Here are this morning’s top stories:
Patriots Need Some Good Luck Against Colts – Bob George – George writes that for just the second time since 1997 the Patriots will play the Colts without Peyton Manning on their roster, and the first time during the postseason.
Playoffs Shaping Up Favorably For the Patriots If They Take Care of the Colts – Ian Logue – Some early thoughts on the fact that thanks to a win by San Diego, should the Patriots win Saturday, the odds may be in their favor to host the AFC Championship Game and avoid a trip to Denver.
Game Preview: Patriots Host Colts in Divisional Round – Derek Havens – Havens has a look at this week’s match-up, and notes that with 51 passing yards Saturday, Tom Brady will become the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 6,000 yards in the postseason.
Scouting the Indianapolis Colts – Erik Frenz – Frenz takes a close-up look at the Colts, noting that covering tight end Coby Fleener may be an issue for New England’s defense.
Bill Belichick has high praise for Colts – Shalise Manza Young – Manza Young has comments from Belichick, who feels the Patriots will have to play their best football of the year to try to be competitive against them.
Andrew Luck creates his own place in Colts history – Christopher Gasper – Gasper writes that Saturday’s game for Luck was “a game for the ages â€” and not for the faint of heart â€” will go down as the day the Legend of Luck spun off from the Manning Legacy.”
Buckley: Foe worthy of fearing – Steve Buckley – Buckley has a column with his thoughts on this match-up, and feels the Colts look mighty dangerous after watching what they did against Kansas City Sunday.
Colts bring respect, knack for drama – Jeff Howe – Howe was in Indianapolis this weekend and writes that the vibe in the Colts locker room after Saturdayâ€™s historic victory against the Kansas City Chiefs mixed feelings of celebration and expectation.
Indy’s ascent all Luck – Mark Daniels – Daniels looks at what has been a successful sophomore season for Andrew Luck.
Bill Belichick, Patriots won’t underestimate the Colts – Mark Daniels – Daniels writes that despite blowing them out last season, Belichick doesn’t anticipate the rematch with Luck unfolding the same way.
Getting to know the Colts – Field Yates – Yates has his spotlight on Indianapolis and highlights some personnel to be wary of, including defensive end Robert Mathis.
Previewing Patriots-Colts Divisional matchup – In this staff report comments from Tom E. Curran, Greg Bedard, and Michael Felger discussed the upcoming match-up with Bedard not giving much of a chance to Indianapolis this weekend.
Curran’s quick glance at the Pats-Colts matchup – Tom E. Curran – Curran has his thoughts on this weekend, and feels that this may be the best case scenario as the Patriots try to advance to the Super Bowl.
Playoffs are filled with good quarterbacks, but there’s still only one Tom Brady – Mike Salk – Salk writes that after 13 seasons fans have seen how Brady has changed the fortunes of the Patriots organization.
Danny Woodhead: ‘If people are shocked, they’re shocked’ – Mike Petraglia – Petraglia has comments from Woodhead, who said he expected to win going into their game against the Bengals Sunday.
Belichick impressed by ‘explosive’ Colts Offense – Christopher Price – Price writes that a lot may have changed about the Patriots-Colts rivalry, but the Indy offense is still just as explosive.
A few early thoughts on a potential meeting between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts – Nick Underhill – Underhill gives a few thoughts on this week’s game, and feels the health of New England’s secondary is going to be a big key in this match-up.
ATTLEBORO SUN CHRONICLE:
Luck of the Draw – Mark Farinella – Farinella writes that the “anything is possible” outlook heading into the playoffs was accurate after the Colts have become New England’s first opponent.
It happens every year: Pats meet the Colts again – Paul Kenyon – Kenyon expects another exciting and entertaining contest when the Patriots and Colts battle Saturday night.
Patriots Journal: Colts also familiar with ‘next-man-up’ motto – Paul Kenyon – Kenyon files his notebook this morning, which leads off with comments by Belichick regarding the emergence of Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, as well as noting this week’s schedule will be adjusted and the players will be back to work tomorrow in preparation for this week’s game.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick views Colts quarterback as a thoroughbred – Glen Farley – Farley writes that after watching Andrew Luck, the second year quarterback’s development defies his years.
PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK: Pats’ foot isn’t one to look back - Glen Farley - Farley has an article on Stephen Gostkowski, who isn’t ready to reflect on his accomplishments from this season just yet.
NFL Playoffs 2013: An early look ahead to the divisional round – Chris Burke – Burke hits on each of the upcoming match-ups for this weekend, and also has a few thoughts about the Patriots/Colts game and feels Luck will likely take some shots down the field against New England’s defense.