Sunday, November 06, 2005
Peyton Manning has never won a game in Foxborough. He is 0-7. His QB Rating in Foxborough is a pathetic (especially when compared to his overrall rating) 61.6. Manning is 1-7 vs. Belichick and 2-10 against the Patriots. However, this year it isn't just Peyton Manning's offense and a bunch of bums on defense that will be playing in Gillette Stadium. And this year, guys like Rodney Harrison and Ty Law won't be there to pick off Manning. Nor will Matt Light match up against speedy Defensive End Dwight Freeney.
The Colts come to the Borough at 7-0. They've beaten Baltimore, Jacksonville, Cleveland, San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, and Tennessee. However, they've only played 3 games outdoors and those were in Baltimore, San Francisco, and Tennessee. The game time temperature should be in the mid 40's.
Gillette Stadium isn't the impregnable fortress anymore. San Diego came in here and kicked us all over the field. Our defense isn't the big play machine it once was. Yes, we did beat Buffalo, but the Bills also made some big mistakes that handed us the game.
The Colts and Patriots both have a good amount of men on the injury report. Here is the list for Indianapolis:
PROBABLE: DT Vincent Burns (knee); DE Dwight Freeney (foot); T Tarik Glenn (back); S Joseph Jefferson (toe); LB Cato June (groin/knee); DE Robert Mathis (toe); S Bob Sanders (forearm/wrist); G Jake Scott (knee/toe); TE Ben Utecht (chest); K Mike Vanderjagt (right calf)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Larry Tripplett (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: LB Keith O'Neil (shoulder)
And for New England:
PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Troy Brown (foot); RB Corey Dillon (ankle); WR Tim Dwight (rib); CB Randall Gay (ankle); WR David Givens (knee); DE Jarvis Green (shoulder); DE Marquise Hill (ankle); LB Willie McGinest (finger); RB Patrick Pass (hamstring); S James Sanders (ankle); DE Richard Seymour (knee); DE Ty Warren (hip); TE Ben Watson (knee)
OUT: RB Kevin Faulk (foot); T Matt Light (ankle)
Basically, all our running backs, most of our defensive line, and a good portion of our receiving corps are hurt. That's not good. We need to put up big numbers on offense, sustain long drives, and be dynamic to keep the defense honest when it comes to rushing the passer. On defense, ourt success against Manning has been our ability to put 4 man pressure on him and avoid blitzing. Then our coverage sits on his routes and guys like Law pick him off. I don't think we're going to be able to do this on Monday night.
The Patriots are going to have to disguise their pressure scheme on Manning and will be forced to bring in 5th rushers on blitzes, unfortunately. This will leave the secondary exposed but it is pretty exposed as is. We also MUST stop the run. We need to make the Colts offense be one dimensional. This can be done by stuffing the Colts at the line of scrimmage and by scoring alot on offense. Furthermore, we need to take our sweet time scoring on offense. If we possess the ball for 40 minutes in game time, we will probably win. Corey Dillon will be a huge factor in any victory we have.
We've got to force turnovers and we cannot have negative plays. The massive amount of penalties we have had this season have killed us and they will kill us if we let them on Monday. We must avoid allowing Brady to get sacked too many times, or even pressured. Freeney will be lined up against our rookie tackle and guard on the right so we need to keep a back in the backfield and put a TE on that side in order to help Kaczur and Mankins against him. We also cannot overscheme to counteract Freeney as the rest of the Colts line is pretty good. We absolutely cannot turn the ball over on offense.
I think that we will win this game but it will be very close. Somewhere around 20-18, or 21-18, or 24-20.