Indianapolis Vs New England NFL Playoff Free Pick & TV/Streaming ScheduleJosh Bailey
Finally, after the Wild Card and Divisional Playoff rounds, it’s time to release my free pick for the AFC Championship matchup between the Colts and Pats.
In the AFC Championship, surprising Indianapolis, who upset Denver on the road in the Divisional Round, battles New England on the road. New England is a less than 7 point favorite, but failed to cover the spread against Baltimore in their Divisional Round game this past Sunday. Will they cover versus Indianapolis?
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots NFL Playoff Free Pick & TV/Streaming Schedule
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Date: Jan. 18, 2015
Start Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Foxborough, Massachusetts
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Indianapolis Vs New England
Point Spread: Patriots -6.5
Game Total: 53.5
In hindsight, New England’s victory over Baltimore was even more impressive than at first glance. Yes, the Patriots didn’t cover the spread, but they weren’t playing as well as they often times do. In fact, Tom Brady wasn’t that sharp in the first half.
What the Patriots showed was resiliency. Twice, New England fell behind Baltimore by 14 points and twice, the Patriots rallied to take the lead. The Patriots forced Mr. January, Joe Flacco into 2 interceptions and under 300 yards passing. New England’s defense did give up 136 yards on the ground to Baltimore, but it’s doubtful that the defense will give up that many to the Colts on Sunday.
Indianapolis rushes for only 100.8 yards per game on average and as good as Andrew Luck is, he did throw 2 interceptions in the Colts surprising 24 to 13 road victory over Denver this past Sunday. The Colts’ offensive success is predicated around the pass. Indianapolis averages 305.9 passing yards per game.
Indy’s offensive strength plays to New England’s defensive strength. The Patriots have the ability to play man coverage on T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne with two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis. By taking away Hilton and Wayne, New England’s defense can concentrate on stopping the Colts’ rushing attack and putting pressure onto Luck.
Offensively, New England showed what their game plan is likely to be this Sunday in their 42 to 20 victory over the Colts during the regular season. In that game, Tom Brady passed only 30 times for 257 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, but the Patriots rushed for an incredible 246 yards against the Colts’ defense.
Indianapolis is going to have to stop the rush in order to win this game. It’s doubtful that Indy will be able to do both, stop the rushing attack while holding Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and the rest of the New England passing game at bay.
The trends give neither team a real edge in this one, rather, this game comes down to a matter of styles. New England’s defense matches up well with the Colts’ offensive strength, passing the ball, while Indianapolis’s defense does not match up all that well with what New England can do on offense.
The Patriots are the pick to cover the spread.
Indianapolis Vs New England NFL Playoff Free Pick: Patriots -6.5