The New England Patriots will be defending their home turf in a nationally televised game against the Indianapolis Colts, in which the mass media hopes that the Pats and Colts will renew the rivalry that was “lost” after Peyton Manning left for the Denver Broncos (and spawned a new rivalry in the process). The Pats already took down Manning, but it comes time to take down the stellar young QB who replaced him- Andrew Luck.
J.M. Nicholas of the Indianapolis Colts site Naptown’s Finest was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Colts-Patriots showdown that will take place tomorrow in Foxborough.
1. Andrew Luck, how awesome is this guy? I think he’s been one of the best seven QBs in the NFL this season, but I am interested in hearing a Colts fans take on where he ranks among other QBs in the NFL. Luck has shown that he is indeed the best rookie QB since at least Peyton Manning, and I can’t wait to watch him in action against the Patriots.
Andrew Luck has been almost too good to be true. Not only is he poised beyond his years, but he’s taken the reigns of this team in an amazing way, and you can see how well the rest of this team respects and responds to him. Escpecially when you think of how many number one draft picks have become busts, (i.e. Jamarcus Russell, David Carr, Tim Couch) the future looks very bright for him.
2. How exactly do the Colts utilize their wide receivers? Where do Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton line up, and who does Luck go for the most?
Reggie Wayne is having a career season, and has brought the rest of the wide receivers with him along for the ride. Reggie has stepped out of the shadow of Marvin Harrison, and is padding Hall-of-Fame stats. Hilton plays a lot of slot, and Avery has been a good deep threat, as a second wide out, in the absence of Austin Collie.
3. What are your thoughts on the Colts running game? Do you think they can get anything going against the Patriots vaunted run defense?
The Colts have finally started to do what I hoped they would do all season, which is utilize their deep stable of young running backs. I expect to see the Colts attempt to throw Donald Brown, Vick Ballard, and Delone Carter at New England, in attempts to keep Tom Brady off the field.
4. I always like to ask other writers about offensive line play, and I have been impressed by the emergence of Winston Justice this season. Have you? How as Anthony Castonzo been and could you update us on the status of Samson Satele?
Both Justice and Satele have been banged up, but should be good to go for Sunday’s game. The injuries hurt the o-line early this season, but seems to have galvanized the back-ups, in a way that has helped make the offense deeper than I had initialy seen or expected.
5. The Colts secondary is suffering with the losses of Jerraud Powers and, for this game, Vontae Davis? Has Darius Butler legitimately improved in Indy, or is he the same player who flopped for the Patriots? Does this secondary have the ability to stop the Patriots top-flight passing attack? If so, how?
The depleted secondary is definately a concern. Prior to his top-notch performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 10, Darius Butler had only seven total tackles in three games for the Colts. I’d hope to see him step up and continue to stand out, because the Colts will need him. I’m hoping his experience with the Patriots will help this team find some insider clues as to what they might expect from New England’s high-powered offense.
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