While the Patriots have had longer-running feuds with other teams, over the better part of the last decade, no rivalry defined the NFL better than Patriots and Colts: From 2001 until 2010, every time the two teams met, it was always important. On most occasions, it was the rarest of sports events: a rivalry that actually lived up to the hype. Two teams who were at the height of their powers, using each other as a measuring stick for what defines a truly great team.
... In all, from 2001 until 2010, the Manning/Belichick/Brady combination met 15 times, including 12 regular-season games. The Patriots went 7-5 in regular-season matchups and 2-1 in the postseason. In that stretch, only two of those games -- 2005 and 2006 regular-season wins in Foxboro for the Colts -- could be classified as less-than-memorable affairs. (Even 2008, the game without Brady, came down to the fourth quarter.)
Mike Reiss reflects on Peyton and the Patriots.
With the Manning era in Indianapolis ending, it officially closes the book on one of the greatest rivalries/quarterback duels in the history of the game: Tom Brady's Patriots vs. Manning's Colts.
Those games are one of the highlights of the last decade of Patriots football. Brady's first career start came against the Colts in the third game of the 2001 season. Fittingly, Manning couldn't break through for his first Super Bowl championship without getting through Brady in the AFC Championship in the 2006 season.
... We saw a lot of Manning here in New England, his duels with Brady forever to be remembered as one of the great chapters in the Patriots' sterling run of success.
Seeing him in another uniform, playing against the Patriots, just won't be the same.
- Paul Perillo's Ask PFW: Plenty of potential targets to choose from with free agency set to begin next week.
- Erik Scalavino helps us get to know Tiquan Underwood, inside the helmet.
- Mike Mayock (NFL.com) Post-Combine position rankings for 2012 NFL Draft.
- PFW in Progress - The PFW crew talks about Wes Welker and the franchise tag, and where the Patriots go from here in free agency. (2 hour program)
- Judy Battista reports the Colts will announce their decision to release Peyton Manning today at noon.
- Mike Reiss reviews the Patriots at the tight end position, and which free agents available might be a fit for New England.
- Ricky Doyle says comparing Saints bounty program to spygate is apples to oranges.
- Jeff Howe reports Ryan Mallett returned to Arkansas on Tuesday to help former teammates prepare for the draft by throwing passes at the Razorbacks' pro day.
- Tom E. Curran notes fleet-footed receiver Stephen Hill is trying to allay concerns about his lack of receiving opportunities at Georgia Tech.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly Patriots mailbag, full of questions on Wes Welker, free agency and much more.
- Jeff Howe thinks the Patriots may have been victims of the Saints' bounty program and 19 other thoughts.
- CSNNE reports a few NFL writers are saying that Mario Williams is a better personnel fit than a financial fit for the Patriots.
- Karen Guregian notes Randy Moss worked out for the Saints yesterday, looking "like the old Randy," according to Fox reporter Jay Glazer.
- Christopher Price posts the schedule of the upcoming Pro Days.
- Ben Volin (Palm Beach Post) Colts reportedly to cut Peyton Manning; Dolphins very interested in signing QB.
- James Walker (ESPN) Do Jets have shot at Peyton Manning?
- Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) Peyton Manning derby: Ranking 12 potential landing spots for QB's services.
- Lynn Zinser (NY Times) Leading off: NFL, never figure on loyalty.
- Pat Kirwan (CBS Sports) Top 30 free agents: Insider's guide to best players on the market. BenJarvus Green-Ellis listed at No. 21.
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) History shows free agency to be more of a crapshoot than a cure-all.
- James Walker (ESPN) Tag hurts safety, pass-rush markets.
- Don Banks (SI) Assessing the far-reaching ramifications of Saints' scandal.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Goodell sees bounty case as a turning point in NFL's culture change.
- Sam Farmer (LA Times) John Madden says NFL will end bounty system with harsh punishment.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday edition; Mail.
- Chris Burke (SI) Best of the Firsts: No. 21 Randy Moss, 1998 (Vikings)
- Jay Glazer (Fox Sports) Moss makes an impression. (1 min. video)
- Report (Arkansas Razorbacks.com) 2012 Football Pro Day results.
- Gil Brandt (NFL.com) Mercilus solidifies first-round status at Illinois pro day.