3 New England Patriots players to watch for vs. the Indianapolis Colts

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Davon Godchaux #92 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots player to watch No. 2: Davon Godchaux

It’s safe to say the Patriots made a number of shrewd moves this offseason that helped this team pull off an incredible turnaround after just one losing season. One of the more underrated signings of the offseason was Davon Godchaux. Godchaux has been a vital piece of the Patriots new and improved run defense, and he’s going to play a key role in slowing down Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor.

Godchaux finally started getting the respect he deserved after his performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 13. He led the Patriots with 10 tackles, and played a huge part in limiting Buffalo’s run game to virtually nothing on a night where extreme winds pretty much forced both teams to limit how much they threw the ball. That Godchaux led the defense with 10 tackles as a defensive tackle tells you just how good he was in that game.

Stopping the Bills inconsistent ground game is one thing, but stopping the Colts is another. Taylor has emerged as one of the top running backs in the league this season, and he has eclipsed 100 total yards from scrimmage nine times over his last 10 games. You can bet head coach Bill Belichick and the coaching staff are going to do their best to slow down Taylor, but you really may only be able to limit him at this point.

Godchaux will play a big role in that game plan defensively. As the first line of defense, Godchaux will be tasked with trying to disrupt plays right at the line of scrimmage, and if he can’t stop it, open up holes for his teammates to open behind him. Taylor can rip off big plays at any time though, and his unique combination of strength and speed is really what makes him so dangerous. Any time you can stop him at the line scrimmage, you need to take advantage of that opportunity.

In reality, that’s what Godchaux has been doing all season long. He doesn’t offer the three down capabilities that Christian Barmore does at defensive tackle, but he’s such a solid run defender that it doesn’t really matter. If Taylor ends up having a slow day at the office, you can bet Godchaux will be one of the main reasons why.