Before Peyton Manning signed with Denver ahead of the 2012 season, he and Tom Brady gave fans maybe the best quarterback rivalry of all time. The legendary QBs faced off 12 times before Manning left Indianapolis, including the playoffs, with Brady holding an 8-4 advantage.
While Brady and Manning did wonders in terms of building the Patriots-Colts rivalry and making it more heated, a large chunk of the bitterness stems from the 2015 AFC Championship Game, which, of course, led to the infamous Deflategate scandal. It’s one of the biggest stains on Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s resumes, but at this point mostly everyone has moved one.
Well, everyone except Indy Star columnist Gregg Doyel, that is.
In his latest column (subscription required) previewing Saturday night’s showdown, Doyel didn’t mince words about his hatred for the Patriots.
Colts columnist Gregg Doyel isn’t shy about his hatred for the Patriots.
Look, we can’t defend the Patriots over Deflategate. If Doyel and some Colts fans are still salty about it, that’s fine, too. However, to come outright and state the scandal “remains fresh” is entirely inaccurate. Seriously, when was the last time Deflategate was a household discussion?
In fact, whenever Deflategate has returned to the news cycle since then, it’s usually been a poor reflection of the investigation.
Remember last year when “Four Games in Fall,” the two-hour Amazon documentary that used scientific evidence to prove the NFL’s investigation (or witch hunt) was entirely based on suspicions and not factual evidence, was released?
What about Bob Kravitz, The Athletic reporter who initially broke the news with a tweet after the 2015 AFC Championship Game, coming out and admitting that the Patriots’ guilt was never provable?
"“Now, six years after the Deflategate tweet, my general sense has remained largely the same. While it’s not provable, I believe something untoward occurred in the minutes before the Patriots-Colts game,” wrote Kravitz.“Six years later, there is a seed – just a seed – of doubt.”"
So, no, Deflategate most certainly is not “fresh” in the minds of NFL fans.
And in regard to Belichick, does anybody actually complain about his smugness anymore? His approach to answering questions from the media is looked upon as comedy rather than impolite or whatever Doyel’s trying to imply.
We don’t even want to address Josh McDaniels, but him leaving the Colts at the altar was a blessing in disguise for both parties, so we’re not entirely sure why Doyel is still holding a gripe over that debacle. McDaniels recently came out and said he has “no regrets” about not taking the Colts head coaching job. Well, neither should Colts fans. The 45-year-old has done great work for the Patriots, but he’s clearly better served as an offensive coordinator than presiding over an entire coaching staff.
We personally have nothing against Indianapolis, but if Doyel wants to drop the gloves, well, consider them dropped. Please, Belichick, if you’re reading this, trample the Colts on Saturday.