Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 281: Saturday Night Matchup: Patriots vs. Colts

The New England Patriots did not face the Indianapolis Colts in the regular season this year, which was a little weird because it seems like they play each other every year. That's ok though, because now they get to host them in an AFC Divisional game on Saturday, January 11th. The Pats are 2-1 against the Colts in the playoffs—beating them in the AFC Championship game in 2004 and the AFC Divisional game in 2005, but then losing a close AFC Championship game in 2007.

This game will be interesting and there will be a lot of factors in place. The Colts are coming to Gillette Stadium. Outside. In January. If the weather this winter so far is any indication of what these two teams are in for, expect nasty or snowy or cold. I can only hope it's all three. Tough for a team like the Colts who plays in a climate-controlled dome half the time.

If the weather is really shitty, it could be a battle of place kickers. Former Patriots kicking hero Adam Vinatieri, who is 35-of-40 with a long of 52 yards this season, will face off against his replacement, Stephen Gostkowski who is having the best season of his career. Gostkowski is 38-of-41 with a long of 54 yards. How will the 41-year-old Vinatieri handle Gillette in January? This time around, let's hope he doesn't.

While the Patriots enjoyed a bye week over Wild Card Weekend, the Colts battled hard against the Chiefs overcoming a 28-point deficit to beat KC by a single point. So how's this going to play out? Will the Pats be rested and strong and ready to rumble? Or will the Colts be pumped up and riding the high of that huge comeback win? Or maybe the Colts be exhausted and sluggish...

In 2012, the only time New England faced then rookie Andrew Luck, they blasted them 59-24, scoring 21 points in the final quarter. But the Pats also had a lot more weapons then. This season, Tom Brady had a slightly better completion percentage than Luck and over 500 more passing yards. When you look at the season stats, both quarterbacks are pretty even. However...Brady has just a tinch more experience in big games than Luck, so we shall see.

The only thing I know for sure is that I'll be parked on my couch, most likely swaddled in my blankie. My nerves will be shot. I might be slightly intoxicated and probably eating piles of junk food. I'm a stress eater. Now where are those good luck jammies?

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