Clark Judge at sportsline.com says that the Colts are rightly favored in THE game of the week. "There's a GM I know who likes Indy here," Clark writes. "And he makes a compelling argument -- and it's not based so much on the Colts as it is the Buffalo Bills. Yes, Buffalo. His point is the Bills ravaged New England's defense last weekend for 394 yards with Kelly Holcomb at quarterback."
Big play opportunities Monday night
The Colts should have opportunities for some big plays against the Patriots defense on Monday. Last Sunday, the Bills had six runs of 10 yards or more and three passes of 20+ yards, including a 55-yard touchdown pass. During the first seven games of this season, Edgerrin James has 4 rushes for 20+ yards while Peyton Manning has 16 passes of 20+ yards and 1 pass for 40+ yards.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley hasn't caught a touchdown pass this season. His ten touchdown catches in 2004 made him part of one of the most prolific receiving teams in the history of the game as he, Marvin Harrison, and Reggie Wayne caught at least ten touchdowns each and had at least 1,000 receiving yards. But with the Colts' shift to a more balanced offense, all of the receivers' numbers are down. Wayne, who had 1,210 yards and 12 touchdowns is on pace for 1,000 yards and 5 TDs. Harrison, who had 1,113 yards and 15 TDs is on pace for 900 yards and 11 TDs.
One seven won't become an eight
Two 7-game streaks are on the line when the Colts and Patriots meet. Manning is 0-7 at Foxborough, but the Colts are 7-0 heading into the game. One of those streaks will end once this game is in the books.
Quote of the Day
"That Peyton Manning can still play a mean pinball." – David Pear at lowellsun.com commenting on the Colts offense scoring 31, 28, 45 and 38 points in their last four contests. Read his whole column by clicking here.
The lonesome kicker
Since 1998, kicker Mike Vanderjagt has made 201 field goals, second only to the Ravens' Matt Stover (206) during that stretch. In 2003 alone, Vanderjagt attempted (and made) 37 field goals. But at his current pace – 7-for-8 through seven games – he will only attempt 18 field goals all season, even less than his career low of 25 attempts last year.
June loses interception lead
After an incredible start, pulling in five interceptions in seven games, Colts linebacker Cato June lost the league lead in that category this week to Cincinnati's Deltha O'Neal (6 INTs).
But O'Neal is a cornerback, leaving June as the top linebacker in that category. Right behind him with four interceptions is Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman. June is still the only player in the NFL to run back two interceptions this season for a touchdown.
Making a big difference
Colts defensive tackle Corey Simon lacks the high-profile plays and gaudy statistics that would get him noticed this year by the casual fan. But former Colts head coach and team radio analyst Ted Marchibroda has witnessed the difference Simon has made on the Colts defense.
"They lacked leadership on defense in previous years," Marchibroda told The Sporting News' Dan Pompei. "With his character, personality and ability, he's given them leadership. And his presence has helped stop the run better than they have at any other time."
"Second half preview: Colts on the road to Motown" contains some nice quotes and some great information that you'll enjoy. And when you're done reading that one, check out the AP article on Simon.
At the beginning of the week the Colts were listed as 2-point road favorites, but betting has been so heavy on the Colts that at least one sports book has increased its line to 4 points. 82% of the bets placed with their service this week were placed on the Colts.
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