New England vs Indianapolis
This game may very well come down to who has the ball last. The New England offense has had difficulties getting started early in games this season, primarily due to the loss of key receivers and tight ends. Wes Welker left for Denver and Peyton, Rob Grokowski has battled several lingering injuries which have left him sidelined for most of the season, and we all know about Aaron Hernandez.
However, head coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have found another string of receivers that, although they may not resemble the “big names” that New England has become accustomed to, they offer speed and reliability in which Brady knows how to capitalize on. Although it has taken a few quarters for the Patriot’s pass attack to start clicking, Brady has been very successful in the 4th quarter; especially dominate while operating within the two-minute drill. Brady’s five game winning drives this season is the 2nd most he has had in any season during his entire career.
2nd year quarterback Andrew Luck has also had fairly decent success as well dealing with little help at the receiver position. T.Y. Hilton has emerged as the predominant leader of the group with his break out performance of 82 catches and almost 1,100 yards. The Colts were hoping that former Oakland Raider 1st round pick, Darrius Heyward-Bey, would step up with the unfortunate season ending injury suffered by Reggie Wayne, but he suffered an injury which has hindered his performance as well.
The early season acquisition of running back Trent Richardson from Cleveland was thought by many to be the key piece to a puzzle for a team that was severely lacking a running game, but that has seemed to be a bust as well. In a desperation move made last Monday, the Colts signed former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, hoping that he can give them the big play capability that will be needed when they play his former team this weekend. Will this signing really help the Colts passing attack and give them a shot to win and advance, or will we see Brady take the ball down and score with no time left on the clock once again?
Oh, and did I mention the Patriots are a perfect 8 and 0 at home this year??
Prediction: New England 31 Indianapolis 24