The Colts are averaging just 4.7 yards per play on offense this season. That ranks in the bottom five in the NFL when it comes to moving the football offensively. The worst part of that number is that it is both the running and passing game for the Colts that has struggled. Instead of the team being imbalanced with the run or pass game they have instead been ineffective entirely.
Indianapolis is tied for 24th in the NFL in yards per rush attempt with 3.6 yards per carry. They rank 30th in the NFL in yards per pass attempt with 5.7 yards per attempt. This is a symptom of a team that still hasn’t figured things out on the offensive line despite. It has to be frustrating. The Colts put a lot of the investment in the trenches during last year’s NFL Draft.
Andrew Luck is only averaging just over six yards per attempt. He's completing over two-thirds of his passes largely because he's having to use the backs in the flats to compensate for pressure. Luck isn’t being given the time to push the ball down the field with deep throws. When he does have time he hasn’t been able to accurately complete deep passes to his receivers. I guess you could say that the Colts have had bad Luck so far this season.
TY Hilton has suffered from Luck’s lack of deep passing ability. He has under 300 yards to his name through four games and just two touchdowns. Hilton has been Luck’s favorite deep target over the course of his career in Indianapolis. The two haven't been able to make much of a connection due to the rest of the Colts’ offensive issues.
Defensively, the Colts are solid through a quarter of their regular season. Indy is giving up 5.4 yards per play to their opponents. That is good enough for 10th in the NFL. Turnovers have killed the Colts and field goal position has hurt the points against. The defense has given up over 30 points in half of their games this season. They will need to tighten things up against a Patriots.
Indy is coming off of a bizarre loss to the Houston Texans in week four. They made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime. Once in overtime, the Colts had multiple chances with the ball, but couldn’t put up enough points to get ahead once and for all.
The thing people will remember is their decision to go for it on fourth down from inside their own territory. This led to the Texans being able to kick a game-winning field goal. You have to applaud the Colts for being aggressive in that situation, but you can also ridicule them for being aggressively stupid by not punting the football there, playing the odds, and avoiding a loss.
New England Patriots Week 5 Analysis
The Patriots are in the bottom third of the league, averaging 5.3 yards per play. They were much better in week four against the Miami Dolphins than they have been the rest of the season which has given hope that the Patriots are on the upswing. This game opened at 10 and has been bet up to 10.5 on heavy public volume.
The Patriots destroyed the Dolphins defense and put up a season-high 38 points en route to a blowout victory over their division foes. The rest of league should be scared if the Patriots can get it going. With Brady at the helm, it seems we're all waiting for the Patriots to return to old form.
James White was a huge reason for the Patriot's offensive improvement last week. He racked up over 100 total yards and two total touchdowns. On display was his versatility as the Patriots finally gave him a chance to shine. He hurt the Dolphins both on the ground and through the air. Having Sony Michel to anchor the running game is a big help to White, who can now be used in a more situation-specific way that benefits him.
Julian Edelman should be back this week for the Patriots. Tom Brady will have his leading receiver back after his four-game performance enhancing drug policy suspension. Edelman averages 10.7 yards per catch for his career. Much like the drugs he took, his return should enhance the performance of the Patriots offense this week.
Defensively, the Patriots are giving up 5.5 yards per play. That ranks middle of the road at 13th in the league. Against a mediocre Colts defense, it will be interesting to see which middle of the pack unit will have the better day, especially when the Colts take possession.
Being at home has its perks, but the Patriots are in a position where they may be caught looking ahead to their next game. They take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the biggest game of next week's schedule. You never know if their focus is more on Patrick Mahomes than on Andrew Luck going into this spot.
We know at the very least that they've watched less film than usual. They've had less time. Does that smell like a cover to you?
It is prudent to take the Colts in this game simply on principle. This team should have won their game against the Texans, but lost two fumbles inside of their own red zone that sabotaged their chances. The odds here are drastic and Vegas is really disrespecting Indianapolis with this line considering the events leading up to this game.
The date of this game helps the Colts. Thursday nights can be very close games and teams can often come in under prepared. The Colts could get blown out in this one, but we'll take our chances with 10.5 points. Double digit underdogs are always valuable (see Vikings vs Bills). They're even more valuable on a Thursday night.
New England is overvalued in this game. While the Patriots should win here, they may be in for a close game against this Colts team, especially with less time to prepare than usual.
Ride the Colt and the 10.5 points here. Hope they can find some good Luck and a cover.
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