Though the Colts/Jaguars showdown last Thursday got off to a slow start, the Colts ended the game thumping the Jags 27-10. Once the pace of the game picked up, it seemed as though the Colts could do nothing wrong.
With the Colts playing their one and only Thursday night game of the season last week, it left the team having the weekend off and extra time to prepare for next Sunday’s game in Foxboro, Massachusetts against the Patriots.
The Colts-Patriots rivalry has become a fan favorite in recent years. It was always Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, but with Manning in a new QB role this year, it will now become the Andrew Luck vs. Brady showdown. With the Colts overall improvement and Luck establishing himself in Indianapolis thus far into his rookie season, it’s shaping up to be a great game.
Here are some things to keep in mind for Sunday’s game:
1. FOXBORO, MASSACHUSETTS
Enough said, right? No matter how the Colts season seems to be going, for some reason, traveling TO Foxboro to play the Patriots always seems to present an additional challenge for the Colts. The brisk fall weather in the New England area can sometimes be a factor, but at this point, it looks to be sunny with a high in the upper 40’s. It’s not the typical environment that the Colts thrive in, but with no rain, snow or gusty winds expected, that (hopefully) won’t be much of a problem.
Another factor to consider is that the Colts don’t typically perform as well at away games. Fortunately, it seems as though that may not be the case, at least as often, this season. Though the team has a 2-2 record so far on away games, the Colts may perform better than previously expected.
2. PATRIOT OFFENSE
Wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski continue to be a powerhouse duo down the field for the Patriots. Together, they have over 1400 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. Fortunately for the Colts, the defense has stepped up and seems to improve week after week. Jerrell Freeman leads the team in tackles (73) with Antoine Bethea and Jerraud Powers not far behind. The Colts announced that Powers will has been placed on injured reserve after a toe injury that will keep him from seeing anymore play time this season. While this is unfortunate, it will give newcomers a chance to continue to prove themselves.
The Patriots running game will be one to watch as well. Running backs Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley will be key players to keep an eye on. Neither of the players have been in the game long, but they are quickly proving themselves to be assets to the Patriot running game.
3. KEEPING PLAYERS HEALTHY IS KEY
It seems as though as the weeks go on this season, the Colts injury list continues to grow. Hopefully with the added days off this week, the Colts will be able to make a turn around. With all of the “Chuckstrong” positive energy floating around the Colts complex, players are eager to get back onto the field to contribute to another game for Head Coach Chuck Pagano.
Getting and keeping players healthy is also important because the playoffs are right around the corner. When players are asked about the playoffs, they mention that they have the mindset that they have to take it a game at a time, which is true. On the other hand, you have to plan ahead. Another thing that I can only assume keeps the team motivated, besides playing for Chuck, is that the team wants to continue proving skeptics wrong. The Colts have amounted to more this season than anyone could have expected, no matter the obstacles thrown their way.
A note to be made about Sunday’s game: the game time has been changed to 4:25 p.m.