The War of 1812 is now being fought between Denver and New England. Welcome to the beginning of the War of 1212. 12's will collide! Or maybe we'll figure out a better nickname...
Keys for a Colts Win:
Test the New England secondary. It's a work in progress. #1 CB Devin McCourty is now the #1 S, and you can expect him at the Free-Safety spot trying to solidify the back end. As for the Strong-Safety spot it's either going to be Patrick Chung returning from injury, Steve Gregory returning from a mediocre game, or rookie Tavon Wilson still feeling those growing pains. As for the Corner-Backs, we'll see. Aqib Talib will make his debut but may be eased in. Mediocre-veteran Kyle Arrington may take the other spot if not rookie Alfonzo Dennard who, after a great start to his rookie campaign, had the kind of game that makes a corner humble. There will undoubtedly be some communication errors as these guys get acquainted and as Belichick strives to find the right mix back there.
Beware. The Patriots Defense is going to have a lot to prove. They once again majorly underperformed following the bye-week with blown assignments and bad fundamentals. I'm not sure if the Pats missed as many tackles in their first 8 games as they did in that 9th one. I would expect the Front-7 to be angry and I would expect them to want to vent their frustration on the Colts Offense. Don't do what Shanahan has done with RGIII and have the future of your franchise try to fight for a 1st down through the likes of Wilfork and Spikes up the middle.
Confidence. Andrew Luck just needs to give the team reason to believe that they can compete in a post-Manning Indiana. If they play mistake free football, limit turnovers, and take advantage of mistakes, the Colts have a legit shot.
Key player for the Colts, besides Luck: Corner-Back Darius Butler. The former 2nd round pick of New England, also dropped by the Panthers, has a chance to come back to New England and make the ultimate statement to the team that cut him and the world that doubted him.
Last but not least, be good to the host fan-base by proving with photographic evidence that your cheerleaders are elite. I said "photographic", right? My tongue slips sometimes. Comments below, please.