The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts will meet in Foxboro this Saturday night, in what should be a great contest. Both teams have suffered a lot of injuries this year, but they have fought through it all, and gotten themselves to the elite eight of the NFL.
The weather in the playoffs is always a big factor, and I expect it to be huge this weekend, as there will most likely be some rain come kickoff, which will definitely affect this tilt. The Patriots are used to playing in these types of conditions, as evidenced by their 34-20 win over the Bills in week 17, in which an immense amount of rain had been dumped into Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady has always been terrific in bad weather, as has his entire New England squad. However the Colts may not fare as well as the Pats will. Indianapolis plays in a dome, where weather is never a factor. Andrew Luck is one of the best young quarterbacks this league has to offer, but he has yet to prove himself in bad weather conditions, especially going head to head with one of the greatest to ever do it. The ball will be slippery, not only making it tough for Luck to throw, but T.Y. Hilton and company will have trouble hanging onto that ball. I am not saying that the Pats will have these problems, because they probably will. But that won’t stall their offense, as they have one of the best running attacks left in the playoffs. The combination of LeGarrette Blount, and Stevan Ridley will do a lot of damage to the middle of Indianapolis defense, which will open up some easy opportunities in the back end for Brady, and it will slow down Robert Mathis, and his lethal pass rush (the slick turf won’t help Mathis either).
If Luck struggles, he won’t have any running game to lean on, as the Colts own one of the worst ground attacks in the league. This will force Luck into a lot of bad throws, which generally won’t net you a win against Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick, in January.