* When: 9 p.m.
* TV/radio: WJLA-7, WMAR-2, WTEM-980
* Outlook: It wasn't that long ago that these teams last met -- Jan. 18, to be exact -- in the AFC championship. The Patriots won 24-14 and went on to win the Super Bowl, capping a streak of 15 straight victories. The NFL record for consecutive games won in the regular season and the playoffs is 18, which has been done five times, most recently by the Denver Broncos in 1997-98. Those Broncos were also the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
The Colts have a little string of their own going -- they've won their last five openers, the longest current streak in the NFL.
The big story in last season's game was the way in which the Patriots shut down the league's most potent passing attack with physical play in the secondary. Not one post-snap penalty was called and Colts QB Peyton Manning threw four interceptions. In part because of fallout from that game, the NFL's Competition Committee announced that defensive holding and illegal contact would be major points of emphasis this season. If officials call the game tightly, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and the rest of the Colts wide receivers could have a field day.
-- From News Services