The second round of the 2013-2014 NFL playoffs are nearly upon us, and the Colts are playing in this round thanks to an incredible comeback last week in the wild card round. The Colts take the road and travel to New England to play the Patriots, winners of the AFC East and of the AFC's number two overall seed. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS at 8:15 p.m. eastern time and will be announced by Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf - announcing his final NFL game for CBS, as he is retiring at the end of the year. The game will also be available nationally on the radio on WestwoodOne Sports with Ian Eagle and Trent Green announcing. Locally, of course, the game will be available on radio on WFNI and WHLK with Bob Lamey and Jim Sorgi announcing.
What Happened Last Week?
The Patriots didn't play last week, as they earned a first round bye due to their receiving the AFC's second overall seed. The Colts, however, did play, and it was an incredible game. The Colts were down 38-10 in the third quarter and were playing terrible football - the defense couldn't stop the Chiefs at all and Andrew Luck wasn't helping things by throwing interceptions. But then the comeback started, and when it was done Luck had put up one of the prolific passing days in postseason history and the Colts had completed the second largest comeback in NFL history and the largest ever overcome in a win in regulation.
Pagano on the Game vs. the Patriots:
Here is what Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had to say this week about the game against the Patriots, talking about the challenge that the Patriots' defense poses to the Colts:
"They do such a great job. They're multiple. They've got playmakers at all three levels. They've lost some guys to injury. They put some really good football players on IR like we have. But again they're multiple. There will be something that we haven't seen. There always is. We'll have to adjust accordingly. Really good edge rusher in Chandler Jones. He's got 11.5 sacks. He can become a game-wrecker if you will. (Rob) Ninkovich on the other side does a nice job. They're steady inside with (Sealver) Silia and Chris Jones is playing well for a young guy, kid out of Bowling Green. I think he's got six sacks for a rookie. He's doing a nice job. Got guys in the back end. (Aqib) Talib has done a nice job for them. Made the Pro Bowl. Got four picks. Rookie d-back has got five picks. (Devin) McCourty back there at safety. (Steve) Gregory is a vet guy. So they've got players all over the place. Again, the biggest challenge will be the unknown. We see a lot on tape. But there will be something that we'll have to make adjustments for. There always is."
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring)
NT Aubrayo Franklin (rest)
C/G Khaled Holmes (calf)
S LaRon Landry (concussion)
LB Josh McNary (concussion)
This will be a close one. I wrote earlier this week to not rule the Colts out at all, and I'm not. I think the Colts have a very, very, very real chance of winning this game. It is tough to travel to Foxboro and play the Patriots in the playoffs, but it's not impossible. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady pose very tough tests to the Colts, but other than those two - the Patriots aren't a great team. The Colts aren't either, but if the good Colts team shows up, they're better than the Patriots. The problem is that the Colts are just so inconsistent from week to week - and sometimes even from half to half. I'm not ruling the Colts out and I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if they advance to the AFC Championship game. That said, I'm taking the Patriots in a close game this Saturday night. Colts 23, Patriots 27