INDIANAPOLIS – Couches will be sat on, feet will be kicked up and rest will be a given, but playbooks will not be far away.
That will be the life for many Colts players as they departed the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday afternoon for what they hope is their last extended break until February.
"You get away from football to kick it with your family but at the same time just take a peek at your playbook," Ricky Jean Francois said of the message to players heading for the bye week.
"I hope everybody enjoys their bye week and uses it in the correct way---be a professional, enjoy it with your family and come back and be ready for that Sunday night game."
Oh yeah, "that Sunday night game" is next on the schedule.
Two of the hottest teams in the AFC will meet at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 16 for Sunday Night Football.
The Patriots (7-2), winners of five straight, four by least 15 points, will invade Lucas Oil Stadium for a matchup with significant January implications.
"We understand that this team is hot. We understand that we are both going for the same thing, to get control of the AFC and get into the playoffs," Cory Redding said of the Patriots.
"We are all fighting for home field advantage. It's always easier to win in the playoffs when you are at home so we understand how important that is."
In an ultra competitive AFC (11 teams above .500, which is the first time since 1970 that 11 teams in one conference have been above .500), the Colts and Patriots have control of their divisions.
The Colts, who are currently 3-0 in the AFC South, hold a two-game lead in their division.
Starting with the Patriots, the Colts will play three straight games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The friendly confines will witness their first Colts/Patriots in nearly five years to the day of a thrilling 35-34 victory that kept the Colts undefeated during the 2009 season.
Andrew Luck couldn't quite escape his media session on Tuesday before fielding a question on the next Colts game.
"They are certainly a great team," Luck said of the 7-2 Patriots.
"We know we are going to have our hands full. I'm glad it's at Lucas Oil and we are going to have a great atmosphere."
That atmosphere will welcome a 6-3 Colts team back home for a fan base finally getting a first hand look at one of the NFL's greatest modern-day rivalries.
It's a Colts squad that will have a much better taste in its mouth than what was felt at the end of October.
"Night and day. Night and day," Chuck Pagano said of the difference of having a win going into the bye week.
"It takes the sting off of getting home at 5 a.m. then having to come back in here face the press, do all the things that you have to do and talk to the team. 6-3 is a heck of a lot better than 5-4…to be able to get away and actually enjoy some time off coming off a win."