Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (1-3) visit the New England Patriots (2-2) for a Week 5 match up on Thursday Night Football. The Colts have quarterback Andrew Luck back in the lineup after missing last season with a shoulder injury. But, they have to play the Patriots in Foxboro, where Tom Brady and the Patriots are 10-point favorites.
After starting the season 1-2, Bill Belichick steered New England back on track last week with a 38-7 blowout victory against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots handed the Dolphins their first loss of the season after a 3-0 start.
Indianapolis Colts (1-3) at New England Patriots (2-2)
Kickoff: 8:20 pm ET, Thurs. Sept. 27
TV: NFL Channel
Point Spread: Patriots -10
Much Needed (Andrew) Luck
The Colts lost a 37-34 shootout to the Houston Texans in overtime last week. Andrew Luck (9 TD, 3 INT) tossed 4 touchdowns in the loss against the Texans. Luck has not thrown a pick in the last two games.
The Indianapolis Colts could be 3-1 if it were not for a series on unfortunate events blowing leads over the last two weeks against the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans. Instead, the Colts are 1-3 and heading to New England to face the Patriots on a short week for Thursday Night Football.
Fourth Down Gamble
In a 37-34 overtime loss to the Texans, head coach Frank Reich gambled on a fourth down in his own territory on the 43rd yard line. The Colts did not convert and the Texans went on to kick the game-winning field goal. Reich did not back down from his decision. “I’m not playing to tie,” Reich said.
The Colts average 23.5 points per game, while the D gives up 25 points per game. The Colts D played 86 snaps in the overtime loss and now face a quick turnaround. In contrast, the Patriots D played only 49 snaps in Week 4.
The Colts are 1-1 on the road this season.
Wide Receiver TY Hilton missed most of the game against the Texans with a chest and hamstring injuries. Hilton will not suit up on Thursday.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri broke an NFL record for most FGs last week. Vinatieri won three Super Bowls with the Patriots.
Back on the Belichick Train
Did anyone really doubt the Patriots even though they started the season 1-2? After scoring only 30 points in the previous two games, the Patriots exploded for 38 points against the Dolphins. Tom Brady threw for 247 yards with 3 TDs.
The Patriots offense struggled to start the season. The passing offense is ranked #22 overall. The Patriots only average 23.8 points per game.
Tom Brady Loves High-Flying Wideouts
Brady is excited to have WR Julian Edelman back in the huddle for the first time this season. Edelman returns after serving a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
WR Josh Gordon has fully integrated himself into the Patriots offense after being acquired in a trade from the Cleveland Browns.
Brady averages 220.3 passing yards per game. He tossed 9 TDs in four games, but added an unusually high 4 interceptions.
The Patriots allows 21 points per game and 347.8 yards per game. The porous D coughed up 77 points in the first three games before limiting the Dolphins to only 7 points. On a positive note, the Pats welcomed back Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung after missing Week 3. The D will try to stop Andrew Luck.
TE Rob Gronkowski sat out practice earlier in the week to rest an ailing ankle for Thursday Night Football.
The Patriots are 2-0 at home this season.
The last time these two teams faced each other in 2015, the Patriots won 34-27 in Indy. Luck and Brady each tossed 3 TDs.
According to the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, the Patriots are a 8-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl.