Colts vs Patriots: The Next Opponent
The next opponent for the Indianapolis Colts is one that is quite familiar in Indy. The next opponent is the dreaded New England Patriots. What has become known as rivalry will be on the spotlight on Sunday night football. The uncertainty of Andrew Luck‘s availability is still up in the air. Although this week all indications are he’s good to go. Regardless this is the game where the Colts have to play better than they have all year long.
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The Patriots to some are considered the best team in the league. While that may be true to some extent, this is a game that the Colts could make a major statement. Not just to the Boston rivals but to the rest of the league. The Colts have had a lot of turnover from last season that could work in their favor. Rookies David Parry and Henry Anderson weren’t in the league last year, let alone on this team. Kendall Langford wasn’t on the team last year. Andre Johnson and Frank Gore are new to this rivalry. These key pieces could help the Colts come out victorious on Sunday.
The most successful way to get to the Patriots is to run the ball effectively. When you look at this Patriots team you’ll see that they’ve had problems against the run. Opening week against Pittsburgh they won by a touchdown. Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams ran for 127 and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. To stay in this game the Colts are going to need another big game from Frank Gore and possibly newly signed Ahmad Bradshaw. Running the ball and limiting the turnovers will take the Colts far.
New England will look to take T.Y Hilton away with the double team. The other receivers will have to step up and make big plays. Likely facing one on one coverage Johnson and Donte Moncrief will have to separate from defenders. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen will have to play huge rolls as well. The Patriots have a good secondary but it has its holes. It also no longer has Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. That makes a difference, I don’t care who you are.
On the other side of the ball. The Colts need to use the blueprint they used in Denver last postseason. We know Gronk is probably gonna get his. Neutralize him and don’t allow him to make that big play. I’d actually take the Patriots philosophy against them. I’d try to take Gronk away and play up close on the receivers. I’d take Vontae Davis and have him shadow Julian Edelman the entire game. Langford, Parry and Anderson plug the holes against the run. You also have to make sure you account for Dion Lewis in the passing game. Know where he is lined up and press him. The other key is to create pressure. You can’t let Brady get comfortable back there. Pressure him often and create a takeaway or two. Give the offense the ball on a short field.
Look I know that it’s always easier said than done. The Patriots are a really good team but they have their own flaws. They also know how not to beat themselves. The Colts aren’t the same team that got trampled in the AFC title game. The Colts have much more of a chance than what people are giving them. If the Colts play a clean game and keep Brady on the sideline. Then New England could be walking out of Lucas Oil Stadium stunned.
The next opponent is a good one. We know the history of the next opponent. The Colts need to know what they’ve done in the past that’s caused them no success. If Luck plays this has to be his most flawless game so far this season. If the Colts are still committing turnovers then they’ll suffer a similar fate. Bottom line the Colts play well and protect the ball they have a real shot. Anything else and history will repeat itself.