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
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots player to watch No. 1: Mac Jones

This game could very well end up being a polar opposite from what we just saw against the Bills in Week 13. In case you forgot, rookie quarterback Mac Jones was only called upon to throw the ball three times, which is an absurdly low total in the modern day NFL. I’m no betting expert, but you can safely take the over on three pass attempts from Jones in this one.

Jokes aside, Jones might be needed to step up more in this game than any other game this season. The Colts have a pretty strong front seven, while their secondary leaves a bit to be desired. The top corner duo of Rock Ya-Sin and Xavier Rhodes isn’t exactly the most dangerous group Jones has faced this season, and you can make an argument that Indy’s top corner is Kenny Moore II, who plays primarily in the slot.

The Colts have made it known they are going to try to limit the Patriots ground game after they destroyed the Bills on the ground in Week 13. Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke basically said Indy’s defense wants to make Jones win this game for the Pats, implying that he doesn’t believe Jones is up to the task. Given how Okereke has struggled in coverage this season (quarterbacks have a 110.8 passer rating when he’s been targeted) you can bet he just drew a big target on his back.

Jones will have matchups he likes all over the field. The key for Jones is that he has got to be careful with the football and not make too many mistakes, because if he does, the Colts will make him pay. Indianapolis leads the league with 29 turnovers, and we saw earlier this season how mightily this team struggled to protect the ball and limit their mental mistakes.

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This game will most likely come down to whether or not Jones can step up and make some big plays when his team needs him to. The ground game may be able to find some holes throughout the game, but they should not be relied on like they were the last time this team took the field. Jones has made a lot of progress during his first season in charge of the Patriots, but we are about to find out just how far he has come in this game against the Colts.