The Indianapolis Colts (7-6) and New England Patriots (9-4) are set for a highly-anticipated matchup on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
With playoff implications weaving throughout, this game will go a long way for both teams. The Patriots are currently riding a seven-game winning streak while sitting atop the entire conference. On the other hand, the Colts have won six of their last eight games with their only losses coming within three points during that span.
Here’s how the Colts Wire staff sees this game shaking out:
Kevin Hickey: Colts 23, Patriots 21
AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
This is an incredibly difficult matchup to predict. The Patriots have won seven in a row and are the hottest team in the AFC. Meanwhile, the Colts have been enjoying similar success and are just a few plays away from being on a 10-game winning streak.
This game will essentially come down to which team is able to stop the run the best. Both offenses want to establish that early while giving their quarterbacks a stacked box to work against. The Colts should win that matchup but it also remains to be seen if Grover Stewart will be able to play. That changes things A LOT for the Colts.
Assuming Stewart can play, the Colts might have to lean on Carson Wentz a bit given the likelihood of Bill Belichick’s defense putting an extra defender in the box. That can lead to success as long as the turnovers don’t play a role as they did against the Buccaneers.
All in all, this game is going to be a dog fight between two teams that want to be physical. The Colts squeak out a victory at home as they set their sights on taking the top wild-card spot.
Follow Kevin on Twitter (@KevinHickey11)
Cody Manning: Colts 24, Patriots 20
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
It’s a new era of the rivalry between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots because of the new quarterbacks that are leading these franchises. But this matchup has the feel of the early 2000s because of the playoff implications that this game will have after the final result. The Colts offense starts off slow as they figure out how to crack Bill Belichick’s defensive game game plan. They keep hammering away with the run game and eventually Jonathan Taylor breaks a big run to help start wearing down their defensive front. Carson Wentz plays within his means and does catch the secondary on a play-action play to hit T.Y. Hilton deep on a touchdown pass. The defense does their best to keep the Patriots offense one-dimensional but Mac Jones does a good job at keeping drives alive and gets his team in scoring position throughout the game. This game will come down to the 4th quarter and the loser will be a result of a costly turnover. The Indianapolis defense confuses Jones which causes him to make a misread and Khari Willis jumps in front of a ball to get an interception. This puts the offense in great field position to march down and get the game-winning touchdown.
Follow Cody on Twitter (@CodyTalksNFL)
John Alfieri: Patriots 24, Colts 23
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
I have been torn on this matchup all week. The Patriots have not been tested on offense or defense often this season and the Colts provide a solid balance of both.
The main factor in this game will be if this Patriots defense can shut down Jonathan Taylor. That is the not-so-secret sauce to stopping the Colts this season and New England has all the components to do just that.
Expect lots of blitzes on Carson Wentz, who will have to be perfect for Indy to come away with a win. There are a lot of “ifs” in this one, but in the end the Colts will fall just short. Thankfully, all is not lost with a loss Saturday.
Follow John on Twitter (@alfierijohn)
Nick Melillo: Colts 31, Patriots 24
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
With this being a do-or-die game for the Colts’ playoff hopes this will be a must-watch game for any football fan. At home against a top-rated team most of the fanbase hates, what more could you ask for. The Patriots and Colts have made the game plan for victory very clear for this game. Can the Patriots stop Jonathan Taylor and the Colts rushing attack? Can the Colts get after the rookie Mac Jones and force mistakes from the young quarterback? Those in my opinion will be two deciding factors to the winner of this game. I think it will be a challenge, but Taylor should find success should he be fed early and often. I have the defense getting a turnover or two out of Jones as well, perhaps a Kenny Moore II pick-six? While it will be a dogfight, I’m going Colts 31 – Pats 24
Follow Nick on Twitter (@CircleCity21)
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
1. John (10-3)
2. Cody (9-4)
3. Kevin (9-4)
4. Nick (7-5)