NFL Playoffs – Divisional Preview – Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

The Indianapolis Colts, with franchise QB & growing legend Andrew Luck, take their talents to Foxboro tonight to face off against 3x SuperBowl Champion Tom Brady & the New England Patriots (8:15 on CBS). 

For the Patriots, the key to this game will be to play their game & follow the scheme that has worked all season – work the middle of the field, key first downs & consistently move the chains. The Pats don’t have a true outside threat anymore on offense but they have enough in the slots, led by Julian Edelman, who has been Brady’s favorite receiver. 

Not having TE Rob Gronkowski will be a huge factor for Brady, which will be an area where Indianapolis will need to take advantage off by bumping & knocking the receivers off their routes early, getting into their heads & making Brady’s options few & far between to get to. 

New England Patriots Tom Brady
Can the Colts stop quite possibly the greatest quarterback
of all time tonight, Tom Brady? 

For the Colts, the key to this will be on the defensive side. Robert Mathis will have to be able to get to Brady and if not always sack him, just hit him and make him feel the presence in the pocket. Brady does have amazing pocket presence, but the offensive line can be had if the Colts disguise various blitz schemes & make sure that they don’t give their hand in terms of Brady being able to read the blitz for easy over-the-top passes down the field. 

On offense, its Andrew Luck not having to come back from a major deficit the way the Colts did last week against the Chiefs. Luck has to be able to match Brady throw for throw tonight & make T.Y. Hilton a superstar tonight. He is the best weapon the team has on the outside & I do believe that he can get an advantage on CB Aquib Talib. 

Also, the Colts have to be able to have a mix of the quickness of RB Donald Brown & the power of Trent Richardson to keep the Pats off base. 

This is going to be a game that will end up coming down to the 4th quarter, & for that reason, I will be going with New England on this. Luck’s time is coming, but Tom Brady & Bill Belichick want to show that even with the team that has been out there all season, with as little talent as the team has ever had, this is still an AFC Championship squad. 

Patriots 34, Colts 31. 

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