Pick of the week: Colts (+9) at Patriots


Game of the week. 

If you looked at this game when the schedule was released months ago, it would have possibly caught your eye, but with the Colts coming off of a two win season, it was going to get lost in the morning shuffle. 

But the trusty flex schedule came to the rescue and thrust it into the late afternoon slate of games for all of our viewing pleasure. It pits the face of the league against the next Peyton. Brady welcomes Luck into Foxborough in a battle of a pair of 6-3 teams that are getting hot at the right time. 

We all know what the Patriots have to offer. They have finally found a ground game this year with Stevan Ridley holding onto the rock and having one of the most under appreciated seasons going. The deep ball hasn't been there, but the underneath game will always get exposed by Brady. 

Aaron Hernandez and Gronk were one of the scariest tight end combinations the league had ever seen when they went for a combined 24 scores last year. But with Hernandez dealing with a lingering ankle issue this season, the passing attack has not been as deadly this season. 

The Colts defence is the one that has been getting criticized this season, but the Pats D is giving up more total yards and passing yards thus far in the season. The Pats secondary has been suspect at the best of times and Aqib Talib, fresh off his Adderall suspension, is expected to make his debut on the corner this week. The Pats have been getting gouged in the secondary for years and it seems to be the bain  of Belichick's existence in recent year. Draft picks aplenty have been spent on corners and safeties, and now they finally went to the trade market in search of some real help. 

The story of the season has been Andrew Luck. Everything that he was touted as and more. He has walked into Indy and brought the team back to the prominence that Peyton had them rolling on for the past decade. His athleticism was largely overlooked coming out of Stanford, but his ability to scramble and pick up yards – especially in the red zone – has been of his biggest strength. 

Reggie Wayne is playing as well as he ever has, and rookies TY Hilton and Dwayne Allen should be able to find some holes in the beleaguered Patriots back four. The ground attack has left something to be desired for the Colts with Donald Brown on the sideline for most of the season, but if Vick Ballard can get anything going better than his 3.5 average it will force the Pats to stay honest. Brown is expected to lace it up this weekend as well so one of them should be able to find their groove against the less than stellar defensive front. 

Brady has been hearing the questions about Luck all week. Luck has been hearing the questions about Brady all week. The comparisons are impossible to ignore. We could see Brady come out like he did in the AFC Divisional game last year against Tebow and bring the noise to the Colts and walk off into the sunset. But Luck and the Colts offensive attack have the weapons needed to at least keep this game close. 

Belichick has never been afraid to put rookies on the field in big roles. Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower have been starters from day one in the front seven, with the back four being made up of a piecemeal group of high picks from recent years. The group is respectable against the run but continues to get gouged down the field. 

The Colts are going to have to put up points if they are going to stay in this game, but if they can put up some points early, and they don't suffer the beat down that the Rams did in London, it could be interesting going down to the wire. 

Indy is rolling on four straight wins and is up against their biggest opponent of the season. They got past the Packers and the Vikings so far this year, but the win over the Patriots would put them into contention for not only a wild card spot but perhaps a division title if Houston stumbles at all. 

Nine points is not something that Brady has trouble getting past. He can put up points for days and even without Hernandez, he has enough weapons at his disposal. But Andrew Luck could be looking for that defining rookie moment that will propel him from rookie of the season discussion into MVP chatter. This could be a back door special, but a win is a win. 


Pick of the Week record: 4-6.

Well it looks like Adrian Peterson is good after all. The Lions could do nothing against the galloping beast. Ponder decided to find Rudolph again which made by Lions look foolish. 

On to the next one.