The Indianapolis Colts (6-3) travel to Foxboro, Massachusetts to take on the New England Patriots (6-3) on Sunday in Gillette Stadium. The game will feature one of the best rivalries in the history on the NFL. The Colts and Patriots have played every year but one since the 1970s and have produced some of the best games ever.
Everyone thought the rivalry was gone with the loss of Peyton Manning from the Colts. The game last year didn’t have the same feel and with the Colts in rebuilding mode with many young players no one thought this would be a marquee contest.
We were wrong.
The Colts come to New England winner’s of four in a row and five of the last six. They’re the front runner in the AFC Wildcard standings right now and can control their own destiny for a playoff run. The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl runner-ups and playing like they have for the past decade.
Both teams feature two high powered offenses as the game should come down to a shootout. I think the Colts though will come out victorious.
Both teams rank in the top half of offense. The Patriots rank first in total offense while the Colts rank fourth. Both teams try and use a balanced attack now and utilize the play action passes. I think both will honestly look very similar on Sunday.
The difference is going to come down to defense and who can get the most stops. Call me crazy, but the Colts will stop the Patriots more.
New England struggles against the pass as they rank 28th out of 32 teams. Andrew Luck has had great success eating up struggling secondaries this season and the Patriots rank among the worst out of any of them. The Patriots are going to have to put extra help back there and that should be enough for the Colts to pound the ground to keep drives alive and control the clock.
The Patriots haven’t faced a quarterback like Luck who can scramble and keep plays alive this year. When Luck gets out of the pocket the secondary of the Patriots will break down even more which should produce big plays.
I don’t see the Patriots defense getting enough stops as the Colts. Indy has done a great job the last four weeks in stuffing the run. That success and finding a run game of their own is the reason they’ve won four in a row. The Patriots can struggle on the ground at times. I think this new Colts defense can get the stops they need to win.