Quick Take: Patriots-Colts

In Brief

» Last meeting:Peyton Manning passed for 254 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Colts past the Patriots, 18-15, in Week 9 last season.
» Streaks: Indianapolis has won four of the last five meetings, but has a decisive disadvantage in the overall series, 44-28, including the playoffs.
» Last week: A missed Kris Brown field goal as time expired allowed the Colts to avoid overtime and beat the Texans, 20-17. ... The Patriots fended off a game Dolphins team and came away with a 27-17 victory.

Keep your eye on ...Which quarterback plays better:Tom Brady had a clear early edge over Manning in perhaps this decade's best rivalry featuring this decade's two most accomplished quarterbacks. The first six times Brady faced Manning, he won, but he is just 1-3 since then. Both signal-callers are in top form right now and this showdown should be full of drama.

Bill Belichick's game plan: With Tony Dungy out of the mix, Belichick now gets a chance to match wits with Colts rookie coach Jim Caldwell. Indianapolis is dealing with several injuries in its defensive backfield and Belichick will undoubtedly try to exploit the banged-up secondary. How will Caldwell counter?

Dwight Freeney's impact: The Pro Bowl defensive end has been on a tear in 2009. He has at least one sack in every game this season and has applied consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He may get a chance to line up against a rookie this week (New England's Sebastian Vollmer, who has played well in place of an injured Matt Light), and he will have his eyes set on Brady throughout the game.

Did you know?

Brady has thrown for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games. ... Patriots RB Laurence Maroney has a rushing TD in three consecutive games. ... Indianapolis has won 17 consecutive regular-season games. ... Manning leads the NFL with 222 completions this year.

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