FOXBORO -- The winless Colts ride into Gillette Stadium -- without Peyton Manning -- to face the Patriots on Sunday.
Most of the talk surrounding the Colts is a potential late-season return for Manning and its connection to the upcoming NFL Draft. As for the Patriots, the focus is on securing their division title and a potential first-round bye in the playoffs.
Manning and Tom Brady are at the heart of those conversations.
On Friday morning Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined ESPN's Mike and Mike, and went out of his way to point out the difference between the two organizations, saying that when Brady missed the entire 2008 season -- like Manning is missing the 2011 season -- New England remained a competitive team.
"I'm glad he's our quarterback," said Belichick, when asked what makes Brady so successful. "There's nobody I'd rather have. I think the world of Tom Brady, but I'm also proud of the fact that without Tom Brady, we still won 11 games in 2008.
"So, we have a football team, we have a good program here. It's bigger than any of us, individually, but collectively, we're competitive."
BOSTON – It was a nice night for Claude Julien in his return to Boston with a well-done video montage and a warm ovation from the still-appreciative Bruins fans. But that’s where it ended for the Habs coach as his hockey club pretty much no-showed for the game and rolled over in a 4-1 win for the Bruins at TD Garden on Wednesday night.
The Canadiens scored the game’s first goal just 31 seconds into the game when a Jakub Jerabek perimeter shot bounced off Zdeno Chara in front and skipped past Tuukka Rask. But it was all Black and Gold after that with David Pastrnak tying things up six minutes later, and the Bruins outshooting the Habs by a 13-7 margin in the second period while extending their lead.
This time it was Ryan Spooner taking the puck to the net and watching as his centering pass attempt bounced off Jonathan Drouin’s skate and into the net. It was three goals in his last four games for Spooner, who had to feel a pretty big sense of satisfaction at netting the game-winner against a coach he clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye with early in his B’s career.
Brad Marchand added a necessary power play strike in the third period to give Boston the insurance marker that they needed, but it didn’t really matter against a Canadiens team that was pretty lifeless for long stretches of the game.
Tuukka Rask stopped 21 shots and went into lockdown mode after the first goal allowed, but truth be told the Canadiens didn’t have much in the way of quality chances throughout the game. David Krejci added the empty net goal late in the third for icing on the cake in a pretty one-sided affair for a Boston/Montreal rivalry game.
Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.
Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.
Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.
It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.