Week 11 Preview: Patriots @ Colts

New England heads to Indianapolis to face the same team they defeated handily in the 2013 Divisional Playoffs. The Colts still have a bad taste in their mouth and are looking for revenge. Can the Colts slow down the red-hot Brady? Can the New England secondary continue their excellent play? We're about to find out.

1. How will the Patriots move the ball?

Over the last five weeks, New England has killed teams through the air and taken advantage of the run game in situations where it would work. There have been moments when the run game should have be called on but unfortunately hasn't. Tonight is the night to start running more and balance out the offense. The Colts are going to do everything they can to slow down Rob Gronkowski, so the best way to get him space to work with is play action. Indianapolis is currently ninth in the NFL against the run, but that shouldn't deter New England from establishing Jonas Gray between the tackles and Shane Vereen on draws and outside runs. The Colts do have some issues in the secondary and Tom Brady is going to find a way to take advantage of Sergio Brown and his limited ability. It could be a very long night for the Colts defense.

2. Can the Colts score against the New England defense?

The Colts can score against anyone, similar to Week Nine vs. the Broncos. Andrew Luck has been excellent this season, throwing for 3,085 yards and 26 touchdowns in nine games. Luck has helped the Colts jump out to a 6-3 record and the top spot in the AFC South, so their offense is clearly the real deal. One issue Luck has had is interceptions (nine) and against this New England secondary, he'd better be careful or that total is going to rise. Ahmad Bradshaw has proven to be the top running back, surpassing the disappointing Trent Richardson. The key to stopping the Colts tonight is T.Y.Hilton- stop him and the Colts will be kept under control. Revis should draw that responsibility with the over the top help from Devin McCourty (that's right, Revis will need help with the young speedster). Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener could also give the Patriots some trouble, but don't forget how well Jamie Collins played last year vs. Indy in the playoffs. Certain players play well against certain teams, and this may be the case with Collins vs. the Colts. Expect Indy to score, but don't expect them to score more than 24.

3. Who has the edge in the coaching match up?

Chuck Pagano is a good coach and also seems like a good guy, but like most coaches, he has his hands full this week. Bill Belichick, for the first time in a decade, has the defensive personnel to get creative and give offenses major fits. Matt Patricia also deserves credit for these gameplans too, which Peyton Manning did when he went and shook Patricia' hand after New England smothered the Broncos. When the Colts still had Bruce Arians, their staff was close in overall ability to New England, but he is in Arizona and now the Patriots have the clear advantage in the coaching matchup.

4. Will the Colts find a way to give Brady fits?

Indy has done a decent job rushing the passer, amassing 24 sacks in nine games, but one of the reasons for the high sack total is the amount of passing teams do against the Colts. So far in 2014, the Colts have allowed 264 passing yards per game, which ranks them 27th in the NFL. When your defense is constantly pass rushing, you're bound to pick up a few sacks. Bjoern Werner has done a good job replacing Robert Mathis, and defensive end Cory Redding has also rushed the passer well. Laron Landry returns tonight, but he is more of a factor in the run game than the pass, so Brady shouldn't have to be to concerned with the overly-jacked safety. Without Robert Mathis, the Colts aren't quite the same and I don't expect them to slow down Tom Brady.

5. Who wins the game?

This game has been dissected for ten days due to bye-week-boredom, but it's pretty simple- can the Colts stop Tom Brady? The answer is no, and because New England has an actual legitimate secondary, they'll get enough stops to give their offense the advantage. Expect to see Andrew Luck make a few plays and he'll probably have good yardage, but once they get to the New England 30, things are going to be very tight. The Patriots offense will continue to amass big numbers and Tom Brady will show why he is in the NFL MVP discussion.

Prediction- Patriots 48, Colts 24


Patriots Insider Top Stories