This weekend the Pats play arguably the most important game on their schedule for the rest of the season. Think about it; the Colts are the last AFC non-divisional opponent that really matters (no offense to Jacksonville or Houston). This can make or break playoff seedings.
Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are going to beat each other up so that will take one of those two teams out of the picture. With Baltimore also in their division, it looks like the #2 seed can’t possibly come from that division. The Colts, even with a possible loss this Sunday, will easily win their cupcake division since Tennessee has fallen off the map, Jacksonville is up and down and Houston is in turmoil. That leaves the west and with Denver losing their last two, they’ve shown that they can be beat. Something I’m sure has gotten the Chargers attention.
Assuming that the AFC North winner is going to have 3-4 losses, the west winner (I’m picking San Diego) will have at least that, the Patriots are playing for the #2 seed right now. If somehow the Pats knock off Indy and win out and the Colts slip up down their schedule the Pats would now hold a tie breaker against the other top dog in the conference. So again, we see the importance of Sunday.
Sunday the Pats will travel to Lucas Oil Field where hopefully they don’t touch any of the food…
With the rookies littered in their secondary I think that the Colts defense is going to have a very long day against Tom and the offense. Who can stop Moss and Welker? You can’t double both of them and if you do, the tight ends, backs and other receivers will be eating up yards. Look for a big game from the veteran Kevin Faulk. I see him catching a lot of balls when Brady goes five wide, assuming the Colts will double team Welker.
On the other side of the ball I look for Brandon McGowan to shut down down Dallas Clark. He shut down Hall of Famer Tony Gonzales when the Pats played the Falcons, I look for the game plan to be similar against the Colts. I see the Pats doing whatever they can to disrupt the timing patterns of the Colts receivers even if it’s after the 5 yard chuck rule.
I think this is going to be one of the closest games for the Pats all season. Early on I thought the Pats would dominate but I think the Colts will make a game of it. It’s going to come down to the defenses and I think the Pats defense is just that much better than what the Colts have.
The line opened at 3 and is now 2.5. The over/under started at 50 and is now 49.5. I’m taking the Pats and the over. I’m thinking something like 34-27. Back Monday with a recap and hopefully more pictures of Peyton-face.