Chris McDonald and Steve Vinci at 1510 AM "The Zone" out of Boston chatted with ColtPower's John Cimasko on Tueday night on their radio show. Here are some of highlights from their interview.
(On whether or not this is the midseason Super Bowl for the Colts)
"....Tony Dungy is saying this is just another game on the schedule and they'll just play them one at a time. But as far as the Colts fans go? This is huge. This is a game we feel this team has to win. You know what a thorn in the side the Patriots have been to this Colts team for the last couple of decades or so. Yeah, the fans want the Colts to go up there and get a win -- in New England."
(On this being a bigger game for the Colts than the Patriots so that they
can get home field advantage)
"I think so too, and of course a key for the Colts is home field...It would be tough for the Patriots to surpass them, but that could happen with the Colts schedule. It's a brutal schedule coming up the second half of the season. But the Colts don't want to go to Pittsburgh or New England in January. They'd rather play in the dome and they're a much better team in the dome on that field turf and in a climate-controlled atmosphere."
(On how good is this Colts defense)
"Am I sold completely on the defense? No, but I will say it's much better than it's been in the past. Corey Simon is not putting up the numbers but he's doing a lot more out there than it seems...Gary Brackett has plugged in at middle linebacker for Morris...is playing solid....with Sanders and Doss back there you have much more physicality. These guys are hitting. But consistency is the key. And they're going to be going up against some good offenses. You know, Brady steps up consistently in that pocket against the Colts and picks them apart. So it comes down to getting pressure up the middle against him because Freeney takes that wide loop and Brady steps up all the time. So that's really going to be intriguing to see how much pressure the Colts get up front."
(More on the Colts defense)
"This defense is predicated on the defense getting pressure from the front line without blitzing a whole lot, and so far this year they've been able to do that. They really don't send the linebackers or DBs much at all...I'm not building these guys up to be the '85 Bears, but so far, so good. They are putting up some solid numbers. Teams can still run on them though. They've had some lapses. Houston just tore them up for a quarter or two. Steven Jackson had good success early in his game...If the Patriots get their running game going -- and we know how good Brady is at picking that defense apart -- it's a challenge for the Colts defense. Probably the biggest challenge they've faced this year...because the Patriots can put the points up."
(On the return of Tedy Bruschi)
"Thank God Bruschi came back Sunday night so we don't have to see "The Tedy Bruschi Hour" Monday night. They got it out of their system and out of the way Sunday night....I understand how big it is, but still, they were going away from the game."
(On the Colts offense)
The Colts have got to get Edgerrin James running. He's averaging 4.9 yards per carry right now with seven touchdowns. Edgerrin is playing strong ball and this team has taken on a completely different complexion offensively. Manning has been very, very patient, picking people apart little by little. Do you know what Marvin Harrison's longest reception is this year? 28 yards. That's it. They're not going deep. Short passes and running, running, running the ball."
(Predicting the game after being told there's a projected weather forecast
of 52 degrees and a chance of rain)
"I don't like to make predictions. But I'll say that the Colts will take it in a squeaker, 28-27.
Some of the key quotes by "The Closers" during their interview with John:
(On the Patriots fans' perspective)
"...they (the fans) want to see the Colts get derailed and Peyton Manning get beat, and come to Foxboro and maybe they can make it snow somehow....they want to see Peyton Manning flustered, they love that Peyton Manning 'woe is me face, what's going on, I can't find any open wide receivers but I keep throwing the ball to Ty Law. I think the fans do what to see that, but deep down inside (they know) this is a test game for the Pats to see where they are."
(On their running back situation behind Corey Dillon)
"(RB) Patrick Pass blew out his hamstring and he's going to be out. That's why they signed Heath Evans today."
(On the Patriots having a rookie lining up against Dwight Freeney)
"That's a problem right there. You can expect at least one tight end to be helping him out -- Daniel Graham and possibly Heath Evans."
(On the Patriots' shoves, kicks, and "bullying" tactics during the game)
"That's definitely a Rodney Harrison trait. I think when Bryan Cox was here that started a little bit as well...I know some of those cheap shots you're talking about. I see it as well and sort of shake my head. And I remember some of the stuff that happened in the Colts game last year. And they do try to intimidate those receivers who are trying to be physical with them. They don't have that this year (in the secondary). And that's something that scares me."
(On the Colts offense last year in the season opener at Foxboro)
"People around here like to talk about how Peyton Manning and the offense has never done anything against the Pats. I look back at that Thursday night, Week One last year, you take away that Edgerrin James fumble -- that wasn't Peyton Manning's fault -- ...and I really thought the Colts had them that game."
(On January's playoff game)
"I felt the Indianapolis coaches in that game did a poor job of adjusting. They never attacked Troy Brown on Brandon Stokley. They never went after that matchup."
(On their game predictions)
"To be honest with you, both Steve and I have picked the Colts as well. I just think it means more to them. I think the Patriots are still a little banged-up. And I think with the division basically already wrapped up (due to mediocre competition in the AFC East), they don't have as much to play for."
You can listen to John talk about the Colts and sports from 6-9 pm on Sunday nights. Click this link to The Jersey Johnny Show at WIBC and bookmark it as you can listen to his broadcast through WIBC's website.