3 things to watch for as Patriots finally face Colts in Week 6 showdown - Metro US

3 things to watch for as Patriots finally face Colts in Week 6 showdown

He never officially went away -- but there's little doubt Tom Brady is back and as go
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Tom Brady will line up against the Colts for the 18thtime in his career on Sunday night.

And you can’t help but think that this game will have the same intensity as the five postseason games that number includes.

As expected, Patriots players and coaches have taken the “just another game” approach this week leading up to the game. But if these guys really are human, there’s no way they actually believe that.

Tom Brady has more respect in the Patriots locker room than maybe any player has in any locker room. Those guys not only want to dismantle the Colts for themselves, but for Brady.

It’s not “just another game” and the scoreboard may just dictate that after 60 minutes.

Soldering on

When Nate Solder left Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, nobody expected that to be the last time we saw him this season. And earlier this week, Solder had told reporters that he was feeling good. As it turns out, he wasn’t feeling good. Solder, the team’s starting left tackle, will miss the remainder of the season with torn biceps. It’s a pretty big blow to a young offensive line that has played above expectations to this point in the season. So what now? The Patriots have two immediate options. The first is sliding Sebastian Vollmer from the right side over to the left side. That might be the safest bet, too, as protecting Brady’s blind side is crucial. Otherwise, Marcus Cannon replaced Solder last week and did a commendable job. But can he be trusted there permanently? Keep an eye on this Sunday night.

RELATED LINK: NFL Week 6 betting guide

Feeling Lucky?

While it hasn’t been determined yet, it seems as though Andrew Luck will play Sunday night. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Patriots, who have beaten Luck in all four games he’s played against them. Luck’s favorite target, T.Y. Hilton has been borderline invisible against the Patriots, too. In two games against the Patriots last season, Hilton had just four catches for 60 yards. But the Colts signed another receiver, Andre Johnson, over the offseason. Although Johnson basically did nothing through the first four weeks, he caught two touchdowns last week. Add Donte Moncrief, who has three touchdowns this season, and the Colts do possess an offense capable of scoring against a Patriots secondary that can be beat.

Who are the Colts?

On paper, the Colts are 3-2 and on a three-game winning streak, two wins which have come without Andrew Luck at QB. But look closer. They lost to two AFC East teams with Luck (Bill and Jets) and squeaked out wins against bad teams in the Titans, Jaguars, and Texans by a combined 12 points. Through five games, this isn’t a very good Colts team. They can’t seem to win much out of their division, and that shouldn’t change Sunday night.

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