"Peyton vs Tom" Talk Gets Brady Going

Tom Brady isn't a showboat. He isn't a "me" guy. He's not even called the best in the business, yet no quarterback in the NFL has produced better results over the last three seasons than the former Michigan Wolverine. That's why on Monday night, in spite of calling it just another game, Brady will be chomping at the bit to pull out a "W" against Peyton Manning's Colts.

"Peyton vs Tom" Talk Gets Brady Going
By Site Staff

History is an ally for the Patriots this week, though it's one they do not embrace publicly.

The Patriots, who host the unbeaten Colts in a much-anticipated Monday night game, know all about their success against Indianapolis lately. The Colts have lost six in a row in the series, haven't won at New England since 1995 (0-9) and have been ousted from the playoffs by the Patriots in each of the past two years.

That's a lot of baggage to drag into a game, but the Patriots (4-3) aren't playing up that angle.

Asked if he thought his team held a psychological edge over the Colts, defensive end Richard Seymour said, "I'm not sure. You'd have to ask those guys."

The obvious subplot here is the battle of the quarterbacks. Tom Brady leads Peyton Manning 3-0 in Super Bowl rings and 6-0 in their head-to-head matchups.

"It's always the comparisons - Peyton vs. Tom," linebacker Willie McGinest said. "I think Tom likes that. It gets him going, as far as Peyton holding all the records ... versus Tom and all that he's accomplished, not numbers-wise but as far as wins and championships. It always comes up, no matter what."

Brady will have to be at the top of his game this time. The Patriots' running game has been spotty this season, and their defense has struggled badly, though the return of linebacker Tedy Bruschi last week seemed to provide some big-play spark.

Meanwhile, Manning has to try to shake the label of a QB who not only can't beat Brady but who can't solve the myriad defensive schemes of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, now operating without former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Manning has thrown six interceptions in his last three games against the Patriots, including four in the AFC championship game following the 2003 season.

"That's in the past," injured Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said of Manning's futility. "Maybe that's something that you (media) guys look at and think that it's haunting him or something like that. But I know he wants to come in here and get a victory and prove everyone wrong. They feel like this is their year."


--DE Richard Seymour again missed practice on Thursday and appears likely to sit out his fourth straight game with a knee injury. "I was hoping to play last week, but things just didn't happen the way I wanted," Seymour said. "My body just didn't respond the way I would have liked."

--DE Jarvis Green figures to start in place of Richard Seymour against the Colts. Green had 2 1/2 sacks against Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game after the 2003 season.

--WR Troy Brown (foot) returned to practice Wednesday and could be ready to reclaim his No. 3 receiver spot from Andre' Davis. Brown has missed the last two games.

--RB Corey Dillon (ankle) returned to practice on Wednesday. He is expected to play against the Colts because the Patriots have only one healthy back - newly signed FB Heath Evans.

--LT Matt Light has shed the cast on his broken right foot and appeared to be moving well in the locker room this week. Light was injured in Week 3. There is no timetable for his return, but the team did not place him on injured reserve, indicating that they believe he can play again this season.

--LB Tedy Bruschi was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his 10-tackle performance against Buffalo. It was Bruschi's first game after suffering an off-season stroke.

--OLB Rosevelt Colvin should continue to play a high number of snaps now that Mike Vrabel's switch from outside to inside linebacker appears to be permanent. Colvin's strip sack and fumble recovery against the Bills last week set up the winning score.

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