When the New England Patriots locked up a first-round bye for the playoffs, they probably weren’t expecting to be looking at this much of a potential challenge from their Divisional Round opponent. That opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, just completed one the the largest comebacks in NFL postseason history on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Colts, behind Andrew Luck, will now travel to Foxborough to play Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Last week’s Colts win may have scared some Patriots fans away from attending this game. New England Patriots playoff tickets for the Divisional Round have an average price of $258, which is 6.86% below the average 2013 regular season price for games at Gillette Stadium. The weather forecast calls for only a low of 34 degrees, so weather shouldn’t be a deterrent for going to the game like it was for last week’s game in Green Bay between the Packers and 49ers. Could a second-year quarterback be posing that much of a threat to scare away some Patriots fans?
This game is the cheapest of the Divisional weekend by a significant margin. It’s also the only game to feature an average price below the team’s regular season average. With such a relatively low price, it should be easy for Pats fans to attain tickets and sell out the game. Just because the tickets are cheap, doesn’t mean there’s a lack of interest in the game.
Fortunately for the Patriots, they are playing this game at home where they were 8-0 during the regular season. Unfortunately for the Patriots, six of the last 10 teams to go 8-0 at home during the regular season lost their first home game of the playoffs, including this season’s Cincinnati Bengals. New England also has to face an Indianapolis team that had a 5-3 record on the road in 2013.
Much of the focus will be on Tom Brady and Andrew Luck, but the result of this game could rely on which defense can stop the opposing quarterback more. That could favor the Patriots, who have not allowed an opponent to score more than 31 points in a game this season.
For tickets available at less than the average price of a regular season game, there’s no reason Patriots fans shouldn’t be flocking to Gillette Stadium for the game on Saturday night.