Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs NE

Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs NE


Game Predictions & Player Projections - IND vs NE

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Sunday, 3:05 ET Sunday, 6:40 ET

Prediction: IND 24, NE 30 (Line: NE by 7)

This is a replay of week 11 when the Patriots won 42-20 at Indianapolis. The Patriots are 8-1 in home games this year while the Colts are 6-3 away from Indy. If there is a road team to win this week, it would be the Colts but four of the last Conference Championship Rounds had both home teams winning. The forecast is for rain and temperatures around 38°. So wet and cold but not freezing. Not as good for a Colts team used to playing indoors.

Indianapolis Colts

1 @DEN 24-31 10 BYE —–
2 PHI 27-30 11 NE  20-42
3 @JAC 44-17 12 JAC 23-3
4 TEN 41-17 13 WAS 49-27
5 BAL 20-13 14 @CLE 25-24
6 @HOU 33-28 15 HOU 17-10
7 CIN 27-0 16 @DAL 7-42
8 @PIT 34-51 17 @TEN 27-10
9 @NYG 40-24  
News | Statistics | Roster
IND @ DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 30   310,2
RB Dan Herron 60,1 9-40  
RB Zurlon Tipton 20 1-10  
TE Dwayne Allen   4-50,1  
TE Coby Fleener   5-60  
WR T.Y. Hilton   4-40  
WR Hakeem Nicks   4-50,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   3-30  
WR Donte Moncrief   2-20  
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Colts have already exceeded expectations and Andrew Luck served notice on the league by beating Peyton Manning in Denver. Luck was already an elite quarterback after this season but it was almost an official passing of the torch with Manning faltering and Luck looking great. It also shows that the Indianapolis Colts are either really good or really lucky at drafting quarterbacks.

QUARTERBACK : Andrew Luck capped off a great season with a big win in Denver where he passed for 265 yards and two scores but also had two interceptions. Luck threw for 303 yards and two scores in the previous loss to the Patriots along with one interception. The newest aspect to his passing since that week 11 meeting is that he’s using Dan Herron more as a receiver out of the backfield. Luck is on the road this time and he’s thrown for two or more scores in all but one road game.

RUNNING BACK : Trent Richardson finally used up all the “potential” he supposedly had and has not carried even once in the last two playoff games. Dan Herron has taken over and while he’s been limited to no more than 63 yards as a runner, he did score in each playoff win. And he’s been a very valuable outlet for Luck with ten catches for 85 yards versus the Bengals and eight receptions for 32 yards last week in Denver. Ahmad Bradshaw’s last game was the loss to the Patriots. Herron has finally completely replaced what Bradshaw added to the offense and the Colts are no longer bothering with Trent Richardson. Zurlon Tipton only had two carries last week though and he has little role as a receiver in these last two games. The Colts had no success rushing in the first meeting with the Patriots but have since integrated Herron into the offense with nice results.

WIDE RECEIVER : The week 11 game saw the wideouts challenged to accomplish much. Hakeem Nicks only managed two catches for 15 yards but one score. Reggie Wayne had a unusually productive game of 91 yards on five receptions but has been little used in recent weeks and had no catches last week with just one pass thrown his way. Donte Moncrief had no catches versus the Patriots but the big problem was T.Y. Hilton being held to only 24 yards on three catches. There is little doubt who Darrelle Revis will spend the most time covering.

TIGHT END : Dwayne Allen was out the week that the Patriots came to town and that left Coby Fleener to turn in a season best 144 yards on seven carries. Once Allen returned in week 14, Fleener has never gained more than 56 yards in any game and his only score came in Tennessee against a far weaker defense. Allen has not been that productive in his return other than scoring twice including last week when he turned in four catches for 30 yards and one touchdown in Denver. With the wideouts challenged by the #3 defense against their position, the tight ends should come into play more again this week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Patriots gave up an uncharacteristic four passing scores to the Ravens last week when they had only averaged a little over one passing score allowed in a home game. The key was that no receiver had a big game but that Flacco used ten different receivers and none had more than one score. Only one had more than 45 yards. So Luck is going to have to spread the ball around – which he did in the first meeting. But Hilton will be taken out of the equation again and both tight ends should see some success. The Patriots are also weaker against the run and that will involve Herron much more this week – the loss of Bradshaw in the first meeting was one reason why that game went so badly since only Trent Richardson was left. These are a better set of players than played against the Pats in the first meeting.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 1 18 7 3 3 16
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 12 16 3 25 19 3

New England Patriots

1 @MIA 20-33 10 BYE —–
2 @MIN 30-7 11 @IND 42-20
3 OAK 16-9 12 DET 34-9
4 @KC 14-41 13 @GB 21-26
5 CIN 43-17 14 @SD 23-14
6 @BUF 37-22 15 MIA 41-13
7 NYJ 27-25 16 @NYJ 17-16
8 CHI 51-23 17 BUF 9-17
9 DEN 43-21  
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady     280,2
RB LeGarrette Blount 80,1    
RB Shane Vereen 20 4-20  
TE Rob Gronkowski   7-90,1  
WR Brandon LaFell   4-50  
WR Danny Amendola   3-20  
WR Julian Edelman   8-80,1  
PK S. Gronkowski 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to expect the Patriots to lose here given that they already won handily in Indianapolis and like the Seahawks seem to be peaking at the right time. Playing outside could be a small advantage against the Colts though they were not bothered with the elements in Denver. The last meeting was the Jonas Gray game where he scored four times and then has been little used since.

QUARTERBACK : Tom Brady threw for 257 yards and two scores in Indianapolis but had two interceptions. He’s been rock solid around that level of production this year though he’s not scored more than twice in any game since week 11 until the surprise shootout against the Ravens in the Divisional Round. Brady passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns and even ran in a touchdown for the first time this year. Brady should be a safe bet to at least reach the same production of week 11 and likely more.

RUNNING BACK : The Pats dominated the Colts last time and it was when Jonas Gray was given 37 carries to gain 201 yards and four touchdowns. But Gray only scored once more in week 16 when he only gained five yards on six carries against the Jets. He was a healthy scratch last week but did have an ankle injury at the end of the regular season. The Patriots only ran for 14 yards total against the Ravens’ #1 rushing defense but has never been so productive rushing as they were back in week 11. LeGarrette Blount remains the primary rusher who usually fails to catch any passes. Blount’s first start was in week 12 right after the win over the Colts. Shane Vereen is limited to around six touches per game and really has almost no impact. Vereen had 59 yards on four catches in Indianapolis but only manages marginal production recently.

The role of Gray is interesting since he has not been used much and yet he was so effective in that first meeting. The Pats will see success running the ball but as always it is not certain exactly who does what.

WIDE RECEIVER : The wideouts never scored in the first meeting with the Colts when Julian Edelman (5-50), Brandon LaFell (3-62) and Danny Amendola (2-13) all had lower games than usual. LaFell has been nursing both toe and shoulder injuries but just takes it easy in practice and then still plays. He still caught five passes for 62 yards last week and scored once for the first time since back in week nine. Danny Amendola comes off a freakish five receptions for 81 yards and two scores after having nearly no role all year and scoring just once previously. Edelman caught at least seven passes in each of his last four games as the primary wideout and gained at least 74 yards in each game. Edelman was the primary wideout even in that first game with the Colts.

TIGHT END : Rob Gronkowski scored in each of the last four games and he ended with four catches for 71 yards in Indianapolis. He comes off a 108 yard effort against the Ravens with one score. Timothy Wright is suiting up but has not had a catch in the playoffs. Gronkowski is in vintage form again and ended the regular season with 12 touchdowns.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Colts allowed 234 rushing yards and four scores to Jonas Gray in week 11 but no runner scored more than once in a game since then or had more than 80 rushing yards. Still this is the bigger weakness of the Colts and one that the Pats will exploit. It mostly depends how close to the goal line the offense gets as to whether someone runs it in or Brady throws a score. The Colts are one of the worst defenses versus tight ends so Gronkowski should have one of his better efforts. While the Colts only allowed two wideouts to score against then at home, on the road they allowed 15 touchdowns to the position – quite a difference. The problem here is that while Blount is the best bet for running back, you cannot rule out the chance that Gray shows up again. And aside from Gronkowski, it is hard to rely on which receiver might score but Edelman is the most likely if only because of his volume of catches.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 9 13 18 1 1 10
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 17 23 5 27 5 27

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