The ultimate rivalry

No, it’s not a division game anymore. But it might as well be.
Published : November 18, 2010

No, it’s not a division game anymore. But it might as well be.

The Patriots and Colts will face off at 4:15 p.m. Sunday for the 11th time since 2003 — the year they were put in separate divisions. The Pats took the first four, but Indy has won five of the last six.

Since the start of the 2000 season, the Pats (133-54) and Colts (130-56) have the two best records in the league.

“It’s been a great rivalry for a lot of reasons,” New England quarterback Tom Brady said. “We’ve played so many meaningful games against them, and I would say this one is pretty meaningful, too.

“It’s going to be a great test for us. They’re good in all phases.”

Coming off a win in Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Pats are in the midst of their toughest stretch of football. After hosting Indy, they’ll have just four games before Thanksgiving at Detroit.

Then it’s home to meet the Jets on Monday Night Football.

Every game, it seems, is bigger than the last. That’s something wideout Deion Branch didn’t experience during his time in Seattle.

“I’ve played in a bunch of games honestly that really meant something; a lot of big-time rivalries,” Branch said. “But to have them back to back to back to back may be a little different.

“You have to get yourself going each and every week playing here. Everybody is going to throw their best at the Patriots.”

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