An old AFC rivalry will be renewed on Thursday Night Football as the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts. The two teams have not met since the 2015 season, but they had a terrific rivalry at the beginning of this decade. The Patriots come into this game as a 10.5 point favorite over the Colts.
The Patriots are off to an inconsistent 2-2 start this season, a year removed from appearing in the Super Bowl. New England comes into this game after blowing out the division-leading Miami Dolphins in week four. The Colts have struggled in the early going this season and come in with a 1-3 record. The lone win for the Colts came against the Washington Redskins in week two.
Patriots Need A Running Attack
One of the reasons for the Patriots inconsistent start this season has been the lack of their running game. Sony Michel has become the featured back for head coach Bill Belichick, but James White also gets consistent touches. Michel leads the team with 49 carries for 196 yards this season, but White averages more yards per carry. White has averaged 5.2 yards per attempt this season, and could find more playing time in this game.
The Patriots rank near the middle of the pack in team defense, but they were outstanding last week against the Dolphins, allowing less than 200 total yards. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy leads the team with 20 tackles this season, and has also recorded an interception. Deatrich Wise Jr. leads the team with 2.5 sacks this season, and the Patriots will look to keep pressure on Andrew Luck in this game.
Vinatieri A Weapon For Colts
Veteran place-kicker Adam Vinatieri is off to another impressive start this season for the Colts, even at age 45. The former Patriot gives the Colts a chance to put points on the board anytime they reach opponents territory. Vinatieri has made eight of his nine kicks this season and has made all eight extra point attempts.
The Colts offense has been inconsistent this season, and they will be without their star wide receiver, T.Y. Hilton in this game. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown for over 1,110 yards this season and has thrown for nine touchdowns. It will be interesting to see who Luck chooses to throw to in this game with Hilton out.
Patriots Blow Out Colts
The Colts were not expected to compete for the playoffs this season, and it appears that will be the case. Indianapolis just does not have the roster capable of beating some of the top teams in the NFL this season.
The New England Patriots have not gotten off to the start they wanted to this season, but they will get things turned around quickly. Belichick will find a way to get the running game involved, and Tom Brady will have a solid game throwing the ball. Bet the Patriots -10.5 over the Colts in a blowout.