The New England Patriots have been the dominant franchise in the NFL for the last 15 years. They have had the consistent performance of the amazing Tom Brady at quarterback. They have had the firm hand and steady influence of the premier coach in professional sports in Bill Bellechick. They have also had the same owner in Robert Kraft who is the consummate businessman and keeps his organization running at an elite level for quite some time. Over the years they have featured a tremendous cast of complimentary players that have led them to their Superbowl victories such as Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Deion Branch, Jerod Mayo, Asante Samuel, Wes Welker, and Vince Wilfork just to name a few. Heading into this postseason the roster lacks many household names outside of Brady. Top wide out Danny Amendola was in and out of the lineup due to injury and the remainder of the wideouts are unproven young players who will need to shine in their first postseason opportunity. The defense has been decimated by injuries more than any other defense in the league and yet somehow they remain one of the better defenses in the league and the team was again amongst the very best in the NFL.
The Colts are coming off a thrilling come from behind win in last weeks wild card matchup. They trailed 38-10 early in the third quarter and managed to come all the way back to set up this matchup in New England. When the team lost star wide receiver Reggie Wayne during the season nobody stepped up and took possession of that number one receiver role. During the last two games (including the win last week wide) second year man T.Y Hilton has exploded onto the scene and looks like the big play threat that the Colts will need if they are going to have a chance at pulling off this upset. Quarterback Andrew Luck operates with the poise and precision of a veteran and not like the 2nd year quarterback that he is.
This matchup features a surefire Hall of Fame quarterback in Brady and one who certainly appears to be well on his way to Canton in Luck. The Patriots come into the game as a touchdown favorite and the Colts must not fall behind early like they did last week. It is very difficult to play from behind against this New England defense, which will sometimes “bend” but rarely “breaks”. It remains to be seen if Brady can lead this group of relative unknowns against a hungry team like Indianapolis. It remains to be seen if this “no name” Patriots defense can hold up against the balanced passing attack of the Colts. The Colts have the advantage of being an underdog that nobody expects to win. As a cancer survivor Coach Chuck Pagano knows all about fighting the odds and he is certain to have his team ready to play on Saturday Night.
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