Three things to watch at the Patriots renew their rivalry with the Colts Sunday (4:25 p.m., CBS):
All the hype coming out of Indianapolis has been surrounding Andrew Luck, but what about the guys who, ya know, catch his passes? Reggie Wayne has been a top receiver in the NFL this season. His numbers are up there with the best of them: 69 receptions, 931 yards, and three touchdowns. Many wondered why Wayne chose to return to Indianapolis as a free agent after last season, but it appears to be a good decision. Wayne has a very good chance – especially with this Pats secondary – to eclipse his last season’s totals (16 games) of receptions (75), yards (960), and touchdowns (4).
Speaking of Pats secondary
The Patriots should trot out their new acquisition in cornerback Aqib Talib on Sunday. He and the team have been very quiet on their expectations going forward, but the acquisition certainly can’t hurt. The six-foot-one Talib is by far the largest member of the Patriots cornerback group, and while he certainly is new to the system, it could actually benefit the Patriots that Indianapolis won’t see any film on how the Patriots will use him. “There’s nothing that I could go show them that I know [Talib] is going to do in this defense,” Colts coach Bruce Arians said on Wednesday. “I don’t even know where he’s going to line up. So it would be hard. I think we would just be asking our guys to over-study.”
The other offense
Hey, with all the Andrew Luck talk, it’s pretty easy – somehow – to overlook a certain quarterback on the home team. Tom Brady – remember him? Brady made his first ever career start against the Colts, a 44-13 Patriots win back on Sept. 30, 2001. While a score like that would be quite the blowout this Sunday, the Patriots should handedly win this game. The Colts don’t want to get in a shootout with the Patriots – a possibility with two below average defenses. The difference? If the Patriots go up early, they could run – literally – the Colts out of the building. The Colts’ 22nd ranked rush defense could give way to Stevan Ridley.