New England opened as a three-point favorite against Indianapolis, in what will be the teams' eighth regular season meeting since 2002. But obviously all the Patriots care about is getting a win, and if they're to accomplish that, they'll need to take advantage of Colts' injury problems, says Pats Pulpit: "The Colts are down their top two tight ends and their top remaining tight end has a rib injury. Their #1 and #3 RBs are injured. Their #1, #3 and #4 receivers are nursing injuries and their #2 is Pierre Garcon ... "
But the Colts are also hurting in the secondary, so how do the Patriots take advantage of that? With an offensive set of Deion Branch and Wes Welker at receiver, the two rookie tight ends and Danny Woodhead, says Pats Pulpit:
Branch will command a double team with a cornerback and a safety over the top, cheating towards his side of the field. That's just how the Colts will function since their cornerbacks cannot play man defense. Welker will run across the field to drag his cover man out of position, but also to create a potential mismatch with the inexperienced linebackers in the middle of the field. Gronkowski will run to the sidelines, much like his touchdown routes, in order to be either wide open, or to drag the linebackers away from the middle and away from Welker. Hernandez will run down the field to keep the safeties away from the first down marker, but also because he might end up open with a mismatch. Woodhead will just be an outlet like he always is.
But despite that, there's already at least one site taking the Colts and the 3.5 points. From RealClearSports:
Both teams are flawed, in fact the Colts likely have more flaws, but the Patriots flaws play into the Colts strengths (weak passing defense vs. Manning). Also the Colts have gotten the better of the Pats more often than not in recent history. ALSO the Patriots are the popular pick as the best team in the NFL this week and all season the team that has held that title has been losing. No matter what this spread shouldn't be more than three.