But in the longer
run, if the Colts are to take advantage of Brady's absence and reach their
second Super Bowl in three years, they must rediscover the balance they struck
at the end of 2006 and beginning of '07. As much as Manning likes to drop back
and let fly, he recognizes that he needs his running backs to shoulder more of
the load if he's going to finish the season upright. After Sunday's game, he
challenged his coaches to get Pro Bowl tailback Joseph Addai more touches and
use him in more creative ways.
does regain control of the AFC, the players know what they will hear from
skeptics: that they had it easy because Brady was out. With the Colts and the
Patriots, it always has to be something. "Honestly, I'll take any edge we
can get," says Indy cornerback Tim Jennings. "And I think they'd feel
exactly the same way if we didn't have Peyton."