(This is a repost of something I put on my own blog and much of that is a rehash of stuff I've posted in comments here and elsewhere, so sorry about the breach of netiquette. Nonetheless:)
So, the AFC Championship game will be the Colts versus the Patriots in Indianapolis. Bill Belichick reminds me of the Cobra Kai's evil dojo master in The Karate Kid. ("Sweep the leg, Johnny") Hopefully Tony Dungy will be able to make like Mr. Miyagi and tweak him on the nose. Hopefully Peyton Manning will not suffer a knee injury from an illegal hit or try the "Crane Technique" to finish off the Pats at the end.
This will be only the second time the Patriots have played in Indianapolis since the Colts moved to the AFC South in 2002. The Colts lost that game in 2003, thanks in large part to Patriots player Willie McGinest faking an injury that allowed the Patriots to put a new defensive package on the field -- McGinest was instrumental in stopping that final drive of the Colts before he sprinted off to the Colts logo to celebrate without the slightest evidence of the debilitating leg injury that had been so grievous just two plays before that he had to writhe around on the field and stop play. (This year, I suggest we have an "injury team" that acts like a ball boy in a tennis match, swooping in to scoop "injured" Patriots off the field before they can stop play.)
Meanwhile, since 2002 while the Patriots have played in Indy only once, the Colts have played in Foxboro 5 times, compiling a record of 2-3 in New England. CJ at "Charlie Weiss Ate My Baby" suggests that we send the Patriots head office directions from Mapquest to make sure they know how to get here. Big Blue Shoe at Stampede Blue knew this was coming and advises us to relish it. In fact, Big Blue Shoe made a prediction before the playoffs that was entirely unlikely and (so far) dead on accurate:
The Colts will beat the Chiefs, and then they will play their next playoff game in Baltimore for the first time since the Baltimore fans abandoned the Colts, thus prompting them for Indy. The Colts will then beat the Ravens, and then square off in the AFC Championship game against... the Patriots. Yes folks. The Patriots will beat the heavily favored San Diego Chargers, and they will face the Colts in the AFC Championship Game in Indianapolis. The Colts will beat New England (again), and thus make the Super Bowl. A road through the AFC like this is storybook: Beleaguered run defense against Larry Johnson; Colts in Baltimore for the playoffs; Colts against Patriots in AFC Championship Game. In one swoop, all playoff demons get exorcized.
(According to the prediction, the Saints will win the NFC Championship, to bring in the Archie Manning angle.)
But, first things first: the Patriots. Kerry Byrne, writing a column that appeared at MSNBC.com knows Belichick's secret. It's not his imaginative defensive schemes, though they help. Nope, it's simply a liking for unnecessary roughness, blatant brutality - he instructs his players to hit the opposition really, really hard whether they have the ball or not. So, the lesson is simple, we have to hit them harder than they hit us. (And, of course, don't believe they're injured just because they pretend to be.)