By: Derek Havens
The New England Patriots earned a bye during wildcard weekend and had to wait-and-see who they’ll be facing in next week’s divisional round. Well, after the San Diego Chargers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 Sunday afternoon, New England’s future opponent is set.
The Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8:15 p.m. ET.
The Colts won in impressive fashion Saturday, coming back from a 28-point deficit to win 45-44 against the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Colts set to face the Pats, the Chargers will travel to play the Denver Broncos.
Initial Thoughts: This was the best case scenario for the Patriots. The Chargers are the most equipped team to knock off the Broncos — that was eligible to play next week — and the Patriots get to host the Colts.
While Indianapolis is an improved team from last season, the Patriots have the edge in several key match-ups. Indianapolis is weak along both (offensive and defensive) lines and their secondary was by far the worst of the AFC playoff teams.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is threatening and wideout TY Hilton is explosive, but if New England can contain that connection, I don’t believe Indy has enough in other areas. Nevertheless, the Colts are riding high and will be coming to Foxboro for the first meeting this season. Be sure to check out my full game preview shortly.
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