Get ready for the circus, folks! The circus will come in the form of zillions of media idiots and Patriots fans running around cable sports shows, radio programs, and Internet sites proclaiming the Patriots are the greatest team to ever play football, and that Peyton Manning and the Colts might as well not show up. You could see it last night, after the Patriots beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-7 on MNF. Afterwards, the Bristol faithful at ESPN started drooling all over Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Tom Brady throws for 372 yards, 4 TDs, 1 pick, and 1 fumble against a Minnesota pass defense ranked 26th in the league, and the media is calling Tommy Terrific an MVP candidate. Peyton Manning goes to Denver (a team that has traditionally dominated New England) and against a top 5 defense he throws for 345 yards, 3 TDs, no INTs, no fumbles and its just another day at the office for Perfect Peyton.
Now, all this week we will get the same circus we have come to expect: Manning v. Brady. Manning v. Belichick. Manning at Foxboro. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.
Make no mistake about it folks, no one is expecting Indy to win this game. If anything, they have set the team up to lose it, only to proclaim that Manning can't win in Foxboro once again. Nevermind that, last year, the Colts hung 41 on the Patsies and ran them out of the Razor so fast Tom Brady refused to speak to the media afterwards. In the eyes of the media, and the eyes of deranged Patriots fans everywhere, that game was a fluke.
It was injuries. It was an off night. It was a conspiracy by the refs. It was everything but the Colts kicking NE's butt in their house and walking away "the better team."
The injury excuse will not fly for the Colts in this one. Despite not having Corey Simon or Mike Doss for the year, despite losing Reagor for an extended period, despite Sanders and Stokley limping into this game (if they play at all) the media will not tolerate the injury card for Indy. They'll accept it from New England, but not the Colts. There is, of course, only one way to rid ourselves of these pesky Patriots fans and media brown-nosers until the cold days of January come around:
The Colts must beat the crap out of the Patriots in Foxboro, completely and utterly.
In terms of the global picture, the "grand scheme" of things, this game is not a must win. Foxboro does not hold the same mystique it once held. This is not a division game. It's not, necessarily, for home field (if that means anything). This is a game between two rival teams. It's a homecoming for Adam Vinatieri, who will get booed by the very fans that cheered when he won 3 Super Bowls for them. It's a chance for Manning to, once again, make Bill Belichick look like a fool. Belichick's coaching the last time these two teams met was laughable, especially his moronic decision to go for an onside kick to start the second half.
This entire week will be a media circus, folks. They will give us no chance. They'll say Maroney and Dillon will chew up our rush defense. They'll say Brady will throw for 500 yards on us. They'll say Manning will throw 8 picks and starting crying on his daddy's shoulder on the sideline. They'll say it all.
Let the circus begin.