3 Things for Patriots to win
1. Avoid giving up the big play. Between free agent departures and injuries the Patriots secondary has undergone enormous change. Andrew Luck and the Colts like to take shots downfield looking for chunk plays in the passing game but that could benefit the Patriots. It wasn’t until the Colts employed a more run heavy offense that focused on the short to intermediate passing game with Matt Hasselbeck did the offense have success. If the Colts return to the 7-drop, pass happy approach that led to Luck’s injury then Chandler Jones and Jabaal Sheard will have an opportunity to effect the Colts passing game and take pressure off a questionable secondary.
2. Protect Tom Brady. Whether it’s running the football or focusing on getting the ball out of his hand quickly protect the franchise. The Dallas Cowboys got to Brady quite often in Week 5 but had absolutely no offense to support that early defensive effort. The Colts have the talent offensively to score points in bunches so you have to sustain drives. Remember Nate Solder is out for the season with an injury. That’s the blindside.
3. Start fast. The Patriots have dominated this matchup in recent seasons. What better way to completely demoralize and take the Colts out of their game plan than cashing in for TDs early, quick strikes.
3 Things for Colts to win
1. Stop the run. Sell out if you have too.
2. Shadow Julian Edelman with Vontae Davis. Until teams decide to challenge Edelman at the line of scrimmage he’s going to continue to feast on opposing defenses. Davis is a press cover corner than can play inside or outside the numbers. Hopefully you can slow down Rob Gronkowski with numbers and force someone other than Edelman and Gronk to beat you. But it’s time to force a different “wide receiver” to beat you.
3. Your offensive game plan should resemble that of the approach you took against the Houtson Texans. Obviously you’re facing different players and a different defensive scheme but ‘your’ mentality has to be the same. Run to set-up the pass. String first downs together. Higher percentage throws and patience. Put yourself in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter.
What to watch for…
They whole Deflate Gate scandal/inquisition started because the Colts blew the whistle on the Patriots. Will the Patriots exact revenge? Or will the Colts exorcise some demons and prove that they belong on the same field as the Patriots?
The Front Office Says…
The New England Patriots Win.