Disclaimer: This will likely be a little long (I know, big surprise ) and may even span multiple posts. Please wait to respond until I actually say I'm done. Thanks. NE O / Indy D Going into the Dallas game, I felt optimisitc about NE's ability to stop them because there were some similarities between Cleveland's and Dallas' offenses. Both had big time #1 WRs with excellent receiving TEs. Both had QBs willing to take shots and both had decent OLs. I felt that the week of preperation for Cleveland would help lay the groundwork for stopping the 'Boys. Why do I bring this up? Because I feel the exact same way about the Skins' / Colts' defenses. IMHO, they are very, very similar. Both teams generate their pass rush from the DL with minimal blitzing or even stunting. Both teams lean heavily on safety play for both run and pass defense. Both teams have good, physical CBs. Washington stayed nearly the entire game in a Cover two with both safeties deep, as Indy normally plays passing teams. Both teams' defensive structure is based on forcing teams to make a lot of plays to get one single TD. Now, just like Dallas' OL proved to be a lot bigger than Clevelands, and Romo offers some issues with scrambling that Anderson doesn't, Indy obviously brings other things to the table that Washington did not. I think that Sanders is a more complete safety than Taylor, being better in both run and pass defense. Frankly, Sanders may be the best safety I have seen in long time at filling running lanes. Somehow he does that and still is around the ball when passed as well. He is a tremendous player. Freeney and Mathis are also much better pass rushing ends than Washington has. Despite these issues, I still think that NE has an advantage having prepped for a Cover 2, DL rushing scheme last week and now being able to just focus on Colt specific difficulties. Going into the Washington game, it was a fair criticism that NE had not faced a good defense all year. But what many seem to completely ignore is the fact that Indy has faced some dreadful offenses as well. Even the ones they faced were typically missing some major players. Hou - no Johnson or either of the top two RBs. TB - first game w/o Williams or Petigout. TN - they just stink offensively Den - no Walker Car - Vinny! Really the only good offense they faced was Jax, and that was immediately wiped out by the replacement of Gray for Garrard. In Garrard's three drives, BTW, two of them started inside their own 25 and ended in Indy territory. The 2nd one was the one he got hurt on. Let me thrown my hat into the ring and say that I believe that Indy's defense, while better than last year, is ariticially inflated. Even if I felt Indy's D is for real, past history indicates that NE will be able to move the ball successfully. Indy has never held NE under 20 points in these recent regimes. NE put up 20 points on Indy with an abysmal WR corps still trying to figure things out in Nov and they were able to put up 27 offensive points later in the year after they were finally able to patch together a very good offense with duct tape and bailing wire. Half of those points came without any credible rushing threat and with one of the WRs proceeding to crap his pants in front of millions of people. Frankly, it was only an obvious miscall that kept NE under 30 offensive points in that game. By comparison, I point to the Jets. They faced NE the week after Indy and also faced them in the playoffs. NE scored 14 in the former (only one offensive TD) and 30 in the latter. This year, with minimal practice for either Stallworth or Moss, NE destroyed the Jets and only punted one time - after a dropped 1st down by Welker. They have only gotten better since then. I will make a sig bet with anyone that wants to take it that NE will put at least 30 points up this week. I will also be willing to say "double or nothing" if that comes true that NE slaps a 40-spot on the board. This offense is unlike anything that Indy has seen in a long time. Contrasting against the teams that Indy has been facing this season is like playing upper tier college teams and then facing an average NFL offense. It is no fluke that NE really is on a historic pace right now. Sure you can point to some creampuffs on the schedule, but Washington came in with similar stats as Indy does and NE moved at will against them. Indy's defense plays the guessing game and they are typically successful, but they have never faced an offense as diverse as the one they will see. If there is anything on film that gives NE a heads up as to whether they are playing pass or selling out on the run, NE will have no trouble moving the ball. One thing that I do expect that might be a little different, is I expect Maroney to be a bigger part of this gameplan than they have used on the past. The one thing that still worries me a little about NE's D is the age of the ILBs. Because I do expect Indy to move the ball well, NE is going to have to give those guys a breather regularly. If running the ball forces Sanders into the box, all the better because this is not your 2006 NE offense. One thing to keep in mind is that in the past two games at Indy, NE jumped out to 31-10 and 21-3 leads and were let down by not having the personel to put the game away. While it is obviously on the defense to hold a 3 score advantage, both games were full of short NE drives in the 2nd half. Despite their great offense, NE still needs to play "keep away" to some extent. Cont.