By Danny Cox
Even though the fans of the Indianapolis Colts are reveling in the thrilling comeback victory orchestrated by Andrew Luck, the team has to focus on their next opponent this Saturday. Not only is this going to be a Divisional Round playoff game, but it’s also going to be against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.READ MORE: Fire Burning At Metal Recycling Facility In Sutter County
The Colts know that they have the talent to beat the Patriots, but they can’t allow themselves to get in such a big hole like they did against the Chiefs. Those types of things don’t happen too often, and the Pats are going to be ready for it.
Head coach Chuck Pagano and the Colts know that there are a number of things they need to be aware of. Here are three huge keys to advancing past the Patriots.
1. Forget about the cold, poor weather and act like they’re indoors
The Colts are used to the RCA Dome, but they don’t always play badly on the road and in bad weather. They’ve got big road wins against the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, and Kansas City Chiefs this year. Poor weather conditions in Indianapolis have come about this week and are getting in the way of the Colts having their normal practice routine at home.
They’ve done all they could to get around it though, whether that meant driving a bit longer to get to work, bundling up more or staying longer in the afternoon. They’re not going to let anything get in the way of preparing for New England, the cold, and the prolific nature of Tom Brady.
2. Get after Tom Brady as much as they possibly can
Speaking of Brady, that is one person the Colts defense needs to focus on. New England has had a lot of trouble protecting Brady this season, as he was sacked a whopping 40 times during the regular season. That is right down the alley of NFL’s sack leader and Indianapolis Colt, Robert Mathis.READ MORE: Brawl Breaks Out At Big League Dreams Sports Park In Manteca
Throughout the season, Brady was sacked at least four times in six different games while the Saints and Jets got him five times each. Pressuring Brady and getting to him throughout the day could throw off a passing game that is already missing some big weapons, such as tight end Rob Gronkowski.
3. Pay close attention to the ground game of the Patriots
If the pressure gets to be too much for Brady, the Patriots could turn to the ground game led by Steven Ridley and LeGarrette Blount. Together, the duo runs for close to 130 yards per game, and they know how to open things up so that Brady has more of a chance to pass the ball.
Throw in Shane Vareen for third down plays or blocking, and the Pats have all the weapons needed to run up the score on the Colts yet again.
Indianapolis has the defensive stars to keep the Patriots explosive offense at bay, but they have got to watch every aspect of it or things may get out of hand.
For more news and updates about the NFL Playoffs, visit NFL Playoffs Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.MORE NEWS: WATCH: CBS13 Pride Month Special 'See Us'
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.