The Colts Report Playoffs: Slaying the Dragon
Robert Mathis is all about business this week.
"There is a giant in New England that we have to slay, said Mathis." "The guys on the team know that we can play with anybody. We have to start the game, maintain and finish the game. New York(The SuperBowl) is our goal, anything less is not the goal. We have to do what we can to get there."
And with that, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Saturday's game in New England is just one more step toward the ultimate goal. How can you not believe this team can go all the way? In the post season it's all about who gets hot at the right time, and the Colts are on fire.
There is a unique advantage the Colts have amongst the eight remaining teams. They have started poorly and come back and won several times this season and last week was the biggest shocker of all. The confidence this squad has earned, even when they are down, is unmatched.
Going on the road in a hostile environment and battling with Belichick and Brady is not the optimal situation for any team, but this Colts team will remain focused and in the game as long as Andrew Luck is on the field.
The difference between great players and legends can be found with post season performances. In only his second season, Luck is already creating classic moments.
Right now if you are down a score with two minutes left, who do you want at quarterback?
Manning and Brady are the obvious choices, but after Andrew Luck's heroic efforts last week, his name is in the mix now.
Pagano is not worried about the noise or location of the game, they have been piping in loud music all week at practice in preparation for the crowd in New England.
"We have been in loud environments and guys did a nice job. Saturday will be loud and we know it," said Pagano. "There are only eight teams left, it's hard to get to this point. Our guys are excited about this opportunity."
The plan for the defense is to try and show different looks throughout the game and keep Tom Brady guessing.
"I think you have to do a great job of mixing it up with him, you can't do the same thing. There is nothing that Tom hasn't seen - they do a great job with their offense trying to get you to show your hand."
Coach is aware that it will take near perfection to advance in the playoffs this weekend.
"The margin for error keeps shrinking the further you go in the playoffs. Coach Belichick, they don't make mistakes. At the end of the day, you can't turn the the ball over or give up big plays. The margin for error is very small, with being on the road and playing the team we are playing, you gotta chase perfection. It's going to come down to 5-6-7 plays. We need to be in the right place when the plays present themselves."
T.Y. Hilton has stepped up when called upon to make the big plays this season. After Reggie Wayne went down after the Broncos game the veteran instructed T.Y. to "Hold the towel" for the receivers group.
"When Reg went down, he said, "When your number is called- be ready. Andrew is delivering the ball to the right spots and I'm holding the towel for the the group."
Robert Mathis knows the prize is close for the team and his message is clear on how to slay the dragon this weekend.
"Just keep playing and don't know any better. Just go, keep going."