With Brandon Spikes being place on IR earlier in the week (for a reason we're still not sure of), a fair question going into this game was who could take over his role in the defense.

Photo via espn.com

I thought for sure this was the game that Dont'a Hightower shows that Bill was right in taking him in the first round. Hightower didn't play poorly, but it was a different linebacker who proved Bill is a master drafter: Jamie Collins.

Collins was the Patriots' first pick in last years draft and while taken in the second round, he played like a first round pick tonight. He played aggressive, tough and was an integral part in the Patriots victory. My favorite play he made was when Andrew Luck threw a fade to Coby Fleener in the back of the end zone. Collins played it perfectly. Yes he might have gotten away with a little push in the chest, but come one, how many linebackers can you think of that can cover the fade against a tight end? Not many. Collins also laid Luck out, blitzing up the middle and driving him into the ground. He also had an interception. His final damage on the night was six total tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, three QB hits and an interception. That to me sounds like a pretty frickin' good game.

The Patriots pride themselves in the “next man up” mantra and Collins embodied its message on Saturday.

- Pete Rogers

Peter Rogers 1/12/2014 01:10:00 AM Edit

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