1. Battle of the OL The Colts are dealing with a battered secondary; we want to protect Brady from the DE's- Freeney and Mathis. BB has said that the DL is on its own in terms of beating up and collapsing Colts OL and getting to Manning, but I wonder if this is not a ruse, and that he will bluff the ILBs from time to time and maybe pull stunts and/or send in the occasional safety blitz (OLBs must contain out routes). However if it turns out that we concentrate on the drop back, then the our DL has to play its best game. I see major rotation between Wilfork, Wright, Warren, and Pryor to keep them all fresh. On the other side, our OL must be nothing less of outstanding, to give Brady time to execute, because in the last 4 games we have played them, there has been an alarming trend- Brady has 7 interceptions in those 4 games, in which we have been 1-3. However, if he has time, he will pick apart the battered secondaries. Vollmer and Kaczur will be having long days, but Baker will spell them with the occasional block or chip. He should be in motion a lot today. 2. Battle of the TE's: Manning has more than one option, naturally, but we all know it is a BB trademark to take away the primary strength of the opponent, and in this case it is Clark. We saw what happened last week when you don't take away the primary strength. Texans left their DB corp too deep, so all Manning had to do was fake play action to draw the LBs up, and that opened up the middle, e.g., Clark who went for 14/100+ The thing with Manning is when he does the play action fake he doesn't run down, he remains stationary and lets the RB pass him by and then flips and shoots, so there is no time to react. The key is to put bump coverage on Clark coming off the LOS. His bread and butter has been the deep out, and on the D, to contain this we must roll the CB up to invite this, because Clark will sweep across in the wake of his WR in go pattern. To defeat this, the CB must release WR to top safety (who rolls over to pick up WR) and stay at the apex to lateral-contain Clark who will be in his cut and looking back, so the CB is blind to him and can then tear his head off. Our TE's are key to our offense. Last week Baker was in motion a lot and helped to chip or stone Porter. We will see this continue again this week, as well as with Watson in his 3rd receiver mode to keep the D honest and spread the field to keep the LB in contain mode. I expect to see quite a few 2WR/2TE sets. 3. Our Defense The main key to the D starts with making Manning get happy feet. The more Manning dances around (which is the result of being pressured) the lesser his pass rating- he has 108.5 when unpressured, and only 91.2 rating when he has to face pressure. We speak of having a balanced offense; our defense must be the opposite of this- it must be unbalanced, we must put up an unbalanced line, and our schemes must be unpredictable and varied. Count on plenty of fake blitzes, and only a handful of actual blitzes. The one big thing about Manning is how fast he gets rid of the ball. For all the talk on Manning, on whether he is truly cerebral or not- I would point out that you don't get rid of the ball very fast without knowing what is coming at you. And because of this, Manning has a very low sacks to throw completions ration. So naturally, the key to the D rests with our DB corp. I see us playing a 33 nickel, like Jays52 and Mayoclinic says, and/or spending extensive time in the dime. The dime will allow us to blitz a stray safety and not sacrifice deep coverage. Again we will see liberal rotation and I will be surprised to find a single DB being declared inactive today. I expect to see us take a page from the Falcons game and put bracket coverage on Clark and keep the high safety. 4. Wildpat or the equivalent of it: It is no accident that we've seen a flurry of transactions happen last night for a good little old-fashioned mindf*** as far as gameplanning goes. You can bet that all of this happened last week and only became official last night. Stanback has probably been working intensively with the first unit this past week. Does this mean we will see the "wildpat"? I would not think so, and especially not if we're up. The great thing, and the one thing I most admire about BB is that he would make for a great poker player; he holds things very close to his chest and will frequently wait until the last possible moment to yank out that ace. He plays it when it really count. However, Colts had problems with Miami and the wildcat. Colts front 7 have a tendency to overpursue, and that is giving the wildcat a great opportunity to excel, because pursuit = no gap contain. So we may well be pulling that big time. With BB vs. the Colts, I have been more wrong in analysis than in any other game. It seems to me that he is at his most deceptive against the Colts. Either way, we will see some major wrinkle that BB has been saving up for all this time- he always seems to get up for the Colts, intellectually. I know we have been very efficient with Faulk going up the middle out of the shotgun, but I wonder how long we can run with it before they catch up to it. Hopefully Faulk continues to remain effective. 5. Red Zone Yes, I can imagine a collective groan going up now, but this has been a persistent problem, and last week it came back. Against an inferior team, we were able to hold our own, but against an elite team, we cannot get away with disguising RZ problems. In my opinion, the RZ problems we've had can be traced to two elements, the 3rd receiver issues we've had, and the playcalling. When we get inside the RZ, the field is compressed and so you can double up on Welker and Moss, and play zone on the rest. This is where playcalling comes in. I am tired of us tunnel-visioning once we are inside the 20. We need to execute more run plays, and against the Colts I would be happy to see more of the I formation to stop the backside pursuit that the Colts D are so good at. It's also critical that we win, because I do NOT want to see Saint Dumpy pull that "holier than thou" crap on Harrison in the studio. I want to see him miserable, with Harrison egging on him.