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This is the new chapter of the Patriots vs. Colts rivalry and I'm as excited as anyone to see how this new chapter begins. Andrew Luck is having arguably the best rookie season since Peyton Manning and has been calm and collected throwing the football. On paper the Patriots are the better team but anything can happen. Obviously we are going to be watching how Andrew Luck performs, and how Belicick responds to his play, but here are a few other things to watch for:

The One Dimesion of the Colts
The Patriots know what is coming. Its going to be an all out air assault by the Colts, but if they want to win this game, they are going to need to get at least a little help from the ground.


The Colts have only scored 7 rushing touchdowns this season and what is more alarming is that 5 of those have come from Andrew Luck. If the Colts don't get it going on the ground the Patriots win. Yes, the Colts beat the Packers with primarily a passing attack but I believe with the defensive minds the Patriots have, the result won't be the same.



Offensive Line Play of the Patriots

This offensive line has been a big question this season with the loss of key veterans to other teams and injuries during the season. Another big question mark popped up when Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins left last weeks game against Buffalo. Dan Connolly was back at practice on Friday but Logan Mankins was not. His spot will be filled by Mitch Petrus who was signed earlier this week. Mankins is the best lineman in the league I believe and he will be missed, but it should be interesting to watch this o-line perform with a new guy involved.


Aqib Talib's First Game as a Patriot

One man can't fix this secondary but Aqib Talib certainly helps. He brings a swagger to this defense that it desperately needs. I don't expect him to have an amazing game because he hasn't been on the field much. I'm excited to see what he brings and how much of an impact he will have. Aqib has said all the right things and seems to be comfortable in New England. When asked about the Patriot's defense he said:
"I've played man before, I've played zone before. It's my fifth year in the league [and] I've played almost every coverage there is to play, For a corner, you can almost play for any team. It's football; you go out and play one of eight coverages. I've done it all before."
Hopefully he gives the Patriots the spark they need on defense in the long term, and gets in Andrew Luck's head tomorrow afternoon.

Give me a follow on Twitter! @joeloobs

Sources:
The One Dimesion of the Colts:
Bleacher Report
musketfire.com
Offensive Line Play for Patriots:
ESPN Boston
Aqib Talib:
ESPN Boston

Joe Loubier 11/17/2012 04:26:00 PM Edit
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