The New England Patriots have spent the past week sitting at home wondering who they were going to play in the postseason. Well, now they know, and now they can rest, assured they got the best possible matchup for themselves with the Indianapolis Colts coming to town.
Sure, the Colts are coming off one of the most impressive come-from-behind wins in league history, but they present fewer issues than the Cincinnati Bengals would have. The Bengals, who beat the Patriots earlier in the season, have the kind of defense that can pressure Tom Brady and the New England passing offense without bringing extra blitzers. That’s how you beat the Patriots, and the Colts can’t do it.
If you don’t get pressure on Brady, you have no chance to beat the Patriots. Even though he’s seen his best days in the past, if you let Brady just sit in the pocket, he’s going to pick you apart. Letting him do that is not an option, but if you have to take defenders out of the secondary to pressure him, he’ll find the soft spots in the defense with shocking regularity.
Teams that run a 4-3 scheme like Cincinnati and have good pass-rushing defensive lineman can wreak havoc on the Patriots’ offense. Indianapolis relies on bringing linebackers and defensive backs on the blitz from their 3-4 system to get pressure on the opposing quarterback.
At this point in the season, any team you play is going to be good and the Colts have plenty going for them. They have one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, a great coach, and that ever-elusive, hard to define thing we like to call momentum. But that momentum and their potent offense won’t be enough to out-duel Brady and a New England offense that will have their way with the Indianapolis defense.