Saturday, January 17, 2015

Once more into the breach, or something

I know what Gillette Stadium is, if you're the Indianapolis Colts.

It's the Overlook Hotel.

Remember? Stephen King's famous haunted hotel from "The Shining"?

It's an odd, somber, gray old place weirdly stuck out in the middle of nowhere -- seriously, if you squint just right at the exit sign along I-95 in the wilds between Providence, R.I., and Boston, it reads not "Foxborough" but "Middle of Nowhere." You get off, drive through a sleepy village about the size of Kendallville, turn a corner ... and there, springing up out the woods, is this mammoth stadium.

Odd, like I said. And, if you're the Colts, haunted.

They're 0-3 there vs. Bill Belichick in the playoffs, and every one of the three has been a harrowing experience. They march in there full of swagger and bravado, and before night has fallen they're being chased around by a lunatic Jack Nicholson brandishing a fire axe, ala "The Shining."

Hey, Colts: Heeere's JOHN-ny!

Peyton Manning got terrorized a few times in Gillette, as Darth Hoodie over there on the Patriots' sideline got in his head and crawled around like few people in the NFL have ever been able to. Now the Dark Lord of Foxborough is playing the same games with Andrew Luck -- who's 0-3 vs. Belichick with a 68.7 quarterback rating, eight interceptions and just two touchdowns.

The Colts, meanwhile, have lost all three games by an aggregate score of 144-66. Back in November, it was 42-20.

Heeere's Johnny, indeed.

And here are the Colts heading back east, and there's absolutely no reason to think the ghosts of the Overlook won't have their way with them again.

Oh, sure, if you like, you can look for sustenance at Belichick's odd record in the playoffs against teams the Patriots played in the regular season (a pedestrian 8-7). Or you can point to LaRon Landry, who barely played in November but has since become a key element of an apparently rejuvenated Colts defense.

But that's small beer stacked up against the weight of history. And if history doesn't always win, it's sure won a lot more than it's lost.

And so, yes, the Blob, which got burned picking against Luck and Co. in Denver last week, is going against the Horsies again.

Patriots 35, Colts 24.

Once more into the breach.



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