Thursday Night Football Preview: Colts at Patriots

Updated: Aug 2, 2019


Photo courtesy of Pat Pryor

Indianapolis Colts (1-3) vs. New England Patriots (2-2)


Preview

The Patriots finally snapped their two-game losing streak against the Miami Dolphins last week in a very convincing fashion, squishing the fish 38-7 at Gillette Stadium. To everyone’s surprise, the win came on the backs of running backs Sony Michel and James White, who both had career games and accounted for 3 of the Patriots touchdowns. Brady looked better this week, throwing for 3 touchdowns, but still threw 2 INTs and still seemed like he couldn’t find his rhythm. Their opponents, the Indianapolis Colts, put on a passing clinic lead by quarterback Andrew Luck who threw for 464 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Houston Texans, but could not come out with the win in the end. The Colts defense gave up 494 total yards in the loss and has clear deficiencies in both their pass and run defense. Can Luck score enough points to keep up with the points Brady and company will put on the board? Or will the seemingly revitalized Patriots defense be able to get after Luck and make him uncomfortable?


Players to watch

The Colts offense goes nowhere without star quarterback Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, he will be missing #1 WR T.Y. Hilton, and TE Jack Doyle, so Luck’s day will be a lot tougher, while defenders Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Chung will have much smoother sailing. Hopefully, both Chester Rogers and Eric Ebron can step up in their absence. On the other hand, Brady will be getting back star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left last week with an ankle injury, and receiver Julian Edelman, who’s four-game suspension is over. Getting his favorite targets back and having Colts starting cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Kenny Moore out should be a huge boost for Brady. The Patriots could also decide to take a similar route as last week with Sony Michel and James White leading the offensive charge. If so, linebacker Darius Leonard should have his hands full trying to stop the running game.


Keys to the game

Indianapolis Colts

  • Stop the Patriots run game

  • Blitz Brady up the middle and make him move around

  • Protect Luck

  • Try to establish a run game

New England Patriots

  • Establish the run early

  • Utilize all offensive weapons

  • Get after Luck

  • Force the Colts to beat you on the ground


Injury list

Indianapolis Colts

  • Marlon Mack, RB: Hamstring (Out)

  • T.Y. Hilton, WR: Hamstring, Chest (Out)

  • Jack Doyle, WR: Hip (Out)

  • Denzelle Good, OT: NIR (Out)

  • Hassan Ridgeway, DT: Calf (Out)

  • Quincy Wilson, CB: Concussion (Out)

  • Kenny Moore, CB: Calf (Out)

  • Anthony Castonzo, OT: Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Ryan Kelly, C: Hand (Questionable)

  • Darius Leonard, OT: Ankle (Questionable)

  • Nate Hairston, CB: Ankle (Questionable)

  • Clayton Geathers, S: Knee (Questionable)

  • Adam Vinatieri, K: Groin (Questionable)


New England Patriots

  • Josh Gordon, WR: Hamstring (Questionable)

  • Rob Gronkowski, TE: Ankle (Questionable)

  • Jacob Hollister, TE: Chest (Questionable)

  • Geneo Grissom, DE: Ankle (Questionable)

  • Danny Shelton, DT: Elbow (Questionable)

  • Adam Butler, DT: Knee (Questionable)

  • Elandon Roberts, LB: Calf (Questionable)

  • Eric Rowe, CB: Groin (Questionable)


Top 5 Fantasy Players

  • Andrew Luck

  • Tom Brady

  • Sony Michel

  • James White

  • Eric Ebron


Prediction

The Patriots will pick up where they left off last week and torch the Colts with their running backs. Whether through the air or on the ground, the combination of Sony Michel and James White will be too much for them to handle. Tom Brady will also get right this week through the air, with his favorite target Julian Edelman back, and this could potentially be the week we see Josh Gordon break out against a shaky Colts defensive backfield. While everyone has a chance on Thursday night football, it would have to be a miracle performance from Andrew Luck to keep this one even remotely close. The Patriots take this one easily at home and destroy the Colts in a convincing fashion.


Final Score: New England Patriots 31, Indianapolis Colts 17


Written by: George Haraktsis