Tonight in Foxborough we will see a contest of two teams looking to restore their respective positions among the NFL Landscape. For the Patriots a win can bring back that reminder of confidence and assurance to the rest of the league that they are still the team to beat in the AFC and that if you have dreams of making the Super Bowl in that conference that the road still travels through them. The Colts on the other hand are just looking to prove they are a team that can regain their spot among those contenders, with Andrew Luck at the helm they would like to show that they can beat anyone when they are firing on all cylinders.
The Colts lost an overtime game at home last week to the Texans that they almost certainly should have at least tied. Head coach Frank Reich made a questionable call on 4th down in overtime and decided to go for it instead of punting and going for the tie. You can criticize Reich all you want, but it takes guts to make that call and if I’m a GM he’s the type of guy I want as my coach. I mean if they had of got that first down and the Colts were the one to kick a game winning field goal it would be the opposite narrative and he would be praised this week for having the cojones to make a call like that. Regardless the Colts will need a much better performance on both sides of the ball to think they can have a chance tonight in Foxborough. While Andrew Luck has looked back to his old self to the relief of most Colts fans, and although he will be missing his star WR T.Y. Hilton, he proved last week that he has the ability to find other weapons in this Colts offense such as Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers. Their defense on the other hand that looked shredded at times by Deshaun Watson and the Texans will need a huge turnaround in just 4 days if they expect to compete with the Patriots tonight who offensively look to be hitting their stride.
The Patriots coming off a 38-7 demolition of the Miami Dolphins will looked to continue that success tonight and will have the ability to go from 1-2 to 3-2 in a matter of five days, a turnaround that will no doubt have their haters that said the dynasty was over just last weekend more triggered than a PETA member at a backyard BBQ. The Pats’ offense looked much improved last week and with the addition of Julian Edelman returning tonight expect to see the well oiled machine that we are used to here to stay. I don’t think you can underestimate how crucial a solid slot receiver is to this Patriots offense. Since 2007, Brady has had Welker, Edelman and then Amendola last year in that role. That’s 10 straight seasons of highly productive slot receivers that enable Brady to get the ball out quick and efficiently, along with making it near impossible to double Gronk or any other receiver. I doubt we will see any signs of rust in terms of the connection with Brady and Edelman. If I know anything about these rule bending Patriots, than those two have most definitely been having covert op route running sessions in Brady’s underground lair during this entire suspension and will come out firing. Add along to that another week of Josh Gordon and Brady building chemistry like two high school lovebirds and we might soon be talking about how this is one of the more prolific offenses Brady has ever had pretty soon, a drastic turnaround from the team that might have been better off with the receiving core of the Foxborough High JV squad just 11 days ago against the Lions. The Patriots Defense completely stifled the Dolphins last week, but I’m still not sold on them overall as a unit and it seemed like the Dolphins didn’t take any of the lessons of how you can shred this defense with a quick and efficient passing attack. Andrew Luck is not Ryan Tannehill though, Luck will keep firing and playing well even if the Patriots get out to a big lead so expect this game to be more of a shootout than we saw last week when the Dolphins basically packed their bags to go back to Miami before halftime. I still feel extremely confident the Pats win at home again tonight but I wouldn’t be so confident about the -10 spread. I think the Colts may spoil that with some garbage time points.