Anyone expecting the New England Patriots to talk about “revenge” or “retribution” leading up to Sunday’s AFC Championship Game rematch with the Indianapolis Colts clearly hasn’t watched the organization operate for the last 15 years.
It’s been business as usual at Gillette Stadium this week despite the Patriots preparing for a Week 6 matchup with the team that tipped off the NFL about Deflategate. You’re unlikely to find any bulletin-board material coming out of 1 Patriot Place. The Pats are focused on — wait for it — doing their job.
“We’re just focused on the Colts,” Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount said Wednesday. “We’re not worried about anything that happened in the offseason. We’re just focused on trying to watch the Colts and see what we can do to beat them.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, per usual, set the tempo Wednesday by deflecting questions about whether there is any emphasis on this week’s game given New England’s recent history with Indianapolis. Quarterback Tom Brady followed suit, saying he’s motivated regardless of the opponent.
That seems to be the collective mindset as the Patriots prepare to travel to Indianapolis for a nationally televised showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Pats could discuss the Colts or the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, and it’d be impossible to tell the difference.
“Ya’ll are the guys that put the faces on the opponents, not us,” Blount said, downplaying the significance of Sunday’s game in comparison to other weeks. “We go out there like we’re 0-0 at the start of the week. We’re going to look at film on whoever we have to look at film on and try to dissect them and see if we can get a win. Find their weaknesses and see if we can expose them.”
The Colts, like the Patriots, seemingly have moved on from January’s AFC Championship clash. At least that’s what Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday when asked about the Patriots’ 45-7 beatdown in Foxboro. But let’s be real here. There’s no shortage of outside intrigue for Sunday’s game.
Indianapolis probably wants to shut up New England. The Colts have been ripped to shreds in the teams’ last four head-to-head matchups, and Deflategate remains a hot-button topic, especially if your name is Gregg Doyel.
New England, meanwhile, probably wouldn’t mind sticking it to Indianapolis for the Colts’ involvement in the never-ending underinflated football scandal. The Colts rained on the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade, so to speak.
Just don’t expect such views to be expressed publicly from those who will be between the white lines come Sunday night. Any extra motivation, it appears, will remain confidential.
“We try to find that extra motivation whatever game it is,” Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola said Wednesday. “This game is the next game on the schedule. That’s why we’re motivated to prepare for it and start getting ready.
“Whatever we can do to find extra motivation is good for us. We’re all excited to play all of the games, so this is just the next game.”
So that’s it. Down deep, the Patriots really might want to kick the crap out of the Colts, who are like an annoying little brother that tattles and tries desperately to fit in. But on the surface, the Pats are staying in character and sticking to what’s helped them win four Super Bowl titles in 14 years.
“You focus in on doing your job,” Amendola said. “You focus in on what you prepare (for) all week. You trust your abilities and your scheme and go from there.”
Ah, do your job. We’ve heard that one before.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images