Andrew Luck may be the next great quarterback in the NFL.
He may win numerous MVP’s, break several NFL records, and even win multiple Super Bowls.
Not this year though.
In what seems like an overnight revelation, the media has gravitated towards Luck and proclaimed him THE greatest ever. Even Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson has bought the Luck hype by comparing him to the iconic Michael Jordan. And while they may all be correct about Luck’s future, one thing is for certain.
He can’t lead his team past the Patriots on Saturday.
Let’s take a look at last week’s game against the Chiefs. The Chiefs were without Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston, Knile Davis, and Donnie Avery, all injured throughout the game and left the Chiefs with several backups in the game. Yet they still were able to put up 44 points against the Colts defense. The coaching staff and defense clearly made no in-game adjustments and were relying on Luck to will them back to victory. The Colts are going to have to be able to make in-game adjustments (adjustments they clearly did not make last weekend) if they have any shot of beating New England.
New England on the other hand appears to be clicking at just the right time, they seem to have found a reliable running game, and defense that has improved compared to previous years. With a newfound running attack, a trio that includes Legarrette Blount, Shane Vereen, and Stevan Ridley, the Patriots now have a balanced offense that can confuse some defenses. Instead of relying on Tom Brady, they have created an offense that doesn’t have to rely on simply passing the ball. All of this is new for Patriots fans, who for years have watched Tom Brady throw the ball 50+ times yet fall short come postseason play. For the first time since the days when Corey Dillion was in the backfield, the Patriots have a respectable running game, one which will have an impact this postseason.
When it comes down to it, turnovers will ultimately be the deciding factor in this game either a costly interception or fumble will be the downfall for one of these teams. . It’s going to come down to what defense can make the other quarterback hesitate and throw a pick, or what defense can force a receiver to rip the ball out of their hands. With a forecast of rain expected Saturday evening in Foxboro, will anyone be surprised to see an ill-timed interception or fumble that costs’ a team the game?
Once again it comes down to who blinks first, who succumbs to the postseason pressure. Although Andrew Luck may have many, many successful years ahead of him, I don’t believe this will be the year for his Colts. With the Patriots at home, coming off a bye week, and with a balanced offense and respectable defense, I don’t see Tom Brady and the Patriots stubbing their toe on Saturday night.
I’ll say 31-20 Patriots. Which will lead to a matchup we saw in the 2006 postseason.
Chargers at Patriots.