A comment I have been hearing a lot and tend to agree with is that the Patriots haven't played anybody. But who have the Colts played?
I researched to find some answers. The Patriots opponents are a combined 29-35, the Colts opponents a combined 26-39—not much difference there. The Patriots have 225 points for and 115 points against (+110 difference), while the Colts have 217 points for and 108 points against (+109 difference)—also not much of a difference.
Total first downs
First downs by
Third down conv.
Forth down conv.
Total Offensive Yards
Offense (plays-average yards)
Total Rushing yards
Total passing yards
Average time of possession
There are not a lot of major differences when you break down the chart above. The biggest variation I see is that the Patriots are a more balanced team than the Colts. The Patriots have run 321 passing plays and 221 rushing plays with a difference of 100 more passing plays. The Colts have run 315 passing plays and 183 running plays with a difference of 132 more passing plays.
The Patriots have been more successful rushing the ball as well, with 914 yards rushing compared to 683 yards rushing for the Colts.
The Patriots have more first downs with 189 compared to the Colts' 175. The Colts are more successful on third down conversions with 50/102(49.01%), the Patriots with 49/109(44.95%).
The Patriots have more forth down conversions with 5/10(50%), the Colts 3/7 (42.85%). Other than that the stats are pretty similar. The Colts are averaging 6.3 yards per play, the Patriots 5.9 yards per play.
The Colts defense has 22 sacks and the Patriots only 15. Patriots 7 interceptions, Colts 9 interceptions. Turnover ratio +8 for the Patriots and +7 for the Colts.
My point is this: If you consider the Colts the number two team(behind the Saints), the Patriots must then be the number three team. The Patriots and Colts haven't faced enough top caliber teams to adequately determine where they are in the NFL hierarchy.
Overall however, I feel that the Patriots have played better teams than the Colts. The Jets, Falcons, Ravens, Broncos, and Dolphins are a fairly competitive set of opponents. The only real competition the Colts have faced are the Dolphins, Cardinals, 49er’s, and Texans—none of whom are proven playoff contenders. On New England's end, it looks like the Falcons, Ravens, and Broncos are postseason bound.
This Sunday’s match-up between the Colts and Patriots is going to be a good one. The key for New England is to keep Manning out of the game like the 49er’s did—I really haven't heard anyone dog on Peyton for his performance after San Francisco held him to no touchdowns. Manning isn't perfect, and if the Patriots and their young defense can contain him New England will have a good shot at putting more points on the board than the Colts.
Patriots 20, Colts 17.