The New England Patriots will face the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL divisional playoff round Saturday night, and they’ll depend on some of their biggest stars to step up against Andrew Luck and Co.
Tom Brady has staged unlikely comebacks throughout the season and carried his team to wins against all odds. New England will expect another huge game from Brady against the Colts, but other than their quarterback, which Patriot needs to step up the most against Indy?
LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen should thrive against an Indianapolis run defense that ranks 26th in the league. Blount has been a force of late, accounting for 334 total yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ Week 17 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Vereen won’t make life any easier on the Colts, either, as the dual-threat back not only will be a key player for Brady out of the backfield but also a key player on the ground.
Brady also will turn to Danny Amendola. The receiver has battled injuries all season, and although Julian Edelman has emerged as one of Brady’s top targets, Amendola will be a huge factor for the Patriots’ success.
On the other side of the ball, Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib likely will be tasked with slowing down T.Y. Hilton. The Colts wide receiver, who is coming off a monster game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round, won’t be easy to defend, but the Patriots’ defense will count on forced turnovers to deal with Indy’s passing game.