Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots: NFL picks, predictions and odds

An MRI revealed veteran tight end Jack Doyle fractured his right hand. He will miss at least two games, possibly more. Doyle is vital to an offense that is struggling to get anything going….

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots: NFL picks, predictions and odds

An MRI revealed veteran tight end Jack Doyle fractured his right hand. He will miss at least two games, possibly more. Doyle is vital to an offense that is struggling to get anything going. His absence opens the door for Braxston Cave. Cave’s been inactive the last two games, but has the speed and athleticism to become a weapon down the stretch. Cave had the best game of his career in 2012, catching seven passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Doyle and Cave have accounted for 121 catches for 1,896 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Those two will find their groove again, but need to get help.

The Colts may not actually need help. The offense they inherited has improved significantly, and a win over the Bengals in London gives them momentum going into week 8. In his first three starts Andrew Luck is averaging just under 300 yards passing and throwing for seven touchdowns. He’s not getting lost on drops, the defenses the Colts are facing are much better and over the last month of the season defenses aren’t stacking the box. Luck knows that, and is looking to pick up where he left off.

Don’t expect the Colts to keep rolling if they lose to the Patriots. Indy needs to deal with the losses of T.Y. Hilton and Doyle. They’ll get defensive back Malik Hooker back soon and that will bolster the defense a bit. They’ll also be entertaining big name free agents like Jimmy Graham, Davante Adams and Calvin Johnson. It would be a relief if they managed to get serious players after the trade deadline.

The Patriots are dangerous. It doesn’t seem like they’re concerned with winning games. Aaron Hernandez, Tom Brady and Jacoby Brissett, they’re not the biggest problems. Both rushing games and throwing games are going to find success. While the Colts offense struggles, Gronk will put up more and more points. He’s four weeks removed from his return and is again a weapon. The Colts struggled to tackle Gronk last season, and while Bill Belichick has found ways to gameplan around him, we saw how effective he can be.

The Pats took advantage of a blocked field goal to win last week. Gronk’s questionable health and poor offensive line are reason for concern, while the Colts defense has been able to buckle down when the game is on the line. The Patriots will make plays down the stretch.

Indianapolis (-3) over NEW ENGLAND

This game was moved from Indianapolis to Foxboro. Last week I got ripped for not taking the Colts here. Well, here’s a chance to own this game and make up for it, in just a few weeks. The Colts come in after a loss, their fourth straight. Their confidence has hit a low point. Though it’s tough to get past the shame of the historical situation they’re in, keep in mind that Andrew Luck has been one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. He has 11,677 passing yards and 84 touchdowns, and the Colts will win games. They have enough talent and can win ballgames this season. The score could end up similar to the Bengals victory over the Raiders, but against a superior offensive squad that has a very good defense and is on a roll right now the Colts will pull it out.

POLLING:

1

2

3

O

4

R

O

R

L

O

10

O

14

13

11

23

19

23

17

R

D

14

R

R

17

8

11

10

8

16

9

12

12

6

R

18

14

16

12

10

12

12

R

O

In past years my PPR teams have really struggled against the Patriots. If I am going to attempt to cover against Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the always high powered Patriots, the Colts are the team to start against. The Pats went 3-1 against the spread this season in their four wins, and 2-1 in their two losses. The Patriots have averaged 34.4 points per game on the road and 21.8 on the road against division foes. The Colts will struggle to get stops, but can put up enough points to win this game.

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