Talk pro football with SI.com's Andrew Perloff in Huddle Up, a forum to discuss the hottest topics around the NFL.
1/18/2007 11:17:00 AM
Why Pats should be favored
Even though the game is in Indianapolis, I'm surprised the Patriots are three-point underdogs to the Colts. I think I'm missing something. Here are 10 reasons I thought New England would be a slight favorite. Go ahead, try to convince me otherwise.
1. The Patriots' mastery of the Colts in the postseason: The same principle players and coaches are in place from 2003 and 2004, when New England topped Indy in Foxboro.
2. Brady vs. Manning: Brady is 12-1 in the postseason. Manning is 5-6.
3. Belichick vs. Dungy: Belichick is 13-2 in the playoffs. Dungy is 7-8.
4. Tom Brady is 10-0 in domes.
5. The Colts have looked beatable in the playoffs: They were trying to hand that game over to the Chiefs, but K.C. didn't want it. And I know how tough the Ravens were, but I wasn't as impressed by Indy as everyone else last Saturday. New England's offense is in a different league than Baltimore's.
6. The Colts looked bad the second half of the season: They were 3-4 in their last seven.
7. Manning struggles against 3-4 defenses: The Colts QB had a 39.6 passer rating against Baltimore.
8. Regular-season matchups don't foreshadow playoff rematches: The Colts' 27-20 win over the Pats in Week 9 has little bearing on the postseason. Remember, Indy clobbered Pittsburgh during the 2005 regular season before losing to the Steelers in the playoffs.
9. The Pats' road success neutralizes Indy's home prowess: I know, I know ... The Colts are 9-0 at the RCA Dome. But, New England is 8-1 away from home this year and won at San Diego, where the Chargers were also 8-0.
10. Homefield advantage not a big deal in conference championship games anyway: Road teams have won the last two AFC title games.