Indianapolis at New England

This game is shaping up to be the game of the year, if not the game of the last five years. I will admit that I am biased against New England after having lived in Boston for just over 4 years, but I can also be objective... when I want to be.

There have been conversations around this site and over at Leading Brand about Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, etc. Is Peyton the new Dan Marino? Does he have the inability to win the big game? Is he the Patriots bitch? Up until now, the answers have been yes, yes and yes. It might still be the same after Sunday, but I think this game will present more of a challenge for the Pats than they have had in quite some time.

The Pats have scoreboard and they are the champs at home and the team to beat. Until they are beaten there is no point in talking trash. (Do you hear me Mike Vanderjagt? Oh, and by the way, you are a kicker, so nobody cares what you have to say, you non-matching shoe dummy.) At the same time, it would be foolish to say that New England will just roll over the Colts, who have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL of late. True Peyton hasn't shown up big in big situations. True they have to play outside in New England.

I think those factors will work against Peyton for sure. He won't be able to run his audible offense nearly as effectively as he can run it in the dome. Bill Belichik is an absolute defensive witch who will have more than a few tricks in store for the Indy offense. The weather will also have a big impact on what Indy is able to accomplish among their high flying passing offense.

But still, they are the hottest team in the league right now. Just ask Denver.

And the Pats aren't without their problems. As Justin said on his own site, Tom Brady was doing his best Drew Bledsoe impression during some games in the second half of the season. The secondary is truly banged up without Ty Law. Troy Brown has been a savior for this team in the second half of the season going both ways, but he is still a wide receiver playing out of position.

This is why I am a football fan though. I don't need Paul McGuire and Joe Thiesman to give me a storyline for this game. I don't need to worry about Peyton Manning chasing a record. I don't need to worry about the Pats going for a consecutive games streak. Thank the good lord that Ray Lewis (the guy they never stop talking about) is nowhere in sight.

We have an up and coming contender with a whole lot to prove and the weapons to prove it with against the reigning badass on the block who is showing some wear and tear from being the object of everyone's aggression for the whole year. This is what sucks about being on top. Everyone guns for you.

Do I have a prediction? Not a chance. But I am truly interested in this game because of a couple things.

Peyton Manning has to prove he can win a big game, especially with all these guys around him.

New England is banged up, but always seems to rise to the occasion. Will they be able to keep this streak up, or is it just too much to overcome this time around?

Tom Brady doesn't always look great, but he just seems to win. Is that the truth or is the magic about to disappear?

It should be interesting, that is for sure.