Colts travel to Pittsburgh as underdogs for Sunday Night Football

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The Indianapolis Colts will be looking to strengthen their tenuous hold on top spot in the AFC South with a fourth straight win when they battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football as 6.5-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Colts improved their straight-up record to 6-5 last weekend with a 25-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, covering as 3-point chalk to extend their current win streak against the spread to four games.

It was an important victory for Indianapolis, which enters Sunday night’s Colts vs. Steelers betting matchup at Heinz Field in a tie in the division standings with Houston, but holds the tiebreaker edge on the strength of their 27-20 victory over the Texans back in Week 5.

The Colts have also been racking up the victories despite the absence of quarterback Andrew Luck, who remains sidelined for at least one more week after suffering internal injuries in the club’s 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos a month ago.

Matt Hasselbeck has performed admirably in relief of Luck, with the 40-year-old throwing a pair of touchdowns in each of the last two outings. However, the Colts’ ground game has struggled, tallying just 99 total yards in those contests.

A lot is on the line in Week 13 for the Steelers, who are coming off a 39-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks but remain in the thick of the AFC Wild Card hunt with a 6-5 SU record.

Pittsburgh has run hot and cold this season, failing to string together three SU wins all year while going a dismal 1-4 ATS in their last five games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Of even greater concern is the health of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had appeared in just six games this season due to knee and foot injuries prior to last week’s loss to the Seahawks in which he went down once again, this time with a concussion.

Big Ben received the green light to return to practice this week, and barring any setbacks is expected to play on Sunday night.

That’s good news for the Steelers, who have dominated Indianapolis historically, going 12-2 SU in their last 14 meetings, including a mammoth 51-34 home win over the Colts last season while claiming the outright win as 5-point underdogs.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip

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HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback

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HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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