New England Patriots: Final Thoughts On Tonight’s Game Against The Colts


Here are a few final thoughts on tonight’s matchup:

1. Turnovers Huge

This storyline has been beaten to death this week, but for good reason. When two high octane offenses meet, turnovers always play a big factor, because whoever has the ball more generally wins the contest. The Patriots have the best turnover differential in the league, while the Colts are tied for 14th. Tom Brady doesn’t turn the ball over, and Andrew Luck does it at will. That will be the difference tonight.

2. Rob Gronkowski

Every week football experts say the key to slowing down the Patriots is to contain Rob Gronkowski. The problem is nobody has figured out a way to do that. Gronk is too big for corners and safeties, too quick for linebackers, and he has such a big catch radius it is extremely hard to double him. Tom Brady is going to have Gronk open all game long, so expect the Pats to exploit that matchup.

3. Limit Colts’ Big Plays

The Colts have the best offense in the NFL, and they excel at making explosive plays down the field. The Patriots need to try and keep everything in front of them tonight, otherwise Andrew Luck and company are going to feast on this defense. I expect Darrelle Revis to cover T.Y. Hilton for the majority of the game, and while he certainly won’t completely shut him down, I think his physical style will limit the amount of explosive plays Hilton makes. But even with Revis covering him, Devin McCourty is going to have to be fully alert all game long.

4. Protect Tom Brady

Indianapolis has the 10th most sacks in the league, and while they don’t have one dominant pass rusher, they do blitz a lot, and generally cause a lot of pressure for the opposing quarterback. Tom Brady will have plenty of mismatches to exploit in the Colts’ secondary, but he must have ample time in the pocket to operate. The entire offensive line has to step up in this one.

5. Bring Down Luck

Getting to Andrew Luck is a given. If the Pats allow him to sit back in the pocket all day, he will find open people. But once New England gets to him, they have to bring him down. Luck is one of the biggest quarterbacks in the league, and he may very well be the strongest. He is capable of making throws with defenders draped all over him, so Akeem Ayers and company have to be sure to not only get to Luck, but make sure you get him down as well.