Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Colts know they aren't in Kansas (City) anymore

One fact sticks out tonight for the Colts defense: It isn't facing Alex Smith. Smith threw four touchdowns for the Chiefs last week, and the Colts had to stage the second-biggest comeback in playoff history to win 45-44.

But he's not Tom Brady, whom they face in tonight's AFC division playoff game.

"We know how potent that offense is," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of the Patriots. "We know the signal-caller is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. With (LeGarrette) Blount running the ball the way he is and (Stevan) Ridley, they've got a stable of backs. You can't just go in and say, 'Hey, you got to get after Tom … and try to frustrate him.' "

Brady doesn't have the depth of talent around him that New England's best teams possessed. But he does have more balance.

Ridley and Blount combined for 1,554 yards. They and fellow running back Shane Vereen also are threats in the short passing game.

"Some of our best playmakers are in the backfield," Brady said. "And our offensive line has really taken a lot of pride in establishing a certain level of physical play."

Early in the season, Brady — without Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski — garnered attention for yelling at his young receivers. But the chemistry between them has developed. He has found a Welker replacement in Julian Edelman (105 catches, 1,056 yards, six touchdowns) and also uses Danny Amendola and Kenbrell Thompkins.

But there's another difference in this season's Patriots. Brady has been sacked 40 times, one off his career high set in 2001, his first season as a starter. That's where Colts linebacker Robert Mathis comes in. He led the league with 191/2 sacks.

"You try to put guys around him and double-team him," Brady said. "But he still seems to be making all the plays. I just know I don't have a lot of time back there in the pocket to sort things out. We've got to try to get the ball to our guys as quickly as we can."

Colts know they aren't in Kansas (City) anymore 01/10/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?

    Blogs

    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  2. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE — We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

    "This is everything to me..." said Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame. "I have everything to prove, everything to lose."
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps

    College

    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)
  4. 1997 USF Bulls: Scott McCready trades green and gold for black belts

    College

    USF WR Scott McCready (16) attempts to get past Jacksonville State LB Duriel Hardrick (31) durin a Sept. 2, 2000 game. (Times 2000)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Cory Porter regains passion for game 10,000 miles away

    College

    Brian Surcy (25) and Cory Porter (80) celebrate USF's first victory, against Kentucky Wesleyan. (Times 1997)