Brady, Patriots Ready For First Meeting With Colts Since AFC Championship Game
The New England Patriots have opened the 2015 NFL season on an absolute tear and their motivation might have something to do with the fallout from the Deflategate scandal. That is bad news for the rest of the league, and in particular the Indianapolis Colts this week. Indianapolis will host the Patriots in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game and while it’s hard to imagine the score being any more lopsided than it was when New England blew the Colts away in a 45-7 win there is every reason to expect a similar result. Indianapolis was the team that complained to the NFL about the PSI in the footballs during that contest and thus sparked the controversy that followed. Now Tom Brady and company get the opportunity to repay them with no doubt about the PSI of the footballs and that means this game could get ugly.
New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts
Sunday October 18, 2015 – 8:30 PM ET
NFL Betting Line: New England -8
The Colts have their own problems to deal with despite being 3-2 to start the season. Indianapolis looked terrible in consecutive losses to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets to open the year and while they have bounced back with three straight wins including the last two with Matt Hasselbeck under center in place of the injured Andrew Luck those victories were against some below average AFC South opponents. Luck has not officially been ruled out for this week’s game but his shoulder is still not at full strength and head coach Chuck Pagano has said he doesn’t want to put his star quarterback in a position to aggravate the injury. The Colts have struggled to keep up with the Patriots in each of Luck’s starts anyways so even if he does play it might not be enough for them to win this game. Indianapolis has struggled with consistency both running the football and stopping the run and that won’t change regardless of whether Luck plays. New England was able to move the football on the ground almost at will in its two meetings with the Colts last season and they should feature LaGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis plenty in this game. The Patriots offense has been firing on all cylinders this season and that won’t change on Sunday Night Football in a game where they will be looking to make a statement. Tom Brady has completed 72.5-percent of his passes for 1,387 yards and nine touchdowns and you have to think he has had this game circled on his calendar. New England has been relentless in its attack in each of its first four wins and we expect that trend to continue in a lopsided matchup this weekend regardless of whether or not Luck will play.
Pick: New England -8
The Patriots have averaged 40.5 points per game in their last two wins and they could very well top that number against an Indianapolis side they scored 45 points again in last year’s AFC Championship game. The Colts might not score enough points to cover but they should be able to score enough to push this game over the total.