The New England Patriots come off their first round bye this Saturday night to face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts will be looking to keep the efficiency and intensity they showed in the second half of the game against the Chiefs, but this game should be a fairly easy win for the Patriots. Here's what I think are the keys to a Patriots victory.
Get The Offense Going --- The Indianapolis Colts may have pulled of a stunning victory against the Chiefs last week but they did let up 44 points. If the Chiefs, a very poor offensive team can score that much then the Patriots should have no problem scoring especially after a bye. The Patriots need to abuse the Colts poor defense and score a touchdown or two early to take Indy down from their post victory high.
Contain Hilton --- The Colts really do not have many offensive weapons at all. Trent Richardson has been a bust and Reggie Wayne is out for the season so that leaves the offense in the hands of T.Y. Hilton. Hilton is a classic slot receiver, he is small, quick, and a crafty route runner but if the Patriots can blanket him the offense will fall on other wide outs such as LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen who are quite terrible. If Luck is forced to throw to sub-par receivers all day the Colts offense will be ineffective.
Keep the Discipline --- Everyone who watches Andrew Luck knows that one of his best attributes is making something out of nothing. When the play seems over, everyone looks covered, or he's scrambling out of the pocket he still manages to make plays. This was most recently seen against the Chiefs when he ran in a touchdown off a fumble. Andrew Lucks' play making ability is exactly why the Patriot's D-line needs to stay disciplined in their rush lanes, and the linebackers always have to keep one eye on Luck. Luck won't necessarily beat a team with his legs but if the Patriots let him convert a crucial third down or 2 it could end up deciding the game.
No Mistakes --- Usually when Patriots fans think of mistakes they think of Steven Ridley, but the whole team needs to stay focused and avoid any big mistakes. The fact of the Matter is the Colts are depleted on offense and rebuilding on defense, so this should be a win for the Patriots. Clean mistake free football easily wins this one.
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