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Payback Time
Colts look to even the score against the Pats in the Dome
written by Stephen Conway

The Colts made an emphatic statement last Sunday versus Seattle. Powered by the strong legs of Edgerrin James, the Colts ran over, around, and through the Seahawks. James set a franchise record for most rushing yards in a single game with 219. Offensively, it was a dominating performance, the total offense generating 499 yards. It was the kind of performance Colts fans have quickly come to expect from this talent laden lineup. 

This week the Colts will seek to bottle the offensive genie they released last week and unleash it on the New England Patriots. The Patriots come to the Dome reeling from a 34-17 dismantling at the hand of the New York Jets.  Any momentum they sought to build from their victory over the Colts two weeks ago has long since disappeared. The Patriots committed 5 turnovers and gave up 7 sacks en route to defeat.

This does NOT mean that this game will be any easier for the Colts to win. Momentum cannot be discounted. As fans, we can often feel the tide of a game shifting from one team to another. It's electric when it swings your way and it's devastating when you feel it slipping away. But here's the thing: momentum has a short shelf life. It doesn't even last a week.  Each week is an opportunity to recapture it, for it is determined by the play on the field, one down at a time. The Colts need look no farther than their last game versus New England to know this. But for a sloppy defensive play leading to a hail mary touchdown and a failure to identify a trick play on a fake field goal, the Colts would have walked out of Foxboro Stadium with a win. 

The Colts have good reason to expect great things from their players, especially coming off a strong performance last week on the road. But the slate will be wiped clean come Sunday and the team must redouble its efforts to remain focused on the short term, the little victories: a first down, a broken up pass, a well covered kickoff. This is how the larger victories are made. They may not be able to bottle such magic, but let's hope they can continue to conjure it up each Sunday.

Matchups
Breakdowns of the key matchups on offense, defense, and special teams.

Game Prediction
The New York Jets may have shown the Colts the path to victory on Sunday. The Jets played good old fashioned smash mouth football and physically dominated the Patriots on both sides of the line. With the Colts reasserting their commitment to running the ball, look for Edgerrin James to get as many touches as the coaching staff can conjure up. The more effective James can be, the more potent Manning will be in the play action based pass offense. Defensively, the Colts must come at the Patriots with the aggressiveness they found in the second half of the Seahawk game. The Jets racked up 7 sacks and 4 interceptions on QB Drew Bledsoe. Backed by the home town crowd, I expect the Colt defense to make Bledsoe a marked man. While the Colts always seem to be snake bit by the pesky Patriots, I believe we will hold serve this year and split the division series.

Score: Colts 28 Patriots 21

Next Opponent
New England Patriots
10/22/2000

when: 12:00
where: RCA Dome
TV: CBS

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Archive:

1999 Season
Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3

Issue #4
Issue #5

2000 Schedule
Issue #6

Issue #7
Issue #8
Issue #9
Issue #10
Issue #11

9/03 at KC

W 27-14

9/10 OAK

L   31-38

9/17 BYE  
09/25 JAX

W 43-14

10/1 at Buff W 18-16
10/8 at NE L   16-24
10/15 at SEA W  37-24
10/22 NE
10/29 DET
11/05 at CHI
11/12 NYJ
11/19 at GB
11/26 MIAMI
12/03 at NYJ
12/11 BUFF
12/17 at MIAMI
12/24 MINN

 

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Updated:
04/19/06

1999, 2000