Manning: the Colt's not-so-secret weapon

Published 2:34 am Monday, January 17, 2005

By Staff
Rob Griffin
When Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts travel to New England on Sunday, they will contend with history.
Even though Indy hasn't defeated the Patriots at home since 1995 and the Pats haven't lost a home game since Dec. 2002, the Colts may be heavily favored.
In all likelihood, the divisional playoff showdown in Foxboro between the Colts and Patriots promises to be one for the ages.
The Patriots defense has been worn down and battered all season and the Colts' Peyton Manning is coming off the best season ever by an NFL quarterback, breaking the single-season touchdown record and having the highest quarterback rating in the history of the NFL.
After the 49-24 pounding the Colts put on Denver last weekend, some football purists believe that Indy will go into Foxboro and pull out the win. Manning is 0-6 against the Patriots in Foxboro but he's also hotter than ever right now.
Despite what his team has been through this season with all the injuries, coach Bill Belichick always finds a way to win.
"That's the nature of this team," veteran linebacker Roman Phifer said in a recent ESPN article. "We always have guys step in when guys go down, and we expect them to play well."
In the first week , the Patriots held Manning and the Colts to 24 points, but coach Belichick does not look back fondly on that game.
"I don't think I did a good job," Belichick said.
One thing that favors the Colts is Manning, who has been picking apart defenses all season. Another thing is New England's battered defense. Several starters are missing, including cornerback Ty Law and defensive end Richard Seymour, who injured his knee in the Pat's season finale.
Peyton Manning may not have history on his side on Sunday, but that's why they play the games.
Watch the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots in the Division Playoffs, Sunday, 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

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