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2018 Opponent Scouting Report: Patriots special teams and a prediction

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Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Overview

On October 4, 2018 the Indianapolis Colts will travel to take on the New England Patriots. In this week five match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our new look Colts.

The Colts have struggled against the Patriots ever since Peyton Manning took his talents to Mile High. The last meeting between these two teams came in October of 2015 which culminated in a 34 to 27 Colts loss. Currently the Colts are on a seven (7!) game losing streak to the Patriots and the evil empire has put up an average of 40 points per game over that span. Hopefully this Thursday these 2018 Colts will be able to change course on what has been a rough era of Colts vs. Pats football.

This one means a lot to the Colts front office Thursday night should be interesting

Let’s figure out what we can expect in week five.

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Kicker:

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Stephen Gostkowski took over for Adam Vinateri the day Vinny left town and he’s never given up his spot. For his career he is 87.6 on field goals and 604 for 610 on PAT’s and his career long field goal came in 2017, booting in a 62 yarder, which is unreal.

Gostkowski is a very good kicker and I would expect Bill Belichick to always have an excellent kicking game as a former special teams coordinator.


Punter:

New England Patriots v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Ryan Allen has been with the Patriots since 2013 but oddly I don’t ever remember seeing him on the field during that time. I don’t remember seeing him because in the four games he’s played against the Colts he’s punted a total of ten times. Through four games this season, Allen has already punted seventeen times and only twice last week in blowout win.

Hopefully, somehow we get Allen to double his career punt total tonight.


Returner:

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Patrick Chung is listed at the top of the depth chart for Patriots punt returners but in real life corner back Cyrus Jones is the one returning punts to the tune of five returns for 49 yards in their week four dismantling of the previously undefeated Miami Dolphins.

Cordarrelle Patterson is listed as the teams number one kick returner and true to form he leads the team with six returns for 157 yards. Sony Michel has also returned two kicks for a total of 40 yards.

Ultimately I hope we decide to keep the ball away from these returners. Jones and Michel don’t worry me nearly as much as Patterson who, in my opinion is too explosive as a kick returner to test. I hope they let Rigoberto Sanchez blast them out of the end zone and take their chances at the 25.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

I hope I’m wrong about this game. I hope the Colts come out and kill in this one. I hope Andrew Luck is upset about Josh McDaniels rejecting the chance he had to coach him and channels his inner 2009 Peyton Manning and lifts the teammates he has around him to play unbeatable football. I hope the defense comes out and punches the Patriots in the mouth and doesn’t stop until the Patriots defect back to old England. I hope they intercept Tom Brady six times in the first half and make him retire at half time.

I hope Frank Reich announces his arrival as a great head coach by driving his team up and down the field until Bill Belichick complains that the Colts had to be cheating. I hope Andrew Luck doesn’t stop throwing touchdown passes until the scoreboard hits 99 and runs out of space to continue.

I hope all of those things, but in reality, these Colts aren’t ready, especially not on a short week with so many injuries to players vital to the teams success. A year from now I think they might be there, two years from now I think we see another failed 4th and 2. Which is an absolute shame because we aren’t going to ever get to see Andrew Luck battle the Patriots at their peak. I’m not giving you any hot takes here, Tom Brady is 42. I know he’s won the battle against time so far, but father time is completely undefeated and 44 year old Tom Brady won’t be at his peak.


Prediction

Colts 17

Patriots 31