I know I’m biased, because I’m a Pats fan, but this has to be the best matchup we could’ve possibly seen for an AFC championship game. True, a Browns/Raiders matchup would’ve provided us with some real firepower, but I guess we’ll need to keep that one in fantasy land for now.
To be honest, I am completely shocked the Patriots have made it this far in the playoffs. As you saw in my prediction last week, I honestly expected them to lose to the Chargers, rather handily I might add. But they pulled it out, and now they’re on their way to Indy to face the mighty Colts, a team who’s been an absolute thorn in their side the last two years. This is what bugs me, because the Patriots haven’t been the same Patriots we’re so used to. And that’s the scary part of this weeks game.
This year, we saw a very inconsistent team. Some games they looked sharp, and then there were games they looked completely awful! Yet, with all of their inconsistencies, they still managed to win twelve games, and then two very difficult playoff games. But the last two years, with all the success the Patriots have had, the Colts have been able to dominate them.
The Colts had their best shot at winning it all in 2005. They were able to beat the Patriots in Foxboro. Then they coasted through the rest of the league, dominating just about everyone. They secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and knew from the night before they wouldn’t have to play the Pats because of their loss in Denver. But their dreams ended when Pittsburgh came in and treated them like a punk, whipping them in their own house and taking their hot girlfriend away, that girlfriend being the Lombardi trophy.
This year, they corrected one of their problems and replaced their overrated kicker with solid gold. But they were still dealing with their biggest problem; Peyton/Tony Dungy/Colts uncanny ability to choke in big games. They thought they got over it by beating the Pats, but that evidently wasn’t the case. So why am I worried?
Because I’m a worrier. I guess that’s why they call me whiskers. And also because this Colts team has confidence, at least against the Pats. So they haven’t gotten it done in the playoffs, that’s fine. But they have against New England, and both times in Foxboro. That definitely amounts to something, and I think that will come into play this Sunday.
I also think this streak they have about losing in the playoffs has to end at some point. I remember all the talk was how poorly Peyton has played against a BB coached Patriots when they first came in to Foxboro last year. He was 0-8 or something like that. And then from start to finish the Patriots got hammered. The same applies here. The Colts are 0-fer getting to the Super Bowl the last five or six years they’ve actually had a chance. That’s going to end eventually.
Finally, the one that gets me most, is the Colts move to pick up Adam Vinatieri. I think the game will be close, and who’s the best in pressure situations to knock off a team? Of course. So does that have me scared? Absolutely.
I will make my prediction along with Andrews tomorrow, but I just don’t feel good about this. I didn’t feel good about the 03 Super Bowl, or the 04 one, so what do I know? There will be a lot of streaks up for changes on Sunday. Let’s hope the Patriots can extend theirs.