The Indianapolis Colts are hot.
They have won four straight games, including two on the road. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has led the team with Pro Bowl-type stats. Not only is Luck competing for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but many are suggesting that Luck is a Most Valuable Player candidate. Just as Reggie Wayne benefited from catching passes from Peyton Manning, he and Luck have have meshed extremely well. Together, they make two of the best quarterback/receiver combinations in the game.
The defense is also playing well, allowing an average of only 14 points per game in the previous four weeks, despite facing numerous injuries throughout the season, including injuries to Pro-Bowlers Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. Linebacker Pat Angerer, who led the team in tackles last season, has missed nearly the entire season with an injury. He just returned to the team a few weeks ago.
But does the defense have what it takes to stop the league's No. 1 offense?
However, the Patriot offense is similar to that of the Green Bay Packers, whom the Colts came back from a large deficit to beat a month ago. But New England boasts an offensive weapon who seems to leave even the best defenses confounded. His name is Rob Gronkowski, the 6'6" tight end. Brady will look to hit "Gronk" early and often, especially since Wes Welker may not play.
The Colts received some bad news earlier this week. They will be without cornerback Jerraud Powers and tackle Drake Nevis for the rest of the season. The injury to Powers damages an already depleted secondary.
The Colts will keep it close. They will pressure New England's weak offensive line, forcing Brady to get rid of the ball quickly. But the power of the Pats' offense will just be too much for the team.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Colts 19