National perspective on Pats-Colts

A look at some of the Patriots-Colts stories from NFL reporters around the country:

1. Don Banks of SI.com writes on "Just another Patriots-Colts Classic" and opens with this thought: "It's more compliment than complaint, but here's the problem I've got with these annual Colts-Patriots showdowns, the ones the NFL use as the centerpiece of its entire 256-game regular-season schedule every November: They only serve to make us realize what we're missing the rest of the year."

2. Judy Battista of the New York Times focuses on the Patriots' defense making the big play at the end. Battista adds color from the post-game scene, writing "Tom Brady strolled through the locker room Sunday night, one of his sons nestled in the crook of his left arm. A few minutes later, a relaxed Bill Belichick was back on the Gillette Stadium field with a lacrosse stick. There had not been too many occasions for family celebrations and playing around after recent vintages of the Patriots' series with the Indianapolis Colts."

3. Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com gives thanks to another classic finish and has Colts quarterback Peyton Manning wondering what happened on his final interception. "I was thinking touchdown there," Manning tells Prisco. "I just got my body twisted around a bit. I'm not sure what happened there."

4. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports notes that the Patriots' defense rewarded coach Bill Belichick this time around against the Colts. "This is the play New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t trust his defense to make a year ago, when the man who knows the percentages better than any coach who has ever worked in the NFL made the most scrutinized fourth-down call in league history," writes Cole. "This is the play that could signal the Patriots may once again have a defense just good enough to win another Super Bowl in a year."

5. Dave Goldberg of AOL Fanhouse writes on another classic showdown, quoting Bill Belichick, who said: "I really kind of expected another one like this. You always do when you play this team. It wasn't just us. That fellow over on the other side is a pretty good quarterback. You know he's going to make plays on you at some point in the game. You never sit back and think you've got it.''