Two of the hottest teams in the AFC will meet Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts host the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium.
With major January implications on the line, the two squads are playing for much more than just another notch in the win column.
The Patriots, winners of their last five games, enter the matchup with their offense firing on all cylinders. Tom Brady is coming off a dominant performance against the Denver Broncos in which he threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns in a 43-21 win. During the team’s five-game win streak, Brady has thrown for 18 touchdown passes and just one interception, but will he need to record his 63rd career 300-yard game to secure a victory?
Rob Gronkowski, who turned in a nine-reception, 105-yard performance against the Broncos, has played a huge part in reviving the offense. Gronk’s been a monster of late, recording 36 catches for 516 yards and five touchdowns during the team’s win streak, but will the Patriots need another 100-plus yard effort out of him against Indy? Or will the Pats’ rushing attack, which was held to 66 yards on 25 carries against Denver, need to step it up a notch?
New England’s defense, meanwhile, will have its hands full stopping Andrew Luck. The Colts QB has thrown for under 300 yards just once this season to go along with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Slowing Luck down will be crucial to the Pats’ success, but will it be the biggest key?
Photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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