Make us your home page

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

  1. Wins record in reach for Phil Hayford after nearly four decades of coaching


    ST. PETERSBURG — Phil Hayford always wanted to be a football coach.

    Keswick Christian football coach Phil Hayford in the huddle during practice at the school in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2017. Hayford is one win shy of tying the Pinellas County record for overall wins. Hayford, 70, has an overall record of 194-143, which includes 33 years at Shorecrest and two at Keswick.
  2. Rick and Tom podcast: Big sigh of relief for the Bucs


    The Bucs got good news on Jameis Winston's throwing shoulder as x-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a chance to play this weekend in Buffalo. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws incomplete under pressure during Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Exposé 'Champions Way' uses FSU to illustrate bad behavior in college programs


    While the entire college football universe was focused on a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston during Florida State's 2013 national title run, another off-field scandal was playing out quietly.

     Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the game between Florida State Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
  4. Charlie Strong, Gulf High and the best (old) Jon Gruden-Tennessee rumor


    As Butch Jones keeps losing, Tennessee Vols fans are turning to one of the media's favorite pastimes.

  5. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.