Could Da’Rick Rogers Be the X-Factor vs. Patriots?
By Evan Massey
Dec 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Da
The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots will play in the divisional round on Saturday evening. Indianapolis is coming off of a miraculous comeback win over the Chiefs, and once again are the underdogs. Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense was very dynamic against the Chiefs, but they are going to need to be just as dynamic or more against the Patriots. One player who made a huge catch against Kansas City was Da’Rick Rogers, who ended up with one catch for 46 yards.
Those numbers certainly don’t appear to be very good, but he was able to keep defenses from focusing completely on T.Y. Hilton. Rogers is a rookie who has had a rough go of it throughout the last few years of his career due to off the field issues and character concerns. All that being said, he has become a threat in the Indianapolis offense and could very well be their X-Factor for the game with the Patriots this week.
Rogers brings the ability to make plays down the field as well as across the middle. At 6’3″ and 208 pounds, he is a huge target for Andrew Luck and has the ability to go get footballs that no other receiver on the roster could get to. Obviously his consistency has been a bit of an issue throughout this season, but as he continues getting used to the speed of the NFL, he will continue to grow as a player.
The Patriots’ secondary has been extremely inconsistent as well and the Colts could have a chance to exploit it. T.Y. Hilton is coming off of a historic performance, but the real impact could come from Da’Rick Rogers. There’s no question that the Patriots are going to look to key in on Hilton, which will leave Rogers with favorable coverage. Andrew Luck has a growing confidence in the young wide receiver, and the Colts’ coaching staff could choose to take some shots at big plays to their rookie receiver.
Obviously we’re not predicting that he is going to have a monster game, but there will be plays for him to make throughout the course of the game. If he’s able to make the plays that he has the chance to make, he could be one of the biggest reasons for a Colts win. Expect Indianapolis to look his way much more this week than they did last week.
Evan Massey is an Editor for Naptown’s Finest. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.