Eric Fisher Vs. Matthew Judon
Eric Fisher has been atrocious this season in pass protection, and his mishaps have cost the Colts two very important games already (@Baltimore and Vs. TB). Perhaps the bye week has allowed Fisher to identify his struggles and at least give the Colts some semblance of consistency. In front of him this weekend will probably be Pats’ edge rusher Matthew Judon, who has been among the most productive pass rushers this season and is always a threat to be reckoned with.
Frank Reich Vs. Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick is the greatest head coach in the history of the NFL. Now, I know we hate the guy, but his greatness is indisputable. Belichick is always a step in front of his opponents (sometimes even bending/breaking the rules), and one of his biggest strengths is taking away the other team’s best weapon(s). Frank will need to be able to dial up that same magic he found against the Bucs, but hopefully this time the Colts manage to limit the turnovers. The Patriots’ front 7 is not nearly as talented as the Bucs’, but they are very well-coached.
Matt Eberflus Vs. Mac Jones
Eberflus has always been great against rookie quarterbacks, and he will be facing one of the frontrunners for the OROY award. Jones avoids making risky throws (2nd in least-turnover-worthy plays this year), while his average depth of target is also among the lowest in the NFL. The Colts’ defense has not been great against passing offenses that manage to limit turnovers and thrive on the dink and dunk passing plays, so Eberflus will need to be making some adjustments to force Jones into uncomfortable situations.
Colts’ LBs Vs. Hunter Henry
The Colts have struggled mightily against tight ends this season, allowing massive games from Rob Gronkowski and Mark Andrews. Mac Jones really likes to go to Hunter Henry. The talented former Chargers’ tight end has seven touchdowns this year already and is Jones’ favorite target in the redzone.
Colts’ IDL Vs. Pats’ IOL
The Patriots’ interior offensive line is no joke, and they have been doing an amazing job both in pass protection and opening holes for the running game this year. The Colts' most productive players on the defensive line have been mostly interior defensive linemen. Buckner, Stewart, and Stallworth are all in the top 4 in both total pressures and run stops among Colts’ defensive linemen over the past 5 weeks. The Colts will need to be able to generate pressure from the interior and also to prevent the Patriots from getting too many yards on inside runs.