NFL Wire News

Week 6 Preview: Patriots at Colts

on

The Sports Xchange

New England Patriots (4-0) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2)

Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis – TV: NBC

*TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

*Keys to the game: Quicker throws and shorter drops kicked the Colts’ offense into gear while Andrew Luck (shoulder) was on the sideline for two games. The approach won’t get tossed as Luck returns, with ball control on the mind to keep Tom Brady’s offense off the field. Luck is 0-4 with 10 interceptions against the Patriots in the regular season.

New England introduces another new running back to this rivalry with Dion Lewis catching on as a key cog offensively. The Colts lead the NFL in tackles for loss in the running game, but their history against the Patriots isn’t sparkling. LeGarrette Blount has more than 300 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in his last two games against Indy. But with Brady slinging it, the Colts can’t build a plan around stopping the run.

*Matchup to watch – Patriots CB Malcolm Butler vs. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton: Hilton can challenge the defense at all three levels. It’s unlikely Butler will get solo matchup duty because the skill set Hilton brings has given Butler issues in his young career.

*Player spotlight – Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes in two games last season against Indy.

*Fast facts: The Patriots have 40-plus rushing attempts in three consecutive games against the Colts. … The Colts have a minus-7 turnover ratio.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

New England should be riled up for the Colts, perceived as the Deflategate whistleblowers, and the Patriots are more than equipped to drop a heavy number a Colts team with little pass rush and no offensive rhythm under Andrew Luck.

*Our pick: Patriots 33-17.


About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business