As Sunday looms closer, Patriots and Colts fans alike have one thing on their mind: Super Bowl XLIX. Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady looks to set an NFL record by making it to a 6th Super Bowl, while Andrew Luck hopes to make his first appearance. What are the key story lines and match ups in this game? Lets take a look:
Andrew Luck vs. Tom Brady
Though they will never meet on the field, this may be the most interesting match up in the entire game. The greatest quarterback of his generation and arguably of all time, faces off against the future face of the NFL. While Brady may be on the back nine, his football IQ and unwillingness to accept defeat has made him a candidate for this year's MVP award. In this game, it is important for Brady not to turn the ball over, while also being efficient in the passing game. Expect to see a lot of play action pass and Brady in the shotgun to compliment a run-heavy offense. Luck will have to drop back 50 times and play close to perfect in order for the Colts to have a realistic shot at defeating the favored Patriots. Luck will also have to cut down on his turnovers and utilize his legs if given an open lane to run.
Who will Revis cover?
The Colts receiving core is about as mediocre as a team can have, while still competing for a trip to the Super Bowl. In their previous meeting this season, Revis was originally assigned to cover T.Y Hilton, but was then used on Reggie Wayne. After Revis' reassignment, Wayne folded like an accordion. These types of games underutilize Revis because they do not have a true #1 receiver. If the Patriots make the Super Bowl and meet Seattle there, they will face the same problem with the Seahawks.
Running or Passing?
Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Tom Brady accounted for close to 80% of the Patriots offense. In the previous meeting between the Colts and Patriots, Jonas Gray ran for over 200 yards and the Patriots running backs tore apart the defensive line. Jonas Gray has been dealing with a high ankle sprain for the past couple of weeks, but Blount could provide comparable running if need be. With rookie center Stork more than likely out for Sunday's AFC Game, will the Patriots look to attack the Colts with a more balance attack?
This game is going to be a lot closer than one may think. The Patriots have made Andrew Luck and company look like a Junior Varsity team in their 3 previous meetings, but Luck's time is coming. However, the Colts do not have enough talent to compete with the Patriots on both sides of the ball. I also question their mental toughness after seeing Reggie Wayne's comments after their game in the regular season. I believe the game will be relatively close in the first three quarters, but the Patriots will pull away in the 4th.
Patriots 38 Colts 27
by Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS