The Colts will take on the New England Patriots tonight in the first – round of the playoffs. The game is set to start at 8:15 pm on CBS.
The weather looks to be cold, windy, and rainy tonight in Foxborough Massachusetts. That should make things hard on the offenses tonight, especially the passing offenses.
If you ask me, this is a good thing for New England, as it should help make things hard on the pass happy Colts team.
The Colts don’t have the best run game but the weather should force them to the ground more than they would like so New England has to play the run well tonight.
On defense the Patriots will probably pair Aqib Talib up with T.Y. Hilton. I’m not sure about this matchup because of Hilton’s speed and Talib’s trouble with faster wide outs. Also, New England needs Talib to stay healthy and I worry about his hammy holding up trying to keep up with Hilton. I would prefer Talib on tight end Coby Fleener to take out Luck’s second favorite target and redzone threat. But, if Talib is on Hilton then Talib needs to bring his best for the speedy deep threat.
The Patriots will probably play press coverage and jam the Colts receivers at the line and be physical with them. Dennard and Ryan should be able to over match their receivers as the Patriots have better corners than the Colts have receivers.
On defense it comes down to stopping T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener in this game and watching for Luck’s legs.
Andrew Luck can run the ball if and when he has too. The Patriots have to constantly be on the look out for that, especially big third downs, if they ever want to get off the field tonight. The Patriots will look to mix up their coverage to confuse the second year player and bring the heat. Pressuring Andrew Luck can go a long way in stopping this offense and getting some turnovers which they definitely can tonight.
The weather should come into effect in this game and slow down the passing attack for the Colts. The Colts aren’t use to playing outside in the elements and the passing attack is usually hurt by the wind and rain. This should help the Patriots defense.
But, the Patriots defense has to be ready to stop Donald Brown and Trent Richardson. Both in the run and passing game. Brown can pick up some big yardages and is deceptively good. If the Pats can stop the run then the defense should be okay.
On offense the Patriots will look to establish the run. They have too because of the weather. They are also a better offense when they run the football.
LeGarrette Blount needs to continue his hot streak on the ground and Ridley just needs to hang onto the ball and the Patriots rush attack should be fine against the 26th ranked Colts rush defense.
The Patriots will look to use the Colts aggressive line against them by using Shane Vereen in the short, quick passing game. Brady will simply lob it over the aggressive pass rush of Indy and give the ball to Vereen in the open. This should be a big part of the Patriots passing game tonight.
Also, Brady will probably look to pick on former teammate Darius Butler. Butler will most likely be on Amendola tonight, so I expect Danny to have a big game. Expect Brady to deliver a lot of quick, short passes tonight.
The game also rests on the offensive line of New England and if they can neutralize Robert Mathis. He’s a one man wrecking crew, who wants to get to Tom Brady. Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, and the entire line need to keep him at bay and the entire Colts line. The Patriots offensive line hasn’t been great this year but they’re certainly getting better and tonight they have to be good if they want their QB upright.
The Patriots can win if they stick to the ground and protect Tom Brady.