Less than 24 hours after the Indianapolis Colts prevailed at Houston Thursday night, tight end Dwayne Allen wasn't going to acknowledge the next opponent by name.
Everyone knows it's the unbeaten and defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in primetime on Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
But the Colts have enough negative history in recent years with this nemesis. So Allen played it cool.
"I'm not sure," he said, when asked the next opponent.
Make no mistake, he knows. But the Patriots have beaten the Colts by an average of 29 points in the past four meetings, including a 45-7 rout in January's AFC Championship Game.
"It's the next game," he said, then repeated the phrase.
Asked if he could say the next opponent out loud, Allen repeated, "It's the next game."
The Colts (3-2) will undoubtedly try to downplay their home game against the Patriots (5-0), but that's an impossible sell on NFL fans. Not only did the Colts get humbled last time, the loss was the origin of DeflateGate, a controversy about the Patriots using under-inflated footballs that dogged the team and quarterback Tom Brady throughout the offseason.
"Name-less, face-less opponents, you know?" Allen said.
OK, good luck with that.
"It's the next opponent, you know?" Allen repeated yet again, when asked about the Colts not wanting to discuss the Patriots by name. "Just a game. Wish I had more for you."
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