels ghosted Indy after accepting the head coaching job. He took the gig, then reneged. It was something never before seen in the NFL, and Chris Ballard was ticked.
The Colts settled for Frank Reich; a much different better coach person. Reich is a standup guy -- we actually met him when he arrived in Indy last spring -- and the players love him. The Colts are only 1-3 to start the season, but they were one play from beating the Eagles and Texans and boast a total point differential of just six against some quality opponents. The bad news? New England is much, much better.
The Patriot Way
The Patriots were also 1-2 after the first three weeks of the season, then they drowned the Dolphins (undefeated) in Foxborough last Sunday, 38-7. Feels like they got it figured out. All indications point to New England in a rout again tonight. They opened as 10.5 point favorites... and climbing.
That rivalry Ballard was referring to dates back about a decade to when Tom Brady and Peyton Manning dueled it out in AFC playoff games (2003, 2004, and 2006), then again with Luck in 2013 and 2014. Five playoff meetings this century. Colts have lost four.
Then there's the other reason... that thing we now call Deflategate. Oh, yeah. That thing Indy's Bob Kravitz first reported following Indy's 45-7 loss in the 2014 AFC Championship Game. And now this... this stupid thing Josh McDaniels did.
So we'll give it to ya, Ballard. No matter how many box scores skew in favor of New England, you deserve to call this a rivalry.