NFL Divisional Round Preview: Indianapolis Colts vs New England Patriots

Colts vs Patriots Divisional Round preview

1/11/14 in NFL   |   jakeryanbrown   |   28 respect

(4) Indianapolis Colts (12-5) vs (2) New England Patriots – Saturday, 8:00PM at Gillette Stadium
 
Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter of the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts defeated the Chiefs 45-44. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAndrew Luck proved last week that no deficit is insurmountable.  The Colts rallied from a 28-point deficit in the second half to top the Chiefs, 45-44.  Luck continues to never say die as he has all season long, quickly becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.  Saturday night, he gets to face a three-time Super Bowl Champion and future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady. 
 
This isn’t the same Patriots team that usually plays in January.  They have battled several injuries and are without pivotal pieces on offense and especially on defense.  This might be Bill Belichick’s best season with the roster and injuries that were handed to him.  Julian Edelman has emerged as Brady’s favorite receiver this season after Rob Gronkowski’s injury, finishing with a career high 105 receptions.  After Edelman, Danny Amendola has been the next best receiver with just 54 catches. 
 
Luck’s Colts are 14-2 in games decided by seven or fewer points.  That’s quite a record for a second- Dec 29, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) signals his teammates at the line of scrimmage during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sportsyear QB that has made a name for himself with a Colts team that isn’t all that talented.  After T.Y. Hilton, there aren’t any big-time playmakers on this Colts offense.  Trent Richardson has been a nightmare since they acquired him for a first round pick.  Richardson finished with just 458 yards and Donald Brown took his starting job.  The Colts offensive line has also been a disaster, making what Luck has done even more incredible. 
 
The Colts are resilient and they find ways to win games, despite a fairly weak roster for a playoff team.  Robert Mathis could be the Defensive Player of the Year for this Colts defense that will try and come after Brady tonight.  I want to pick the Colts.  They have been quite the story and last week’s win was remarkable.  The only problem is that they are playing in Foxboro in January.  This young Colts team doesn’t have the playoff experience that Belichick’s squad has.  Brady has been there before and knows how to win when it matters most.  This game will be thrilling and could get ugly with rain expected in Massachusetts.  Brady will prevail later over Luck, but expect Luck’s time to come very, very soon.  The Pats will head to yet another AFC Championship game. 
 
PREDICTION:
PATRIOTS-23 COLTS-20  
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