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My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Colts

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    My Five Keys To Victory For The Patriots Against The Colts
    By: Russ Goldman

    Here are what I feel will potentially be New England's Five Keys To Victory Against The Colts....

     
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    Let me add a couple more:

    6) Win Special Teams

    When the offenses and defenses are relatively equal, the easiest way to gain an advantage is to decisively win special teams. With the Colts banged up at linebacker and safety (2 key ST positions), added to the fact that they aren't great at ST anyway...this is the week for Tate, Edelman, White, Slater, Chung, etc. to shine.

    7) Be Physical

    The last thing Collie (concussion), Wayne (knee), White (shoulder) and Garcon (psyche) want to see is a DB or LB bearing down on them with hostile intent. If Tamme or Brown get roughed up, there aren't viable replacements behind them. The Colts are also so thin at LB and S that Dungy may have to suit up at some point. Don't let this game turn into a 7-on-7 flag football game. Make sure their team colors are black-n-blue instead of blue-n-white.

    8) Don't Forget about the Checkdown

    This would be super important if Addai was active, but still can't let Brown kill the Pats D with a thousand paper cuts. It gives Manning security and momentum, wears out the defense and keeps Brady off the field. If the Colts want to throw underneath, eliminate the YAC (and see the previous point above).

    9) No Cheap Plays

    The Colts don't play the underdog very often, so watch out for surprise plays that they typically don't run. Fake punts, surprise on-side kicks, etc. Be ready for anything since this game is more important to the Colts than they are letting on. 6-4 with SD, DAL and TEN(x2) coming up and the season could fall apart real fast. Lose 2 of those 4 games and the Colts may be looking at tie-breakers. Lose 3 of those 4 and Manning will have plenty of time to film commercials in January. This game is huge for the Colts and I expect them to play accordingly.

    10) Be Intense, but be Smart

    Leave it all out on the field. Go for it on 4th down. Forget the FGs and go for the end zone. But....avoid the mental mistakes that kill drives and destroy momentum. False starts, late hits, illegal formations...these are due to lack of focus and just can't happen in this game. I don't think the Colts stop the Pats very often if they have to get only 10 yards in 3 (or 4) plays. Make it 15 or 20 yards and everything changes (including how effective Freeney and Mathis become). I don't think the Colts score a ton of points if they have to earn every yard. Give them an extra 15 yards or a cheap 1st down and points are sure to result.
     
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