Let me start by saying how difficult is it for me, a Colts fan, to write about the success of the Patriots. In my memorable life, I’ve seen the Colts beat the Patriots four times.
Watching the Colts win 27-20, on the road in Gillette Stadium, in November of the 2006 season was one of the first games I watched. From then on, I knew I’d be a Colts fan.
The next season, I watched Manning and Vinatieri beat Brady on their way to a Super Bowl XLI victory against the Bears.
The last two times the Colts beat the Patriots was in Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008 and 2009. Both games were decided by one score, and are some of my favorite memories of the Manning era.
Recently, the Colts haven’t played at the same level as the Patriots. Winning the last seven match ups, including two AFC Championship games (2014 and 2015), the Patriots have been the biggest rival for the Colts in my life.
Sure, generally a rivalry is full of close games, both sides winning as many times as they’ve lost. With an all-time record of 29-51 against the Patriots organization, the Colts need a change to get back to playing competitively.
I expect that change to come with Frank Reich, the new head coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
In his press conference announcing Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator, had changed his mind about accepting the head coach position with the Colts, GM Chris Ballard ended with five words that should make Colts fans excited for the season.
“The rivalry is back on.”
Heading to Foxborough for the first time since losing the Patriots in the 2015 AFC Championship, the game that sparked the “Deflategate” controversy, the Colts, will look to win in Gillette in what could be the last season of Tom Brady’s career.
With a healthy quarterback in Andrew Luck, a new defensive scheme (more on that in a later blog), and a new coaching staff, I hope to see the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs for the next 5+ straight years.
I think it’s very doable for the team. Depending on how the draft goes this year, the Colts could have a new, young star running back. They could draft a strong defensive end or linebacker. They could even make a run at a stud receiver in free agency to accompany T.Y. Hilton.
To be successful, the Colts have to win the big games in the big moments. Beating the New England Patriots is always a big win in a big moment in my book.