7-Things For The Colts: Part II.
By Tom Mahoney
4. It’s Draft Time Again BABY!- The Pats are going to have some decision to make soon. The Draft is coming soon. The Pats will have some issues in the Secondary, with JC Jackson and the estimable Devin McCourty. Adrian Phillips and Mathew Slater will also be concerns in the Secondary and Special Teams. There will be Corners available at the End of the 1st, like: Ahmad Gardner- CB, Cincinnati; Andrew Booth Jr- CB, Clemson; Derion Kendrick- CB, Georgia; and maybe the most likely at 32 is Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama. He’s as tough as McCourty and is more physical than JC (but not as good ball skills, obviously;).
“I know he wants to try to play in the game. Josh Jobe has played with a turf toe all year long,” Saban said. “It got to the point where it was very difficult for him to be able to practice and be able to play. So he is very doubtful for the game.”
The Pats don’t need a WR, but I always think they do. However, if John Metchie is available at 32? I’m not sure they could pass on him. And yes, I’m looking at Saban guys who are in a similar system, and play for a similar hard-ass coach. Metchie has been dynamite this season. Especially in the clutch, and he has been playing injured. He has almost single handed won some games for Alabama late in the game. With injuries to the WR Corps, he has still been unstoppable and a force.
“Metchie left the game with six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in less than one half of action,” Joseph Salvador wrote. “Entering this game, the projected first round pick had 90 catches for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season.”
But most likely the Pats will be looking at the Secondary. With Gilmore gone, and JC Jackson a free agent. They also could have a shot at Derek Stingley. He has a serious foot injury that has gotten worse each season. If he falls to them? It will be due to injury, and failing some medicals. They would likely have to redshirt him. More likely scenarios are Trent McDuffie Washington and Derion Kendrick from Clemson. Also Martin Emerson is a giant CB from Mississippi State. Listed at 6-2, 200, and having a great season. Though he is still a Junior.
5. AFC East Rivalry- This is it. It looks like the Pats have conquered the AFC East again. Not they are setting their sights on the AFC Championship. The Colts have long been one of the Pats main rivals, even after they ran away from the AFC East. This feels like an AFC East game. It is still a great rivalry. Both teams have hated each other for so many reasons. Not the least of which is Deflate Gate, which is still ridiculous. There are not a lot of teams that Belichick wants to beat more than the hated Colts.
“I think he’s good,” Colts LB Okereke said. “He’s confident back there. He’s got a good command of the offense. But we’re really going to try to make the game one-dimensional, see what he can do. We’re excited for the challenge.”
A lot of the younger players don’t really know how much a lot of the older players, especially the Patriot players hate the Colts Organization. Though the good news is that most of them have been fired. This is going to be a battle from start to finish. Both teams Offense want to beat up the defenses with the run. Whichever Offense runs the best is going to have significate advantage last in the Game. The Colt’s DC is known as a guy who wants to stop the run first. Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus is going to stack the Box with a good Defense. I’d like to see the Pats throw early and often, and let the Big Mac Attack take the Colts out, and force their cranky old QB to throw the ball. But, the Colts do have a fantastic Defense.
“I think they're a great defense. The main thing is the takeaways that they have. They're number one in the NFL there,’ The Big Mac Attack said. “There are not a lot chinks in the armor. They do everything pretty well. They have good players at every position. Obviously, the atmosphere will be good and stuff. I think it'll just be a good matchup and we've just got to do what we've got to do. They have a great defense.”
As much as these two teams hate each other, they are really built in similar fashions this season. BB wants to run to take pressure off his rookie QB, which they have been phenomenally successful doing this season. They want to run and play tough D, and only throw in the 2nd half, when the gut shots from the run game will be felt by the Defenses. Both teams have also been fantastic snagging turnover and INTs. The Colts have more of a veteran QB, but Mac has not given up the bad turnovers this season at all.
“I think they have a great defense. They've done a lot of different things each game to stop what their opponent does well,” BB said. “We just have to be ready to go, regardless of the situation. We've just got to do what we can do to control what we can control. That's just playing well on our side of the ball. We already know that they have a great defense, so we're going to expect the expected and realize it's going to be a good dog fight.”
The Colts have said they want to make the Pats One-dimensional. I don’t know if they are planning on stopping the run or the Pass. I think both teams will want to stop the run and force the QBs to throw. If either team can stop the run, they will put a ton of pressure on their opponents QB. Which I think helps the Pats. Carson Wentz is the veteran, but the Big Mac Attack has been the better QB this season. I think the Pats will have an easier time slowing the Colts passing game, but it’s the run game that will destroy either Defense if they can’t stop it.
6. Talking Strategy!- Okay, both teams want to stop the run. If the Pats have to defend the pass, and can’t stop the run, this game is over. But the Pats have also been a very run first team as well. This is still a defensive game plan Game. I think the Pats have the better Defense. They certainly have the best passrusher in Judon. Hit Wentz any way they can and get a lead. The team that can get a lead and force the other team to throw is going to win this game.
“I love watching those type of games, but this year is this year,” Mac Jones said. “They have a great quarterback too now. I always say this, ‘Our offense is going against their defense and vice versa’. We both have great teams and we're just excited to go to a great atmosphere and get a chance to compete with a great team.”
The main difference between the two teams is that the Colts don’t really trust Wentz. The Pats have a different problem They have a young QB, not a veteran QB, which are not always winners. But in Mac’s case, he has been the bigger winner this season. The fact that they both have a “protect their QBs at all costs” philosophy is an advantage for the Pats. Wentz is a veteran who is as good as he is going to get. While Mac improves each week at a phenomenal rate.
“We try every week to make it about the week. Not make it bigger than it needs to be and we have the simple 1-0 mindset every single week we come in here,” Wentz said. “We know the magnitude of the game. The magnitude of who we are playing in the conference. And where teams sit. We know all that stuff. For us, it's just how do we get better? How do we prepare and get ready to go 1-0 this week?”
Mac is the most efficient rookie QB I have ever seen. He has been far more efficient than Wentz this season. The reason the Pats worry about him is because he’s a rookie, not a discarded veteran they need to protect from himself. I think that dynamic favors the Patriots tremendously. They feel the need to protect Mac less each week, and the Colts seem to feel the need to protect Wentz more each week.
7. Pats Win- This is a tough one on the Road. They will be playing in perfect conditions in the Dome. Pats Win in a tight one. I just think that Mac is the better QB. He can win this game with his arm, as he has been doing for a while. BB has done a great job keeping pressure off his shoulders, but he has shown that he can win games with his brain as well. And he keeps getting better and better each week. I don’t think you can say the same about Wentz. He has always been a very hit or miss QB, and if things go wrong, he can help the opponents win the game.
Meanwhile, Mac has been on fire. If you leave out the Buffalo fiasco? He has thrown for over 700 yards in the last three games. Now, you’d like more TD passes from Mac, but they are harder to come by for rookies, and when they get on the Goalline the Pats run it to take the pressure off the rookie QB. They real story of this game will be the Run defense. Whichever Defense can win the run downs the most consistently is going to win this game.
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