Another Chapter Of Colts/Patriots Rivalry To Be Written Sunday Night

Intro: On Sunday night, the game’s top modern rivalry of the NFL’s two winningest teams of the past decade will once again stand on opposite sidelines. What is the anticipation like for the Colts and Patriots Week Six contest?

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INDIANAPOLIS – The coaches and players won't admit to it, but the hype is hard to ignore in another installment of the league's winningest franchises from the past decade.

Media contingents in both Boston and Indianapolis have sent respective reporters to the other's city, an extremely rare occurrence for a regular season matchup.

Even a few of the players have witnessed a different feel to this particular Week Six matchup.

"I can kind of sense the extra energy around here," rookie Henry Anderson said earlier this week.

Sunday will mark the 17th time the Colts and Patriots have stood on opposite sidelines since 2003.

It's a mind-blowing number when you consider these teams are no longer in the same division (NFL divisional realignment occurred in 2002). For comparisons sake, during that same time span the Colts have played the Jets, Dolphins and Bills a combined 15 times.

Throw in all the offseason attention that deflategate garnered and how the Colts last two seasons have ended, and this week does have an abnormal amount of attention surrounding typical Week Six contests.

Earlier this week, Matt Hasselbeck addressed what he recalls about the AFC Championship loss from January.

"They smoked us. They killed us," Hasselbeck said.

"We had a plan of what we thought we could do and they crushed that plan."

Looking ahead to Sunday night, the Colts will try and reverse their recent fortunes against New England.

It will be no easy task with the Patriots coming into Sunday undefeated on the season and second in the NFL with a plus-73 point differential (in just four games).

"They've got a ton of players and they're obviously on the same page," Chuck Pagano says of the 4-0 Patriots.

"They're in sync and they're playing at a high, high level right now. You can say, 'Okay, we're going to load up here in this situation and stop the run.' Then you've got a potential matchup issue outside. You can play coverage and you might give up a little bit in the run game."

With all the outside noise descending on Indianapolis this week, Pagano has stressed the importance for his Colts to stick to their old mantra.

Pagano acknowledges how past Patriots matchups have gone, and how the Colts must learn in order to write a new script Sunday night.

"That's history. What we're going to focus on is today," Pagano says of last year's AFC Championship.

"We're focusing on us. Certainly we'll take a look at that game. We'll take a look at the three or four previous games. We'll see what hurt us and we'll go to work on fixing those things and try to play better."

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