Colts vs. Patriots: Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.

(Photo: Patriots QB Tom Brady's Facebook fan page)

(Photo: Facebook fan page of Patriots QB Tom Brady)

Three years removed from Peyton Manning, and the rebuilt, Andrew Luck-led Colts face the same old storyline: When will they get the Patriots (and quarterback Tom Brady) off their back?

Of that 2007 AFC Championship game, which sent the Indianapolis Colts to their first Super Bowl win and the Patriots back to New England, only six players remain: Colts Reggie Wayne (WR), Robert Mathis (OLB-IR), Adam Vinatieri (K) and Patriots Tom Brady (QB), Vince Wilfork (DT), and Stephen Gostkowski (K).

And yet…

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is still up to his old tricks, finding sneaky ways to win football games. Only this time, the evil genius is using lineups instead of video cameras. And this time, it’s perfectly legal.

The Patriots are still talking. Gone are the days of trash talkers Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison. Today, the Patriots have tight end Rob Gronkowski, who knocked Colts safety Sergio Brown out of bounds earlier this season, declaring he “threw him out of the club.” Tom Brady posted a photo (above) of himself riding the horse from the Colts’ vintage logo on his Facebook fan page.

And then there’s the Boston sports media. Which makes the Miami sports media look sane and lucid. One scribe in particular, who I no longer refer to by name, takes great pleasure in discrediting the Colts, saying they have “no chance to beat the Patriots at Gillette Sunday night in Foxborough.”

And just so you know, it’s still not a rivalry. Or, so the Patriots say…

The more things change, the more they stay the same. And that’s just fine with the Colts.

Because…

While the Patriots were resting during their first round bye, the Colts were building. While the media was sleeping on them, the Colts were working. And while the critics talk, the Colts focus and quietly go about their business.

How long will it take the Colts to get the Patriots off their back this time? Fans are hoping the fourth time is a charm. And they can watch their team ride off into the sunset…and onto the Super Bowl.

Because beating the Patriots is great…but hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is the sweetest victory of all.

And that’s something the Patriots haven’t done in a decade.

Go Colts!

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