The New England Patriots (6-3) face off Sunday in Foxboro against the surprising Indianapolis Colts (6-3) and star rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, who is having a sensational rookie season and only seems to improve as the year goes on.
"He's been impressive." Coach Belichick said of Luck on WEEI., "certainly he's an outstanding athlete. He can run, he's got real speed to get out of trouble and buy time in the pocket. He's made a lot of yards on converted third downs. … I think he sees the field well – has good vision, good poise. … I've certainly been impressed watching him."
The Patriots may have some trouble slowing down Luck and the Colts offense, which ranks 5th in the league in yards/game. Colts come into Foxboro winners of four straight. However, running back Donald Brown did not practice Thursday and has been bothered by a lingering knee injury. His status this week is unclear but if he is unable to go the Colts will rely again on Vick Ballard to carry the ball. Ballard has had limited success this year averaging only 3.5 yards per carry and has been unable to find the end zone. The strong Patriot front seven should be able to hold the Colts running game in check especially if Brown is limited or unable to go.
Therefore, it will be up to star receiver Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck to score significant points, which is a must when facing a Patriot offense that ranks first in the NFL. Expect good games out of both Stevan Ridley and Tom Brady as they take on a Colts defense that ranks 22nd against the run and 18th against the pass.
This should be a high scoring game but expect the Patriots to come out on top. Despite a good Colt passing attack facing a weak Patriot secondary, the Patriots are +16 in turnover differential this season, while the Colts at -9 rank near the bottom of the league. The Patriots should win the turnover battle as well as have no problem moving the ball on offense and march to a win.
Prediction: Patriots 35 Colts 27
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