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Patriots To Ease Past Colts On Home Soil

October 3, 2018

The New England Patriots will aim to build off their bounce back win over the Miami Dolphins against the ailing Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football.

News of the Patriots’ demise was greatly exaggerated as Bill Belichick’s men crushed the Dolphins on Sunday. Miami entered the contest with a 3-0 record, looking to make a statement at the start of the term to swing the balance of power in the AFC East.

However, Tom Brady and company eased to a commanding victory, despite less than a vintage performance from the quarterback. New England’s defense that struggled against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions found their form, shutting out the Dolphins until the dying stages.

Indianapolis arrive as heavy underdogs for the contest. Frank Reich took the controversial decision to go for it on fourth down in overtime against the Houston Texans. The Colts had battled back from an 18-point deficit to force overtime at NRG Stadium. From their own 44-yard-line the head coach may a do-or-die call, which failed and resulted in their defeat on the road.

The club now have to respond, although their roster has been plagued with injury. Andrew Luck displayed signs of returning to his best against the Texans, but he will need a special effort to come away with the win at Gillette Stadium.

Edelman's return will keep Patriots on track

New England Patriots

The Patriots were able to respond from their back-to-back defeats to the Jaguars and the Lions with a flawless performance on home soil against the Dolphins. Questions were beginning to emerge about the quality of New England’s roster after suffering successive defeats for the first time in six years. However, Brady and Belichick orchestrated a dominant victory over their AFC East rivals, ensuring that Miami were not able to pull away from them in the division. Brady was still not perfect, throwing two interceptions in the contest. His three touchdown strikes displayed he remains deadly accurate, although the return of Julian Edelman should help eradicate his mistakes.

Edelman returns after serving his four-game suspension. The 32-year-old missed the 2017 season after tearing his ACL last August. He will be itching to return to the fold and provide Brady with the security blanket he has missed in the opening weeks of the campaign. James White has been Brady’s most reliable target out of the backfield, starring for the club out of the backfield. With Josh Gordon beginning to feel his way into the Patriots’ offense, it would not be a surprise to see New England find their range to move back to the top of the AFC Conference.

The defensive performance would have been more pleasing for Belichick than his side’s display on offense. They struggled to deal with the pass and run against the Jaguars and Detroit. However, the Patriots were dominant on the line of scrimmage to control the run, while Tannehill had a game to forget passing downfield. Trey Flowers’ return was crucial to control the edge along with providing pressure to the Dolphins quarterback. Kyle van Noy and Dont’a Hightower also had strong outings, moving up to make crucial tackles against the run. Without superstars the Patriots need to continue to be a solid unit to keep teams at bay.

Indianapolis Colts

Reich made a gutsy call to go for the win against the Texans. It was a move similar to that made by Doug Pederson in the Super Bowl when he went for it on fourth down against the Patriots. The difference was the Philadelphia Eagles succeeded and won the game, whereas Reich’s new team fell to their third defeat of the campaign. Reich was the offensive coordinator of the Eagles that gave the Patriots all sorts of trouble in Minnesota. Belichick and his staff had no answer for the trick plays and the crossing routes that allowed the Eagles to move downfield and score with relative ease.

Luck is a better quarterback than Nick Foles, although he will be entering Foxborough without his full complement of receivers. TY Hilton will likely miss the contest, while tight end Jack Doyle is struggling with an injury. It places a lot of pressure on Ryan Grant, Eric Ebron, Chester Rogers and Nyheim Hines to step up in the passing game. Luck can produce heroics even without his best players, throwing four touchdowns against Houston. It was a step in the right direction for the 28-year-old as he continues to search for his best in his fourth game back from a shoulder injury. This will be the ultimate test of the Colts’ offense on the road against Brady.

Darius Leonard has been outstanding for Indianapolis in his rookie season. He has been constantly around the ball, notching 54 tackles and four sacks in his first four matches. However, Leonard suffered an injury against the Texans and the game will likely come too soon for him to return. Without him the Colts are vulnerable in the middle of the field, where Brady has made his living for the past 20 years. It will take a special effort for the rest of the unit to keep the Patriots at bay.

Betting Options

The Colts may consider this a revenge game after Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels opted out of a deal to become their head coach at the 11th hour in February. General manager Chris Ballard declared that the long-standing rivalry between the two teams – that had cooled in recent seasons – was back on. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’re undermanned on a short week, heading into one of the toughest venues to play in – in the NFL.

Brady looked to be finding his rhythm and will have his most reliable target back in the line-up. Take the Patriots to win at -500  with BetOnline, while take the Colts on a +8.5 spread at odds of 23/20  with 888Sport. The over/under line has been set at 52 points, take the over on a high-scoring game at Gillette Stadium at -110  with TopBet. Edelman will be active in the passing game on his return. He has not played a competitive game since Super Bowl LI when the Patriots beat the Falcons.

Back him to have over 65 receiving yards at 17/20 , while take Brady to throw for over 281 yards at the same price with 888Sport. Luck will not have Hilton to throw to, putting pressure on Rogers to produce. Back the wideout at odds of 8/11  to record over 46 receiving yards and take Hines to record over 26 rushing yards at 17/20  with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

New England Patriots To Beat Indianapolis Colts
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: -500

Indianapolis Colts +8.5 Spread
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 23/20

Over 52 Points To Be Scored
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: -110

Julian Edelman To Record Over 65 Receiving Yards
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 17/20

Tom Brady To Throw For Over 281 Passing Yards
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 17/20

Chester Rogers To Record Over 46 Receiving Yards
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 8/11

Nyheim Hines To Record Over 26 Rushing Yards
Thursday 4th October 2018 20:20 ET (Friday 5th October 2018 01:20 BST)
Odds: 17/20

  • Colts
  • Indianapolis Colts
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    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.