By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Indianapolis Colts head into Gillette Stadium Thursday night as 10-point underdogs. They’re bruised and battered, coming off a disappointing overtime loss on Sunday, and there is very little chance they’re going to beat the Patriots on a short week.
But you have to give the Indy Star some credit ahead of the game. They threw some serious shade at the Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels Thursday morning, still bitter that McDaniels left the Colts at the head coaching altar over the offseason.
The headline on the front of the sports page read “Rivalry Reinflated,” because you knew they’d throw in some DeflateGate to get their point across. But it’s going to take some serious air pumping to get the rivalry going again, considering the Patriots have won the last seven matchups by an average of 19 points. At least Gregg Doyel, who became one of the biggest enemies in Boston during the DeflateGate nonsense, recognizes that it’s foolish to call Patriots-Colts a rivalry anymore.
But if the Star deserves credit for anything, it’s showing that they don’t care for McDaniels. While the caption reads “Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and coach Frank Reich will take on Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady and coaches Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels on Thursday night,” is that very clearly not Josh McDaniels. Come on, the guy isn’t even wearing a visor!
Instead, it’s a picture of Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge. He was reportedly going to head to Indy with McDaniels, before McDaniels pulled the plug on the whole thing at the last minute.
This is no mistake. It’s not a case of mistaken identity that you can’t blame on an intern or a bad Getty Images caption. This was 100 percent on purpose, and it is actually kind of great. Who says print is dead?
The DeflateGate thing is old and tired, but well-played on the McDaniels snub. At least Indianapolis can enjoy some kind of win on Thursday.