Colts vs. Patriots, 1 ET
Years ago you'd look at this game and it would've been in the primetime with Peyton Manning taking on Tom Brady. Every year the NFL would find a way to get their best two quarterbacks to square up against each other. Now we get two teams that are surrounded by with quarterback controversy. Both are trying to figure out who takes over.
The Colts are turning to Sam Ehlinger to take over in what is quickly becoming a lost season. I am not surprised that he is in there as Matt Ryan was horrible. The Colts lost last week with Ehlinger, but he looked pretty good in the game against the Commanders. He didn't throw any interceptions and compiled 201 passing yards. As he gains more confidence, he should be able to make the best of this opportunity. The problem is he has to face a Patriots defense that is good, and at home. I think this will be quite a bit of a learning curve against a mastermind like Bill Bellichick. The good news for the Colts is that they have a solid enough defense that they probably can keep the team in most games this season.
The Patriots are so inconsistent. In one game they look like they are putting it all together. The next they look like they are rebuilding. Last week they looked good enough against a surprisingly successful Jets team. Mac Jones is still the quarterback but there is a group in New England calling for him to be replaced. I don't see it happening unless he really struggles. One pleasant surprise has been Rhamondre Stevenson, he has taken over as the primary back on the team and looks really dynamic as he navigates the field. The problem with the Patriots offense is that they don't really seem to have a good wide receiver. They always tend to pick up players that are afterthoughts for other teams - like Nelson Agholor and Davante Parker. Parker is talented but he's only had 15 receptions this season.
I don't like either team's offense in this game. Both want to focus on running the ball and protecting their possessions. I'm sure at some point they will need to unleash the areal attack, but neither quarterback gives me much confidence. I'm taking the under 40 for the game.
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