Colts vs Patriots: Keys to Achieving the Impossible

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Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back

LeGarrette Blount

(29) gets past Indianapolis Colts strong safety

Mike Adams

(29) in the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Now it’s time to consider the Colts defense. Let’s face it this is the group that is most suspect for the potential to have a bad game. However, an improved run defense could impact the game in a way not seen since the Colts last defeated the Patriots in 2009.

Colts Pass Defense vs. Tom Brady

Tom Brady‘s bread-and-butter is throwing the ball  rub routes to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. The patriots devastated the Cowboys in week five by having Amendola pick the DB over Edelman allowing him to break free for huge chunk plays on critical downs. The Colts must be aware of these and stop them, thus limiting the Patriots big plays. When not going to the rub route, Brady utilizes short quick drops to protect himself (similar to what Luck must do) against the pass rush with a younger and less experienced offensive line.

Colts Run Defense vs LeGarrette Blount/Dion Lewis

LeGarrette Blount is a bonafide Colts killer. In the AFC Championship game, he torched the Colts for 148-yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. If the Colts want any chance to win this game they must shut down Blount between the tackles and force him to the outside. Blount is athletic, but he is far more effective as a north-south than an east-west runner. The Colts must hold Blount out of the end zone and limit him to less than 100 yards.

Dion Lewis was cut by the Colts in 2014. That’s right Indy cut him and stuck with Trent Richardson. Lewis is a scatback with game-breaking potential and excellent hands out of the backfield should he get out into space his shiftiness can make it hard to bring him down. The Colts must keep eyes on Lewis out of the backfield where he is the biggest threat to break the big play especially on wheel routes and screens.

The Entire Colts defense vs. Rob Gronkowski

Okay, stopping Rob Gronkowski is impossible. He tosses defensive backs aside like they are blocking dummies. Gronkowski will get his catches that is undeniable but denying him the end zone will be the key. Perhaps the Colts use dime-backer Clayton Geathers to shadow him, but do they really want a rookie trying to accomplish that impossible feat? It is likely that the Colts will try to chip Gronk at the line of scrimmage then shadow him with a safety over the top. Again, the key for the Colts is to limit his targets and opportunities in the red zone and force Tom Brady to rely on his smaller receivers.

Next: Final Thoughts