Count On It

This NFL season has been one unbelievable thing after another.  Teams winning that shouldn’t.  Teams not winning that should.  Parity “apparently” across the divisions.  Drama on some teams to rival reality TV.  It’s just not been a season of what one would expect.  But this weekend comes the rivalry game that is THE game each year, or it was.  In years past, it was the game people could count on to bring the rivalry back to the NFL.  This year, don’t count on it.

The Patriots host the Colts on Sunday and in years past this has been THE game.  The rivalry that is renewed season after season.  Brady vs Manning.  Colts vs Patriots.  Sometimes in the snow.  Games that come down to the last seconds, sometimes overtime.  One of those games everyone watches no matter what their favorite team is these are the teams people watch to see them win and yes, to hope they lose.  The “elite” teams with the top quarterbacks.  It’s been the game that let’s people know, this is what the NFL is.  This year, don’t count on it.

The Patriots are playing well, but the team is filled with young kids and unknowns who keep working it out week after week.  This is not the team of Super Bowls past.  There is Harrison, no Bruschi, no Moss.  The kicker has been replaced due to injury.  Brady is throwing the ball to someone named Gronkowski.  The defense is populated by very young players.  This is not the Patriots the Colts are accustomed to facing and yet they keep finding ways to win games.

The Colts on the other hand are not the team the Patriots are used to seeing.  Injury after injury after injury has decimated the Colts on both sides of the ball.  And yet, they perservere.  They keep finding ways to win and more often than not that way rests almost solely on their leader Peyton Manning.  Many have said that this rivalry is not so much about the Patriots versus the Colts, but more about Peyton Manning versus Bill Belichick.  That may not be far from the truth and even more so this year as most of the past weapons the Colts have used against the Patriots including Dallas Clark, are not in the game.

So, while fans everywhere get ready for the renewing of the NFL rivalry of the season, they may want to get ready for something entirely new.  If they are looking to see the games and teams of the past they may be disappointed, but don’t count on it.

© Photo By mtpleasantwildcats

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