The last time the Indianapolis Colts meet the New England Patriots was earlier this year in the playoff match prior to the Super Bowl XLIX Game. The duel was largely one-sided, as the Patriots rode on the Colts like lords, displaying their top notch grade with stellar offense and mean defense. Besides a second-quarter interception that led to touchdown drive, the Colts moved as if they were tethered to a tree. Not even the rainy conditions in the game dampened the New England spirits, as the Patriots dominated the game, including an emphatic 35-0 run over Indy. In the end, there could only be one winner, with the Pats getting honor of being crowned champions of the AFC. After the game, it emerged that the Patriots had somehow cheated earlier in the game, using deflated balls to favor QB Tom Brady. The scandal, commonly dubbed the Deflategate scandal, led to a lot of criticism, with a commission established by the NFL to look into the issue. Brady, a number of New England associates and the Patriots (as a team) were found complicit of involvement in the scandal, with Brady earning a four-game suspension and the Patriots also receiving some fines and penalties. Despite the Deflategate Scandal, it would be hard to say that the Colts were beaten because of it, as Indianapolis was clearly the second-best team that day and deserved the loss in the NFL betting odds. Plus, with both teams still looking as the best franchises in the AFC Conference, there is no doubt that their rivalry is likely to continue in if (and when) they meet in 2015, which will give us a chance to know who among them is truly the best.
The rivalry between the two teams is among the newest in the NFL. It was majorly driven by the rivalry between quarterbacks Peyton Manning (in his time as Indy QB) and Brady, and although the two teams have become fierce rivals in recent times, the rivalry only became prominent after Colts moved to the AFC South.
Since 2003, the two teams have been out for each other’s skin, with the Patriots owning the early duels of the series. They beat the Colts in six straight matches, including the 2003 AFC Championship game and a 2004 AFC Divisional game. Thirsty for revenge with an improved squad, the Colts responded with three straight wins. The three wins came in the form oftwo regular season victories and a win in the 2006 AFC Championship game, trampling on the Patriots ego in the process. The Pats have since bounced back, winning the majority of their recent meetings.
For example, in 2014, the 7-2 Patriots were hosted by a 6-3 Colts at the Lucas Oil Stadium. The result was a world class performance by Jonas Gray, who racked up four touchdowns, helping New England to a comfortable 42-20 triumph over the Colts. To confirm their dominance over their bitter rivals, they followed this by thrashing them 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game. So, for now, it is safe to say that the Patriots currently rule the rivalry.
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