Since the dawn of the new millennium, the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts have been consistent powers in the NFL. In that time, either one or both teams have made the playoffs every season. In 2014, both seemed poised to continue that trend with Tom Brady and Andrew Luck leading the charge once more in the AFC.
New England was given up for dead by many pundits following its Week 4 debacle on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. After the 41-14 humbling, the Patriots sat at 2-2 and appeared without an offense. Since then, Brady's bunch have reeled off five consecutive victories including impressive wins over the Broncos and Bengals.
In those games, the Patriots have averaged 40 points per contest. Brady has been his usual self this season, tossing 22 touchdowns against three interceptions. Brady's top receiver has been Rob Gronkowski, who rebounded from a slow start to grab 49 receptions for 663 yards and eight touchdowns.
Indianapolis is in terrific position in the weak AFC South. The Colts are 6-3 and two games clear of the second-place Houston Texans, due in large part to the most explosive offense in football. Luck is meriting MVP consideration this season, throwing for a league-leading 3,085 yards. T.Y. Hilton has broken out as an elite receiver, sitting third in the NFL with 937 yards.
Quietly, the defense is playing very well for head coach Chuck Pagano. A unit that has been without Robert Mathis was expected to be a liability, but ranks a respectable 18th in both points and yards allowed. Most impressively, the Colts sit 10th in sacks with 24, led by Bjoern Werner with four.
How to Watch
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
When: 8:30 p.m. ET
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
For more on the Patriots, head over to Pats Pulpit.
To keep up on the Colts, check out Stampede Blue.